Female agri-laborer become distress in Haor areas

DHAKA, Sept 7, 2018 (BSS/UNICEF FEATURE)- The lifestyle of women
agriculture workers in Kishoreganj haor areas has become miserable due to
unemployment.

In the rainy season, most of the women agriculture workers of Austagram
haor areas in the district passes idle time as they have no work. Usually,
women workers used to work at Aus paddy and jute harvesting at this time. But
they face difficulties while cultivating Aus paddy and jute crops due to
unfavorable environment.

Sikha Rani Das, an agriculture worker of Kurerpar village under Bangalpara
union of the upazila, said, “We are passing our days in a miserable condition
with four family members as I’ve no work now.”

But, farmers are always helpless to the nature, she thought. So that she is
not blaming anyone for the condition.

Her husband Sunil Das is a fisherman who used to catch fish in the hour
water but not earned too much to maintain a family of four members, Shikha
said, adding “That’s why I started working on agro-field with other women of
my community.”

Another woman worker Rani Bala of Pawn Sadainagar village under Dewghar
union of the same upazila said similar story. But she is hopeful that the
difficulties will end as the Boro season is approaching. Rani said she has
already borrowed some money from a local lender with high interest to
maintain her family’s livelihood and hoped that she will refund the loan by
working on paddy fields in Boro season.

Bishaka Das, a widow of Mosjidjam village of Austagram Sadar Union,
described her distress saying she is fully unemployed over last four months.
She used to work at Austagram Boro haor to maintain her family with a smooth
manner. But now, she passes tough time as she has no work and although her
family is not well-off.

So that, Bishaka went to Sylhet seeking work along with her five family
members but returned with empty hand because of her sudden illness. Her only
son Kamol Das now working too hard to earn money which is insufficient to
maintain the family. That’s why she has already borrowed some money from the
lenders.

Austagram Upazila Chairman Shahidul Islam James said heinformed about the
matter. “I know that our women workers are totally unemployed due to lack of
work in hoar areas. Many farmers are also counting losses as they couldn’t
cultivate crops on their lands.”

It is a natural calamity, Austagram Chairman said, adding “Water in the
rainy season have been on the decline in the Austagram haor years after
years. This is the main cause of decreasing Aus cultivation. Now, we are
mulling alternative work for women workers during the rainy season as women
day-labourers have become a blessing for the haor areas.”