Left Menu
Development News Edition

Floating on Education for Manta People of Bangladesh

August 9 is observed as International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples by the United Nations.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Kent | Updated: 08-08-2019 17:57 IST | Created: 08-08-2019 17:44 IST
Floating on Education for Manta People of Bangladesh
Image Credit: MAF, UK

Manta is one of the indigenous groups in Bangladesh. They are identified by their distinct customs and traditions as well as low incomes and social disadvantage. Accessing the Manta takes 24 strenuous hours by land and boat from Dhaka, the capital. MAF Flying for Life, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), could land alongside their floating homes in less than an hour on the only amphibious humanitarian aircraft in the country.

Eking a living from fishing and moving from place to place, the Manta share similarities with the Gypsies found across Europe – their name meaning 'River Gypsy.' Like Gypsies in other parts of the world, the Manta suffer discrimination and exclusion from the wider community. Being totally dependent upon fishing also brings them into conflict with other fishermen who preciously guard access to locations where better catches can be made. Hostility towards the Manta extends to land ownership rights, to the extent that their dead cannot be buried. Having no toilet means that members of the community practice open defecation in the same river they use for bathing and cooking, fostering disease and poor hygiene.

Education for Manta children is overwhelmingly focused on gaining skills related to fishing, which is an all-encompassing vocation. Parents see little value in sending their children to a state-run school where they will not be learning to fish and will likely face pronounced discrimination. With this in mind, a local NGO Jago Nari recently flew a team on MAF's amphibious aircraft to assess the feasibility of implementing a 'boat school' for the Manta, which would enable access to basic hygiene, literacy and open up alternative sources of income generation in the future.

Jabo Nari representative Duke Ivn Amin oversees resource mobilisation and communication. He said: 'We are really grateful to MAF for the flight support to assess the Manta community. Travelling from Dhaka to Char Montaz, we would need approximately 24 hours by road and boat. But MAF greatly reduces that time and we could reach there in 45 minutes at very limited cost. As a result, we had more time to interact with Manta community for an in-depth assessment.'

On this International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, it is poignant to remember the Manta, as well as many others who are yet to be acknowledged by the International Community for their vulnerability, poverty and acute isolation. An estimated 370 million indigenous people live across 90 countries on our planet. This makes up only five per-cent of the world's population, but they represent some of the poorest and most vulnerable. To raise awareness of these forgotten people, 9 August commemorates the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples – a cause which is at the core of Mission Aviation Fellowship's (MAF) work. Hundreds of remote people are now receiving the basics they need to survive, accessing education, technology and external markets to break longstanding cycles of poverty. Now flying in 27 developing countries, MAF is among the world's largest humanitarian airlines and has opened up some of the world's most isolated communities.



Post-COVID-19 Nigeria needs a robust Health Management Information System to handle high disease burden

Nigeria is among a few countries that conceptualised a health management information system HMIS in the early 90s but implementation has been a challenge till date. Besides COVID-19, the country has a huge burden of communicable and non-com...

Morocco COVID-19 response: A fragile health system and the deteriorating situation

Learning from its European neighbors, Morocco imposed drastic measures from the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak to try to contain its spread. The strategy worked for a few months but the cases have surged after mid-June. In this sit...

COVID-19: Argentina’s health system inefficiencies exaggerate flaws of health information system

You can recover from a drop in the GDP, but you cant recover from death, was the straightforward mindset of Argentinas President Alberto Fernndez and defined the countrys response to COVID-19. The South American nation imposed a strict...

Rwanda’s COVID-19 response commendable but health information system needs improvement

Rwanda is consistently working to improve its health information system from many years. However, it is primarily dependent on the collection and reporting of health data on a monthly basis. Besides, evaluation studies on Rwandas HIS publis...


Latest News

Agri bills introduced in Rajya Sabha; Tomar said MSP will continue

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Sunday said minimum price or MSP based procurement of agriculture crops from farmers will continue and is not related to the farm bills that seek to give cultivators freedom to market their produ...

Science News Roundup: China aims to operate regular space flights by 204; T cell shortage linked to severe COVID-19 in elderly and more

Following is a summary of current science news briefs.Ig Nobel science award An alligator on helium sounds like ...If humans sound like Minnie Mouse after inhaling helium, would an alligator squeak on the gas used to float balloons This pro...

Hyderabad airport gets ACI health accreditation for safe travel

The GMR Group-led Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here has been granted theAirport Health Accreditation AHA by ACI, a worldwide association for the air transport industry, for the safety measures being takenat the aerodrome, the operator...

J-K HC arbitration centres to be set up in Srinagar, Jammu

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court will have arbitration centres in both regions of the union territory to provide an institutionalised framework for speedy and expeditious resolution of disputes through an alternate dispute resolution mechan...

Give Feedback