‘Island girl’ Selina strikes it rich


DHAKA, Feb 24, 2019 (BSS)- The struggle of Selina Akhter (Noyon Selina), of Kutubdia in Cox’s Bazaar district, is unique as her husband went missing three years after their marriage. But without resorting to other means, she engaged in the battle of life with her two kids without wasting any time.

Roughly 24 years back in 1995, Selina had started her struggle with only Taka 17,000 after selling her lone pair of ear rings and set up a poultry farm in a small room. From there, she had built up her fortune over the years.

The life struggle of an abandoned women amassing wealth has motivated others to engage in such business, as well. Following in her ‘miraculous ‘footsteps, many entrepreneurs in the area have started to set up small-scale businesses and poultry farms.

Selina said, “It’s not a miracle, I’ve shown that where there is a will, there is a way. Almighty Allah has showered her blessings upon me and for this I express my gratitude to Almighty Allah. I’ve transformed myself into today’s Selina with will power and hard work.”

She informed that her husband went abroad back in 1995 to change his fate, but since then there was no trace of him. “I was then struggling to maintain my life with my two little kids. My the youngest boy, Maon, was only six months old.”

After that, Selina said she sold her ear rings for only Taka 17,000 and came to the Cox’s Bazaar district town to do something for herself to maintain her life. “I rented a two-room tin-shed house at Jhautala for Taka 1,400 per month and started a poultry farm in one room after buying 100 chicks.”

Since the business started to yield profits, Selina said she took around Taka 45,000 as credit from bank after two years to expand the business and since then, there was no looking back.

Recalling her early days’ struggle, Selina said at the very beginning, many had laughed at her attempt for running the poultry farm and she also had to suffer a lot in managing her start-up capital. “But, now the situation has changed and many come to me to borrow money.”

Selina said seven years after starting her farm, she purchased a 16-decimal land in the beach town and built a one-storey building. “Beside, the house, I set up a poultry farm and named it after my eldest son ‘Shawon Poultry Farm’.” Apart from running a poultry farm, she also set up a dairy farm and engaged some men there to look after it.

While making a field-visit to her poultry and dairy farm, it was found that the farm is under a shed at one side of the land while the dairy farm is under another shed with small makeshift houses atop for pigeons. The successful entrepreneur informed that she gets around 240 liters of milk everyday from the dairy farm while she gets around 3,000 pieces of eggs everyday from the hens which she sells to the local market and to the wholesalers in Chattogram.

Selina also possesses a fish-fry shop at Borobazar in Cox’s Bazaar and a mobile phone shop at Coral Reef market.

She said her younger son Maon, studying civil engineering at Poly-Technique Institute in Cox’s Bazaar, looks after the two shops in the town while her elder son Shawon has completed BSC from a private university in the capital.

With the flourish of her business and change of her fates over the years, Selina purchased valuable lands in and around Cox’s Bazaar and she also had partnership in a private hospital in the district town. Apart from running businesses, this successful female entrepreneur is also engaged in different social-welfare activities. She is running an orphanage and working for the welfare of poor women.

Meanwhile, Selina received various awards and crests from the Bangladesh Bank, Department of Livestock and from the Bangladesh Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry as a successful female entrepreneur. The then Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed also handed over a crest to Selina for her successful entrepreneurship September last.

Abu Morshed Chowdhury, a successful entrepreneur of Cox’s Bazaar, said Selina is an active member of local chamber of commerce and industry.

Giving a message to fresh entrepreneurs, Selina said, “You’ll have to stick to your tasks and work hard.”