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Bangladesh: Workshop on indigenous migrant workers held

Caritas Bangladesh, the social action of Catholic bishops in the country, organised a workshop on indigenous migrant workers in Dhaka on June 8,2022. (Photo by RVA News)

Caritas Bangladesh, the social action of Catholic bishops in the country, held a workshop on indigenous migrant workers in Dhaka on June 8.

Father Bulbul Augustine Rebeiro, director of Christian Communication Center, and Juel Rebeiro from Caritas were the resource persons.
In his opening remarks, Father Rebeiro said, “During my studies in Rome, I came to understand the plight of immigrants.”

"We respect immigrants," he said. “Indigenous people have to retain their language and culture.”

He also called all to work together for the rights and dignity of migrants in the county.

On May 12, Pope Francis in his message on World Migrants Day said migrants’ arrival could play a key role in social and economic growth. 

He further added that there is potential in them, with which they can do something for society if they are given enough opportunities. 

Addressing the young women, the pope said "the future is average" with immigrants and refugees. 

Caritas officer Rebeiro showed a video of three migrant women being interviewed on PowerPoint. 

The women highlighted their struggles, hopes and resilience. 
Jewel said the number of immigrants living in most of the slums is growing in Bangladesh. 

Migrants attend the workshop (Photo by RVA News)

At present, over 826 million people are living in the slums in Dhaka and the number is increasing. 

Rapid urbanization has been taking place in Bangladesh since the late eighties. This urbanization process is increasing from 5% to 6% every year.

It is estimated that by 2030, more than 50% of the total population of Bangladesh will be living in cities. 

At present, the total population of Dhaka is over 22 million. About 70% of them are living on a low income. 

According to Rebeiro, the concerns of immigrants are complex and need a multi-layered approach to address them from the government’s sustainable policies and programs, assisted by private sectors, civil society groups and institutions.

In an open discussion, participants shared the various issues of migrants from real situations and experiences.  

Rebeiro formed a five-member committee to conduct large-scale workshops through which he could change the lives of immigrants. 

Over 30 people attended the workshop. 

Peter David Palma, a participant, said, “We are all immigrants in the eyes of Christ. People are dreaming of improving the quality of life in the city.”

“Rhythm is falling in it; multiple obstacles are increasing in the environment. Migrants are stigmatized and deprived according to space and time,” she said. 

Echoing the words of Pope Francis, Palma said, "We are all brothers and sisters. So let's stand by each other without thinking of immigrants as our problem, and extend a helping hand and build a bond of humanity.”

Participant Mary Tereza Biswas said, “We are all immigrants of this world, not only in Bangladesh but all over the world.”

The number of immigrants is increasing day by day in the city. They do not understand what to do. Such workshops would benefit people to have a better grasp of the migration issue in the country. - Mary Anna Gomes/RVA Bengali 


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