06 May 2024, 13:36

Around 1.65 lakh Rajshahi people attain self-reliance through self-work

By Md Aynal Haque

RAJSHAHI, May 6, 2024 (BSS) - More than 1.65 lakh people from 35,500 poor and extreme-poor families in the metropolis has been self-reliant through various income-generating self-work activities.
The distressed families, who struggled with poverty for a long time, achieved economically self-reliance and well-being by adopting the money-making activities through their own initiatives, planning and resource mobilization.
The slum-population has been brought under the income-generating activities through formation of 103 Community Development Committees (CDC) under an anti-poverty scheme, said Nur Islam, Chief Engineer of Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC).
Earlier, they formed 1,122 primary groups with their own initiatives and selected their modes of earning like small business, agriculture, poultry and dairy.
Engineer Islam said the project has provided technical and financial support to the beneficiaries but the main work, like improving their livelihoods and living conditions, were done by themselves.
Rehena Sharmin, 24, is a resident of Meherchandi Purbapara slum of Rajshahi city. She is the fourth among her four brothers and two sisters. She couldn't take part in the SSC examinations due to poverty.
In the preliminary stage, she received a loan of Taka 12,500 in two phases for poultry rearing. Now, she has become an owner of a poultry and dairy composite farm along with a homestead garden through her sincerity and hard work. Currently, she earns around Taka 15,000 to Taka 20,000 from her farm every month.
Talking to BSS, Sharmin said the activity makes her aware about sustainable socio-economic and livelihood development side by side with the male.
In addition to making her family members happy, she obtained an HSC degree from Bangladesh Open University.
Sharmin conducted various lucrative programmes after being trained on savings and credit management and leadership.
By dint of competent leadership of Sharmin, savings of Meherchandi Purbapara CDC stood at Taka 3.96 lakh at present. Besides, the CDC extended credit of Taka 14.60 lakh to its members for various income-generating activities including poultry, dairy, homestead gardening and horticulture.
By virtue of the small-scale income- generating activities, Sharmin said the CDC has been playing a vital role in community- uplift.

So, the CDC could be adjudged as a time-fitting and effective means of poverty alleviation committee, playing an important role in women empowerment and self-employment.
Now, Sharmin has become an owner of three cattle and earns a profit of Taka 4,500 every month after selling milk and vegetables.
Nasrin, a housewife, said, "We eat protein foods, fresh vegetables, drink safe water and use sanitary latrines to maintain a hygienic life. My children are going to school now."
She added the females can do everything with skill and competence if there is will and mental strength.
A resident of Paba Natunpara, Ferdousi, 35, didn't know how to eradicate poverty. Wife of a rickshaw puller, Ferdousi used to live in a thatched house. She revived herself from a vulnerable position getting involved with income-generating activities.
To ensure food security, she now cultivates vegetables, fruits in her homestead and started roof gardening.
She has gained adequate mental strength as she now earns money from multiple income-generating activities including cattle fattening, poultry farming and vegetable gardening.
Mother of three daughters, Ferdousi is now leading a happy family life in a tin- shed house with her husband, leaving behind a life full of hardship.

Golapi Begum, another resident of Namo Bhadra slum, said they benefited enormously after cultivating both winter and summer vegetables by adopting modern methods almost round the year.
"I cultivated bottle gourd, cucumber, and coriander this year, and I got expected production," she said, adding they are getting green, fresh and safe vegetables regularly protecting them from various diseases caused by malnutrition.
Begum said, "We have been producing chemical-free vegetables, using organic fertilizer. We are also selling some vegetables in the local market after meeting the family's demand."
Being inspired, many other fellow people have expressed their interest in producing chemical-free vegetables by using organic methods.
In a choked voice, Begum said that her previous life wasn't pleasant and she struggled to enhance her family income.
To get rid of poverty, she started growing vegetables on her homestead side by side rearing poultry and goats.
Currently, she can fulfill the nutrition demand of her family members with chemical-free vegetables from her own garden and milk, and meat from domestic animals.



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