Dalits or ‘Sweepers’ are considered “untouchable” and “unclean” because of the jobs they are forced to do. They tend to be employed at road sweepers, garbage collectors and sewage workers They often suffer physical and sexual abuse from both “higher” caste and from the men of their own caste. In fact, poverty, low literacy and social and economic marginalisation are some of the factors that contribute to the high incidence of domestic violence within their communities.

According to the Bangladesh Dalit and Excluded Rights Movement, there are an estimated 5.5 million Dalits in Bangladesh. About 300 years ago sweepers were brought to this country by the British colonial rulers. They were mainly from Madras, Kanpur, Hyderabad and some other places of South India. They were the low caste peoples among the Indian Hindu communities and were generally very poor people, and came here with a hope for better life. They were given jobs which involved cleaning public places, removing human sludge from pit latrines etc. Because it is their only profession, it has become their traditional job. Someone born in a sweeper family has no other choice than becoming a sweeper.

Shudha and The Orphan Trust working together

Sewing classes

Sweepers are a socially isolated and neglected community of Bangladeshi society. The Orphan Trust is working with the ‘Shudha’ foundation a local grass roots project dedicated to alleviating the hardships suffered by ‘Sweeper’ community of Shirajganj.

Shudha run free women’s training in sewing classes, adult education classes and a children’s school.

We have built a water well, provided clothes, toiletries and sanitation.

We are now fundraising to pay for a library for the children’s school in Shirajganj so please give generously.