Pahari Shramik Kalyan Forum(PSKF)

Amidst the armed-conflicting situation in 1990s, it was due to exploitation and suppression of the ruling class upon the indigenous Jumma peoples of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), the Jumma youths of both males and females set sail to many cities including Chittagong, Dhaka and Comilla in search for work in various industries in the country as wage earners. At certain phase, an agreement known as ‘Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord’ was signed between the Government of Bangladesh and Parbattya Chatagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) on 2 December 1997. But the policy of exploitation, exclusion and suppression upon the Jumma peoples continues to exist due to non-implementation of the CHT Accord as to this day. Consequently, in search of life and livelihood, even during the post-accord period the flow of flocking the indigenous youths for employment in various industries in the towns continues unabatedly. At present, the Jumma youths numbering more than fifty thousand are passing their days as wage earners under various industries including the Chittagong Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) in Chittagong City alone.

The organizational activities with the Jumma wage earners under relentless efforts of PCJSS had its debut in CEPZ areas as to organize the Jumma laborers to deal with discrimination of wages, social protection, strengthening socio-cultural unity and solidarity, socio-economic development, security, etc. of the Jumma youths of both genders who had opted for immigrant life in various towns of the country while leaving their sweet homes in nooks and corners of CHT. The Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP) otherwise known as Hill Students Council has also been in contact with various social and cultural organizations and in a verge contribution through its organizational activities on maintaining peace and order of discipline in that area. At certain phase, in consultation with Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma, President of PCJSS, the Pahari Shramik Kalyan Forum (Hill Laborers Welfare Forum) formally came into being in the Hill Laborers Conference held in Chittagong Port Republic Club on 18 April 2004. At present, Pahari Shramik Kalyan Forum (PSKF) has 10 branches in various areas in Chittagong Port City. Alongside, Pahari Mohila Shramik Kalyan Forum has also been formed with a view to developing leadership of the Jumma women and thereby to create consciousness of their rights.

Ever since its very inception, PSKF has been conducting its organizational programs in co-ordination with various indigenous peoples’ organizations engaged in struggle for assertion of their rights including implementation of the CHT Accord and also with the democratic, non-communal and progressive laborer organizations, social and community-based organizations of the professionals. Programs of the PSKF includes: observation of traditionally social year-ending festival called Bizu-Boisu-Sangrain, staging indigenous cultural functions and holding discussion meetings, welcoming the meritorious students and indigenous games & sports every year. Apart from holding such programs, the Forum also undertakes various other programs relating to consciousness arousal and rights of the laborers and implements them. PSKF remains vocal in struggle for establishing constitutional rights of the indigenous peoples, in the PCJSS programs for implementation of CHT Accord – the struggle for assertion of the right to self-determination.

At present, the office bearers who have been entrusted with the duties and responsibilities of PSKF are: Amar Krishna Chakma, President (In-Charge) of the Central Committee, Dishan Tanchangya, General Secretary and Purna Bikash Chakma, Organizational Secretary.