Published: 26 September 2023
In an initiative aimed at empowering indigenous youths and raising awareness of their right to information, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) hosted a transformative training workshop. This event was one of the many planned activities to celebrate the International Day for Universal Access to Information 2023 and was organized in partnership with the Kapaeeng Foundation on September 26, 2023.
Unveiling Knowledge in Remote Corners
Twenty-nine enthusiastic indigenous youths, representing diverse communities such as Orao, Santal, Chakma, Garo, and Tripura, participated wholeheartedly in a day-long training workshop. This event equipped them with the essential tools to exercise their right to information, enhancing their empowerment in the process.
Journey of Dedication
The commitment of two college students, Tusha Chakma and Sujan Chakma, stood out as they embarked on a gruelling 12-hour journey from remote Rangamati to Dhaka. Despite facing hardships in their homeland, including unreliable access to electricity, clean water, and poor roads, they demonstrated their unwavering determination to attend the event in the capital. It marked their maiden voyage to Dhaka, reflecting their dedication to learning and their resolve to share newfound knowledge with their communities. Tusha and Sujan expressed deep appreciation for the opportunity and pledged to impart their insights about the Right to Information Act to fellow youths in their village.
Empowering through Engagement
The enthusiasm and shared vision of all the participants were palpable throughout the workshop. They delved into various sections of the Right to Information Act, exploring practical implementation procedures, understanding the key institutions involved, and identifying the officers responsible for disseminating vital information. The engaging sessions encouraged active participation, with participants posing thoughtful questions to expert trainers, further enhancing their understanding of the Act.
This initiative not only empowered indigenous youths with knowledge but also fostered a sense of unity and purpose among participants, transcending geographical barriers and championing the right to information for all.
A Call to Action
During the event, Dr. Iftekharuzzaman, TIB Executive Director, emphasized, “The Right to Information Act guarantees every citizen, including indigenous people, access to information and the power to use it. However, a culture of transparency hasn't fully taken hold, and some still withhold information despite the RTK Act's existence. You, as the young generation, have the spirit and courage to use this Act. Don't be deterred by initial resistance; follow proper legal procedures to make a difference in your community. TIB will support you every step of the way.”
This pioneering initiative by TIB underscores the organization's commitment to empowering marginalized communities and promoting the values of transparency, accountability, and equal access to information.