‘Asrayan Prakalpa’ changing fortune of many helpless women

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DHAKA, Dec 13, 2020 (BSS) – Roshana Akter, a dweller of Dharmapur
Ashrayan Prakalpa in Feni district, used to lead a floating life after
the death of her husband, but she has been able to change her fortune
by taking assistance from the ‘Asrayan Prakalpa’.

“I went through a difficult time . . . I had no house to live in and
it was not easy to manage meal once a day for my two children but I
have been able to overcome the hardship with the help of the
government’s rehabilitation and credit facility project,” said Roshana
Akter who lost her husband in early age.

Roshana was rehabilitated in Dharmapur Asrayan project in 2000.
After rehabilitation, the Social Welfare Department gave her Taka
10,000 as loan for joining in income generating activities.

“I tried to get any handy works to survive, but that was not enough
to maintain my family. In such a state, I came to know about the
government’s project-Ashrayan Prakalpa. I went to the Union Parishad
and applied for a house,” said Roshana, who is now at her 48.

“God blessed me . . . I got a house. Later, the Social Welfare
Department gave me Taka 10,000 as credit,” said Roshana, who was the
dweller of Bondua village under Feni Sadar upazila.

Roshana said that she also took training on animal husbandry,
poultry, vegetable and fruit farming for a better life. With the
passage of time, things began to look more hopeful. Now, she is
leading a happy-life as her two sons are also earning a handsome
amount of money and she managed marriage of her daughter.

Not only Roshana, Hazera, Rehena and many women of Dharmapur
Asrayan Prakalpa have changed their life by joining in the income
generating activities.

Talking to BSS, Secretary of the Dharmapur Asrayan Project Mohammad
Abdul Kayum Patowary said 210 families have so far been rehabilitated
under the ‘Asrayan Prakalpa’.

“Most members of the rehabilitated families have become self-reliant
by participating in income generating activities and ensuring proper
utilisation of micro-credit,” he added.

In 2004, he said, each family was given Taka 10,000 for income
generating activities and they have already repaid all of their loans.

Director of the Ashrayan-2 Project Md Mahbub Hossain said the
government has undertaken the scheme to give the homeless people a
meaningful life through providing shelter and assistance and
alleviating poverty through involving them in income-generating
activities.

Since inception of the project in 1997, a total of 3,19,140
families have been rehabilitated under the project in three phases
across the country, he said, adding that the first two phases of the
scheme were successfully completed in 2010.

“The rehabilitated families are getting skill-building training on
various trades with the support of the Local Government Department,
while Upazila Cooperative Offices are also providing revolving
interest-free microcredit to them only at 7 percent service charge,”
he added.

He said they are making profits through running small business,
animal husbandry, poultry raising, tree plantation, vegetables and
fruit farming at homesteads.

Mahbub said that the government has been providing
professional-based training to two members of each rehabilitated
family. The government undertook the Ashrayan-2 Project in 2010 aimed
at providing shelter to around 2.50 lakh families by June 2022, he
added.

Under the project, he said, the government rehabilitated a total of
2,13,227 families from July 2010 till June 2020.