DHAKA, Sept 29, 2019 (BSS)- The operations of a project titled ‘Jotno’, meant for ensuring welfare of extreme poor women and children through health and nutrition development of pregnant women, child nutrition and their physical and mental development, has created massive enthusiasm among the poor and hapless families in 443 unions under some seven districts.
The project is benefitting some six lakh women and children at Rangpur and Mymensingh. Under the project, financial assistance is being provided to the beneficiaries and thus improving the overall health and nutrition condition of the pregnant women and children. This project is also developing the human resource as well as enhancing the income generation capacity of the targeted families.
Once the project is fully implemented, it will help some six lakh extreme poor women and children and their families coming out of poverty as well as put an positive impact on women’s empowerment. This will also increase the self sufficiency among the womenfolk of the targeted areas, facilitate the government’s bid of alleviating poverty and enhance the capacity of the Union Parishads towards implementing the social safety net operations.
In a bid to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the operations of this project has begun earlier this month at 82 unions under 7 upazilas in Gaibandha, at 72 unions under 9 upazilas in Kurigram, at 12 unions under one upazila in Lalmonirhat, at 11 unions under Nilphamari. Besides in Mymensingh Division, this project is being implemented at 146 unions under 13 upazilas in Mymensingh, at 68 unions under 7 upazilas in Jamalpur and at 52 unions under 5 upazilas in Sherpur district.
The Income Support Programme for the poorest (ISPP) or known as Jotno under the Local Government Division of the LGRD Ministry is supposed to be completed from April 2015 to June 2020 with an estimated cost of Taka 2,377.80 crore.
“Of the total amount, the World Bank is providing Taka 2,340 crore as project assistance while the rest of Taka 37.80 crore is coming from the state exchequer,” said Deputy Project Director M Monirul Islam.
He said the operations of Jotno began on September 17, 2018 through collecting data through alternative source from 4 unions out of the 443 unions. The number of project beneficiaries are around six lakh helpless extreme poor pregnant women and children aged up to 5 years.
The project officials said the extreme poor pregnant women, first and second children of a family and their parents get Taka 200 each for maximum four times as for health examination. Besides, children from extreme poor families will get Taka 500 per month upto two years for weighing their weight and height while from above two years to five years, they would get Taka 1000 for every three months for weighing height and weight.
The Project Deputy Director said the Project Director has already suggested the Upazila administration to start implementing this project in full swing through collecting information from alternate source. Besides, a project steering committee headed by the Local Government Division Secretary is already there to provide necessary directives for implementing the project properly while the concerned deputy commissioners, upazila nirbahi officers and union Parishad chairmen are also heading respective project development and coordination committees.