Bangladesh's forgotten students: The Biharis struggle

Despite facing discrimination from their Bengali neighbors, the children of Geneva camp have inherited a proud tradition of ethnic and religious identity from their parents.
(Mark Rafferty and Anna Gilmer (Tufts University) Student Correspondent Corps)
Mark Rafferty and Anna Gilmer, GlobalPost
Published July 17, 2010

DHAKA, Bangladesh — The slum in northern Dhaka is only slightly larger than an acre, but the tin-and-concrete homes packed inside its borders  hold upwards of 25,000 inhabitants. The neighborhood, known as “Geneva Camp,” is crowded and undeveloped; families of ten people typically live together in single rooms, there is only one latrine for every ninety families and no more than 5 percent of the population has a formal education.

What sets this slum apart from others in Dhaka, however, is not the sheer density of its population or the inhumanity of its living conditions — but rather the fact that its inhabitants are Bihari, an ethnic identification that puts them in a minority comprising less than 1 percent of Bangladesh’s population.

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