Organization - Nagorik Uddyog

Nagorik Uddyog
Basic Information
English Nagorik Uddyog
Local language
Country Bangladesh
Category General NGO
Domain Performing Arts
Social Practices, Rituals and Festive Events
Knowledge and Practices Concerning Nature and the Universe
Traditional Craftsmanship
Function Policy and System
Education and Training
Established year 1995

Nagorik Uddyog envisages a Bangladesh with full enjoyment of rights of every citizen irrespective of gender, caste or race, religion, language as well as full realization of their ethnic identity and culture. In this context, NU highly values the cultural heritage of its targeted community while working with them under various programs. One of the NU’s objectives is to empower community people thorough popular cultural practices existing in the communities.


Nagorik Uddyog (Citizen’s Initiative), as a nonprofit development organization, has been working to promote fundamental human rights for excluded poor and underprivileged minorities since its establishment in 1995. At the beginning, the organization worked on raising awareness among the women that they can claim their rights from local government institutions and from the community. Subsequently, NU became specialized to implement the programme on access to justice through community mediation, legal education and referral services. NU also specialized on promoting rights of Dalit and marginalized communities including Indigenous Peoples. NU’s key focuses of activities are to promote cultural values and practices of targeted community by incorporating their composite heritage in all aspects of program components and deliveries.  Over the period, NU effectively established networks with national and international organizations working for civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights. As an active member of many national and international development forums and networks, NU involves in lobbying and advocacy in order to promote human rights and good governance.

Major Activities

NU’s Uddyog ‘Theater & Cultural Activities for Human Rights Awareness Programme’ aims to increase social consciousness on human rights and likewise reduce discrimination to women by promoting progressive cultural activities aimed at rural communities. These activities include theatre and folk music performances about the duties of local government organizations with respect to the rights of women, their empowerment and dignity. NU promotes the human rights awareness among communities through popular folk forms. For example, the Baul team delivers human rights education in rural areas by way lyrical dialogue or folk song.

NU’s another flagship activities are establishing the rights, dignity and identity of Dalit and excluded communities including tea garden worker communities of Bangladesh. Dalit communities have separate cultural identity, including language. However, due to century long deprivation in the name of untouchability, a number of their traditions are on the verge of getting lost. For example, a huge number of Dalits in Bangladesh used to speak in Bhojpuri, Jobalpuri, Telugu, Reli, Chachri, Deshwali, Nagri etc. But due to lack of support, many communities could not sustain their language. Rishi community does not speak in their native language `Thar’ anymore. Telegu community of Dalits used to observe various cultural events like Sankranti, Bogi, Nagula Chabithi, Kattamasha, Peru Patadam, Rabisuralu etc. Rabidas community have different cultural heritage. They used to observe Chatiar, Baraia, Ekusah, Haldidhan Charan, Lerkapuzaiya, Lerki Puzaia, Ram Nabami, Faguua, Gurugadi Puza etc. Most of their cultural festivals are connected with the birth, marriage and death ritual.

Pal community of the Dalits has distinctive role in making earthen potteries which was once only means for food preparing, serving and preservation as well as decoration. NU identifies that in many areas (especially in Bogra) this Pal community face serious problem in terms of habitation and livelihood. NU provides legal and other support so that this community can survive with their rich livelihood heritage. Some communities are still involved in bamboo and cane craft.

Nagorik Uddyog has exclusive work with the tea communities of Maulavi bazar district focusing on promoting and protecting their social and cultural practices along with their language. NU has documented various cultural practices of tea communities and regularly patronizes youth groups to observe their cultural festival. NU also operates 10 schools in this area and prioritizes their mother tongue as a medium of education.  Among the popular cultural events of tea community, Peria Parab, Jetia Parab, Lathi Khela, Korom Puza, Danda Choraiay, Fagua, Jhumur Dance, Chotpuza, Paush Sankranti etc. are remarkable.

Nagorik Uddyog has intervention among the plain land Indigenous community in the northern region of Bangladesh. Santhal is the biggest community with rich cultural and social heritage. Socio-economic exploitation on IPs by the state and mainstream society is liable for decaying of culture of IPs. NU is supporting to revive the cultural heritage of these Indigenous communities through awareness raising meeting, training as well as organizing these communities to establish their rights, dignity and heritage.

Contact Information (Organization)
Address House # 8/14, Block-B, Lalmatia, Dhaka-1207, Bangladesh
Tel +8802 9143636
Fax +8802 9141511

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