Economic self-reliance empower rural women in Rangpur

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RANGPUR, April 7, 2018 (BSS)- The economic self-reliance achieved by rural women through their hard endeavour is empowering them in Gangadas Baraipara village under Haridebpur union of Sadar upazila here.

Most of the women have changed their fate with assistance of the government and non-government organisations utilising their capacities, potentials and local resources setting up a glaring example of difference saying good-bye to their poverty.

The poor and distressed women of the village, inhabited by 62 poor households, are now confident about the future of their children because of achieved the economic success that also improved their livelihoods.

Member of Haridebpur union Bharoti Rani Sen of the village said these women lived in utter miseries, especially during the seasonal lean periods, due to abject poverty even a decade ago and are living now with their children in solvency and happiness.

Like Bharoti, Kamini Sen and Kallyani Rani of the village narrated as how they were inspired in resolving own problems through collective initiatives, capacities, abilities, potentialities and properly utilising their available local resources since 2009.

“Firstly, we identified our own problems responsible for our decades-old abject poverty and then collectively took decisions in resolving those despite some initial differences in opinions among us in the beginning,” said Bharoti.

“Within a period of only few months, we brought our village under full sanitation coverage collectively and freed the people, including children, from diarrhoeal and other water-borne diseases,” she said.

To cope with lean season when they had to sale labour in advance, women of the village formed ‘Baraipara Women Savings Group (BWSG)’ with 37 members.

Moyna Rani, President of BWSG said, members of the group deposited fistful rice every week as savings for three and a half years period when they could take rice as loan at vulnerable times and repaid again.

Following improvement of their socioeconomic, sanitation, nutritional and health conditions, members of BWSG sold deposited rice at Taka 37,000 in 2013 to turn their savings in cash.

“Later, the BWSG members raised the capital further by paying Taka 10 every week and started getting Taka 500 loan in the beginning and then up to Taka 8,000 and even more now for income generation activities,” Moyna added.

Joytsna Rani, Jamuna Rani and widow Shanti Rani said they have taken Taka 8,000 each as interest free loan from BWSG and invested in different businesses and income generation activities to earn better profits.

“Because of our economic success, the union chairmen and members now honour our unity, share their views in development activities of the localities,” said Jotsnay Rani of the village.

Chairman of Haridebpur union Iqbal Hossain said the villagers built several roads, culverts, canals and other infrastructures for their own comforts with their own efforts and with or without assistance of the government or NGOs.

They started forestations, cultivating vegetables, potatoes, fruits and crops in the fallow lands, fish farming in the water bodies, rearing cows, poultry birds, honeybees, creating group savings and other income generation activities to lead better life now.

“Every family of the village is earning well through income generation activities, their children are now going to schools without dropouts and women are playing leading role in making decisions at family as well as local community levels,” Iqbal added.

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