92pc ethnic minorities in plains saw income fall due to COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the lives and livelihoods of 92 per cent or 1.84 million ethnic minority people in the plains by reducing their incomes, revealed a study released on Thursday by Indigenous Peoples Development Services.

Half a million of the affected people lost their jobs and became new poor after the coronavirus crisis emerged in the country in March, said the study conducted by IPDS in association with Minority Rights Group.

‘The most important finding of the study is that the income of adivasi people keeps going down,’ said Bangladesh Adivasi Forum general secretary Sanjeeb Drong while revealing the study findings.

After losing land to grabbers over the years, most of the 2million ethnic minorities in the plains were living on insecure jobs such as daily wage earner or security guard or beautician, where they completely relied on other people for their employment, said Sanjeeb.

Many worked as house helps while others as drivers or salesmen or readymade garment workers but almost all of them saw their income go down ever since the coronavirus crisis emerged, he said

‘Only eight per cent of people surveyed reported no loss of income,’ said the study.

The study was conducted among 1,205 ethnic minority families representing 35 communities living in 28 districts.

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