New group to celebrate links between Sheffield and Bangladesh

Sheffield and Sylhet Connection launch
Sheffield and Sylhet Connection launch

A new organisation has been set up to improve links between Sheffield’s Bangladeshi population and the district in the Asian country.

Bangladeshi migrants have been living in Sheffield for more than 50 years, with the most recent national census in 2011 showing more than 3,000 now live in the city.

Sheffield and Sylhet Connection launch

Sheffield and Sylhet Connection launch

Many of the families that have settled here trace their roots back to the Sylhet district of Bangladesh and a new organisation has now been established to help celebrate both their Bangladeshi heritage and their British identity.

The Sheffield and Sylhet Connection 2014 group was formally launched at Sheffield Town Hall, with local community members joining Councillor Nasima Akther, who is the city’s first British Bangladeshi female councillor, for the celebration.

She was presented with a jackfruit, which is the national fruit of Bangladesh, at the launch.

Mushtaq Tufail, group spokesman, said a group of six people connected with the organisation travelled to Bangladesh last month to meet some of the families who have relatives now living in Sheffield.

He said many of the first Bangladeshi migrants to move to Sheffield had come from small villages which often had no electricity to work in the steel industry and build a better life for their families.

He said: “The third generation of the community are well settled and very strongly feel that it is time to pay respect and tribute to the first generation for the sacrifices they made to establish themselves and their families to integrate in society and make it possible for them to be integral members of the local community.”

The initiative aims to educate young British Bangladeshis living in Sheffield about their roots, as well as promoting community cohesion.

Further events are planned for the self-funded group and new members are welcome.