Traditional social structures of indigenous communities and organisations working on them should be included in the process of preparing census data of adivasis in 2011 to make it reliable, speakers told a city meeting yesterday.
They said individual indigenous communities should be identified and represented separately in the census and clustered together as ethnic people.
Research and Development Collective (RDC) in association with International Labour Organisation organised the view exchange meeting titled 'National Census 2011: tasks to identify numbers of indigenous people according to their ethnic identity' at the Jatiya Press Club.
Presenting the keynote speech, RDC General Secretary Prof Mesbah Kamal said the census data on the indigenous people prepared in 2001 is unreliable and politically motivated.
He said it would be impossible to take effective development programmes for the ethnic people without accurate data on them.
Prof Kamal suggested the government to conduct orientation training for the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics officials to cope with the indigenous people's issues.
He also suggested reviewing the questionnaire format for the census due in 2011 in consultation with the opinion leaders of indigenous people and experts.
Lawmaker of Khagrachhari Jyotindra Lal Tripura said if the headman and karbari were included in the data collection process of the census, then the right data and information could come out.
Right information and data would help the government undertake effective development process for the indigenous people, he said.
Sanjeeb Drong, general secretary of Bangladesh Adivasi Forum, said the government can take help from the formats of census of the neighbouring countries to make questionnaire format for the census to be held in 2011.
Khagrachhari District Headman Association leader Shaktipad Tripura also spoke at the meeting with Justice Golam Rabbani in the chair.