Bangladesh was under the hegemony of foreign domination’s for hundreds of years. She is the youngest war born nation in the South Asian Region. The people of Bangladesh suffered untold miseries, economic exploitation, deprivation. social injustice, political subjugation, killings, torture and cultural domination by the Pakistani rulers for more than 23 years even after the end of the British rule in the Indian sub-continent from August 1947. There were no democracy, rule of law and justice in Pakistan from 1947 to 1970. It was under the heels of the military dictators for most of the time. Under this circumstances, the people of Bangladesh suffered the most. Only credible and acceptable general election was held in Pakistan in 1970 for its national and provincial assemblies after 1947. Awami League-Al led by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibor Rahman won a landslide victory in the election. When the military autocrats of the Pakistani rulers refused to handover power to the elected members of the Pakistan National and Provincial assemblies and unleashed a reign of terror on the unarmed people of Bangladesh on the fateful night of 25th March 1971, the whole nation stood up and revolted with whatever they had as weapons against the Pakistani atrocities, killings, rape and repression for establishing democracy, economic sovereignty & justice. Bangladesh fought an arms struggle for nine months in 1971 to achieve its national independence. 30 million people were killed and about four hundred thousands girls and women were raped, violated and tortured during the war for nine months by the Pakistani Military and their collaborators. Since its inception on 16th December 1971 as a sovereign and independent nation, Bangladesh has received billions of U.S. dollars mostly from West Europe. Japan. Australia, USA, Canada, World Bank-WB, International Monetary Fund-IMF, Asian Development Bank-ADB, Islamic Development Bank-IDB, International Development Association-IDA, Multinational and Transnational Corporations etc. as food aid, project aid, commodity aid and loan/credit to rebuild the war toned and war ravaged country and to redress the sufferings of the peoplle. Moreover, large number of National and International Non Govt. Organizations NGOs and United Nations-UN bodies have implemented various types of development projects and programmes side by side with the Government to eradicate hunger, poverty and sufferings of the people of Bangladesh since 1972, But assessment of all those efforts shows that the sufferings and sorrows of the people has not been removed or reduced as expected. Poverty, hunger, malnutrition, disease, unemployment still persist and exploitation, injustice, deprivations, disparities, corruptions and dispossession rule the society and its people. The number of destitute, landless and marginalized people increased from 30% in 1972 to more than 60% after the end of the 1st decade of the 21st century. They live below poverty level and can not meet their basic necessities adequately. In spite of lofty slogans and massive propaganda about development and costly printed visual achievements, reports of various agencies & organizations both from home and abroad reveal that more than 60% people of Bangladesh are poor and 30% of them are very poor. The daily income of these people were less than US.2 (two) dollar which is also not regular. They have been kept in the darkness of illiteracy, ignorance & fatalism. Moreover they were not benefited from the fruits of independence & development pursuits as committed. Moreover, they are adversely affected by the so called development projects i.e. roads & highways, by-passes: flyovers, embankments, dams & dikes, solders, urbanization and industrialization, privatizations, children parks, stadiums, posh residential areas, heli pads, air ports, export processing zones etc. undertaken by the Govt. with foreign credit and collaborations. Moreover, the landless and the poor peasants, slum dwellers, the powerless indigenous people, the laborers, workers & employees, the disadvantaged women and the destitute children are worst hit by Globalization, Liberalization, Free Market Economy, World Trade Organisation-WTO etc.
Historically, Bangladesh is not at all a poor country. Bangladesh has been kept poor, impoverished & indebted. Bangladesh is blessed with hard working resilient peasants and workers, fertile land and alluvial soil, favourable climatic conditions to grow cash crops, food grains, fruits, vegetables etc. round the year. Moreover, it has gas, mineral resources, rivers, water bodies, fisheries and forests. ARBAN believes that the vast majority of the people of Bangladesh are poor & powerless not because of the lack of resources but because of lack or no access of the poor & powerless to the means of productive resources.
The Association for realization of Basic Needs-ARBAN, a Non Govt. Development Organization, concerned with fundamental rights and the besic needs of the people, was founded on 18th February 1984. ARBAN believes that all development projects and programmes designed and implemented by the Government, NGOs, International Organizations, UN bodies and others should be directed towards the elimination of disparities and fulfillment, of the basic needs and fundamental rights of the people who live in perpetual poverty, famine, malnutrition, disease, deprivation, indebtedness, injustice and exploitation.