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Lawmakers and human rights campaigners on Monday called for taking collective efforts by all concerned to root out all sorts of discriminations against downtrodden (Dalit) people in the subcontinent.
By Sally Hayden. "There is no future for us here," Ratan Basfur says angrily. Basfur is an "untouchable," a member of one of Bangladesh's lowest castes, and his surname cements it. The Basfurs are part of the "sweeper class" that live in Horijon Polli, a densely packed slum in Mymensingh District that contains 1,200 households, with an average of five inhabitants in each. unni Basfur works three cleaning jobs. She wakes at 4am to clean the street, employed casually by the city government. Then she moves on to a pharmaceutical company to do a two-hour cleaning shift, and does another half an hour's work in a store. She spoke about one of the biggest concerns of the sweeper class — the fact that they've condemned their offspring to a life in the lowest caste. There have even been reports of untouchables sending their children away and encouraging them to change their names, in the hopes that the next generation can escape the stigma that has plagued their parents.