SHAREE is the acronym for Self-Help Association for Rural people through Education & Entrepreneurship, is registered in Bangladesh as a NGO with both the Directorate of Social Welfare and NGO Affairs Bureau. It runs lobby and advocacy campaigns for the marginalized and disadvantage community in Bangladesh, and for the Dalit community people so that their human rights can be promoted and/or protected.
SHAREE in a Nutshell: Self-Help Association for Rural people through Education & Entrepreneurship (SHAREE)
Founder: Ms. Preo Bala Biswas
Type: Non-profit Organization
Purpose: SHAREE’s purpose is to promoting & protecting Marginalized and disadvantage community human rights in Bangladesh
Headquarters: House-11 (1st Floor), Road-4, Dhanmondi R/A, Dhaka-1205, Bangladesh
Key people: Ms. Preo Bala Biswas (General Secretary & Executive Director (ex-officio)
SHAREE works for local governance issues and with municipalities to facilitate empowerment of them and to help them get access to various government facilities and services. SHAREE also works for long on children’s education, cutting child slavery etc. Other important work it does includes promoting and protecting their human rights. SHAREE also works for promoting good governance, gender development, climate change adaptation and disaster management. However, its main focus is to help the minority and Dalit women to establish their human rights and live in dignity with the mainstream society being free from poverty, injustice, discrimination and violence.
SHAREE’s programme and project interventions are aimed at empowering minority communities, esp. Dalit women living in different pockets of Bangladesh, prepare their children for education, organising women and youth in clubs for safe-guarding their rights, educate them, as well as, community movers and/or leaders on different minority rights, help them receiving different development inputs and services for human development, leadership skills and self-reliance. SHAREE runs various action, advocacy and lobby activities at local, national and international levels for the promotion of minority rights. In this process, SHAREE helps formation of their institution building for self-reliance, power and sustainability.
SHAREE’s notable researches and publications are:
1. Cobbler living in the uncertainty (2002-2003 Research study by Priya Saha and Rathidra Nath Paul)
2. Evaluation of Untouchables living in the Urban Slums of Bangladesh
3. Evaluation on “Strengthening of the Panchayet of Dalit Community by making them gender sensitive and gender balance for empowering women’s legal and fundamental right”
4. Report on Dalit Community inclusion in the National Census 2011
5. Research study on Missing Minorities
6. Research study availability of Service Delivery Institution support to Dalit community
7. Cobbler living in the uncertainty (2002-2003 Research study by Priya Saha and Rathindra Nath Paul)
8. An Endeavour to identify Dalit Challenges in Bangladesh
9. People’s perception on Hindu women Rights in Bangladesh.
10. SHAREE Initiative & Media Focus on Dalit Mainstreaming in Bangladesh
11. Monthly news bulletin titled “Dalit Kantha” (Voices of the Dalits)
SHAREE’s current major activities are to tenaciously working in favour of reforming traditional Dalit Panchayet so that they can be more democratic, gender-sensitive, and sympathetic towards women or girls so that early marriage within Dalit community and widespread practice of violence against women and dowry can be reduced.
Second major activity of SHAREE is to raise awareness and capabilities of the Dalit women / youth (adolescent girls) so that they can be trained and nursed as future leaders. The idea is to organise them in groups/clubs and link them to local media, judiciary and government administration so that they can gather courage, at first, and then begin fight against injustice and discrimination against their community and help establish their Constitutional Rights in the society.
Third major activity of SHAREE is to create Human Rights Defenders-both women and men who can fight for their different rights in protecting/ preventing any ensuing human rights violations irrespective of its sources: state, intra or inter religious groups and so on. They also should work to help their community people get government services/input. Work for its constituents where they are victims of climate-change is another important activity of SHAREE.
SHAREE also has a well-built infrastructure for vocational and skills development. It has a well-equipped vocational training centre located at its head office. The centre was established in 2002. The centre has available facilities for development training for the women and adolescent. It has adequate equipments for 25 trainees. SHAREE also is running skill development training centres for the Dalit women at Gonoktuli City Colony, Dayagonj City Colony and Nazirabazar City Colony. SHAREE also has staff-training facilities at its head office and at four district level offices with all modern training facilities. At all these facilities, 20 trainees can participate in training at a time.
Last, but not the least, SHAREE works for children’s education since its inception, and it continued doing the same. But, it only serves the Dalit children, at present, because, they are the most neglected, most deprived, and often missed to enrol in the public schools because of untouchability.
Running rights based activities and activism/ movement for the promotion and protection of minority rights has been SHAREE’s main past activities. It worked to promote minority women’s issues in the local governments (esp. municipalities), ran a vigorous campaign for minority inclusion during the census (2011), and ran successful advocacy and lobby programmes to influence government policies in favour of minority people in Bangladesh.
Operating education programmes for different groups had been SHAREE’s other main past activities. Those programmes include: Pre-Primary School Project for underprivileged slum-dwelling children in Lalbag, Mohammadpur and Hazaribag of Dhaka city; Post-Literacy and Continuing Education for Human Development Project (PLCEHDP) for adult learners in Raghunathpur, Durgapur & Mazigati Union in Gopalgong Sadar; Reach Out of school Children programme for the children that missed the opportunity to attend school in different districts.
Apart from running education programme, SHAREE also worked for Integrated Char Development Project where it constructed ‘Perimeter Trenches’ outside the Flood Control Embankment in coastal areas of Barguna and patuakhali where two groups of about 20 families in each were organized, facilitated in obtaining lease of char land to make ‘Perimeter Trenches’. The trenches have helped reduce the salinity of land, and created opportunities for fish culture in the ‘gher’, vegetable production on the banks, and Boro rice cultivation in between trenches.
SHAREE also helped empower urban women entrepreneurs and helped them succeed in business; promoted birth registration, marriage registration, protect early marriage, protect women’s rights and campaigned for Violence Against Women (VAW); worked for eradication of hazardous child labour. It aimed to pull out child labour from hazardous sectors, such as, domestic work, lather industry, flour mill, prostitution, garbage collection, engineering workshop etc and offer them NFE, skill development training, microcredit support to their parents so that they aren’t sent back again to work.
SHAREE is committed to continue its services for the Bangladeshi Dalit and minority people and promote and protect their human rights for a peaceful Bangladesh where every citizen with no consideration of caste and creed will enjoy the declared constitutional rights. For this to happen, local community and international humanitarian support is necessary to bring happiness to the lives of the people SHAREE serves.