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Counting the hills: Assessing development in Chittagong Hill Tracts
M Rafi, AMR Chowdhury (eds)
University Press Ltd.

June - 2001

The Chittagong Hill Tracts is located in the south-eastern part of Bangladesh bordering India's Northeastern region and Arakan province of Myanmar (Burma). Various ethnic groups the most important of which are the Chakmas, the Marmas, the Tripuras and the Mros inhabit it. Together, they constitute approximately one percent of the population of Bangladesh but on account of their distinct language, ethnicity, religion and social structure, they present a challenge to the integration and development effort of Bangladesh. The Parbattya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samity (PCJSS) the Hill Tracts Peoples Solidarity Association formed in 1972 is the representative body of all the ethnic groups of the region. Very little was known about the various facets of the development process or of the obstacles to development in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The signing of the Peace Accord between the Government of Bangladesh and the PCJSS in December 1997 has created a favorable atmosphere for the development of the region. This study by BRAC is one of the pioneering works to understand the development needs of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Counting the Hills is the first comprehensive account on the region. This multidimensional study deals with issues of society, demography, education, economy, health and environment. The present work is different from others done in the past in two important ways. It adopted a survey to provide a representative picture of the region. Secondly, it estimated the relative status of the five most populous ethnic groups in the region vis a vis one another. As practical and attitudinal obstacles, this extensive qualitative and quantitative research often frequent the organization of development work, combining both field observation and conceptual explorations should attract a wide range of users. Policy planners, politicians, social anthropologists, government administrators, students of development studies will come to regard this as a pioneering work on the region.

University Press Ltd.

 
 

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