Health Desk—August 8, 2017: The status of education, health, and gender parity in the slums of Dhaka city is poorer than the national average, according to a new report of rights organisation Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK).
While the education scenario is frustrating, violence against women in the slums is regarded as acceptable even by women themselves, the report shows. It also says slum dwellers pay more for utility services compared to better-off urban areas.
The “People's Development Justice Report” was disclosed at a programme in the capital's Jatiya Press Club on Monday. ASK took help of the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development while preparing the report.
The report says around 6.33 percent of urban population is slum dwellers, but it did not give any comparative figures on the aforementioned indicators.
Presenting a keynote paper, Subarna Dhar, coordinator of the Women 2030 Project: National Monitoring and Review of Sustainable Development Goals for ASK, said the study was conducted on people living in informal settlements in the capital.
She said they prepared the report after taking SDG no. 4, 5, 11 and 16 as focus areas. While preparing it, the ASK team used secondary data and conducted group discussions and consultations for six months from January.
In the report, ASK recommended special education schemes for slum children, with focus on employment-oriented skills.
Other recommendations include engaging slum dwellers in any plan involving their rehabilitation or their rights, taking up projects to improve informal settlements, and building permanent houses with all basic services.
Mentioning that the country has the highest rate of child marriage in Asia and fourth highest in the world, the report also called for repeal of a special provision of the Child Marriage Restraint Act 2017, which allows underage marriage in special circumstances.
In his speech, Prof Shamsul Alam, member (senior secretary), General Economic Division of the Planning Commission, said ASK's initiative reflected field-level scenario, which would help taking plans to implement the government's Vision 2041.
Chairing the event, ASK Executive Director Sheepa Hafiza urged the government to consider their recommendations while making development plans.
Acid Survivor Foundation Executive Director Selina Ahmed praised the report as a participatory plan to achieve sustainable development.