During the Durga Puja celebrations in 2017 I met some people from the Miron-Jolla-Colony preparing a Durga goddess statue and started following them as they celebrated the most important religious festival for Hindus in Bangladesh. When I came into their neighborhood I wasn´t aware of their social background yet. After I spent some time with them I got an idea of their microcosm and later realized the background of Dalit people in Bangladesh by the research I did.
About 5.5 million Dalit, a word applied to all „untouchables“ in the caste system, live in Bangladesh. A community of 5.000 families lives in the Miron-Jolla-Colony in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which is like an enclave and was built like that to separate the “unpure” people from the rest of the society.
Their ancestors were brought by the British empire from other parts of India to work as street and sewer cleaners in Dhaka. For many years the marginalised group was forced to work in their naturally given jobs. But for nowadays generation the situation changed as they are more accepted and also younger people get into other jobs and some even enter into higher education.
But still they live as a closed community in their colony where they have preserved the Indian culture of their ancestors. They still speak Telugu instead of Bengali and keep their Indian culture alive.