Tel: 020 7377 9595
Email: info@gscuk.org

History...

Greater Sylhet Development and Welfare Council (GSC) in UK is a voluntary organisation established in 1993. It is a nationwide charity organisation working for the welfare of Sylheti Bangladeshi People living in the UK. The organisation is run by an elected National Executive Committee and is governed by a constitution. GSC has 13 regional committee’s to work with same charter of welfare for the Bangladeshi community living in various regions throughout the UK

Up to 95 percent of Bangladeshis living in the United Kingdom either originate or come from greater Sylhet region of Bangladesh. It is now more than a century that the people of Sylhet are here in UK. Historical evidences shows that in late 19th century and early 20th century, there have been groups of Sylheti men, in London East End, Liverpool, Cardiff and other port cites, then it was a district of Assam of Eastern India. The seafaring traditions of the Sylhetis stretches back into the past. The trading ships of the East India Company and later in the 20th century British merchant marine require crews to run them, and the Sylhet was one of the principal areas from which they were recruited. The people of Sylhet have been in UK for a period over century and have experienced their life as a Diaspora community.

The people of this community along with other minority communities have made tremendous contribution to the construction of their homeland, Bangladesh as well as present multi-racial British Society. Traditionally, the people of Sylheti Community have close connection with Greater Sylhet and its people, and only with that feeling they have always extended their helping hands for any cause – may it be a struggle for liberation or helping Bangladesh as a whole in calamities like Cyclone or floods. With such a record of great contribution and devotion, it is sad that this community and its region is severely deprived at home in terms of developmental aspects. In the United Kingdom, this community is most disadvantaged one in the fields of housing, social conditions, employment and education. House of Commons Home Affairs Committee Report in 1986/87 described our community as, ‘considerably most disadvantaged of Britain’s ethnic minority. The average earnings are lower than of any ethnic minority.’ In 2001 ONS data shows that situation of this community is improving slowly.

The younger generation of Sylheti are keen to get proper education and training. They are interested in professional jobs such as doctors, teacher, IT specialist etc. For this reason, traditional ‘Indian restaurant’ owned by Sylheti, are now facing skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled manpower shortage to run the business. Hence, creation of the Greater Sylhet Development & welfare Council in the early 1990s for the betterment of Sylheti and Bangladeshi people in UK, is a significant step. It intends to bring together Sylheti people to address these multiple problems faced by our community both in the United Kingdom and Bangladesh.