General

‘Amar Bari Amar Khamar’ project benefits 9,340 villagers in Rajshahi

RAJSHAHI, The ‘Amar Bari Amar Khamar (ABAK)’ project

as well as its Polly Sonchoy Bank (PSB) has started contributing a lot

towards making the less-income group villagers self-reliant through inspiring

them to various income generating activities.

After being members of Village Development Committee (VDC), 9,340 villagers

have learnt how to search for income generating activities and become self

reliant through quality investment and best uses of those in the district.

Ferdousi Khatun, a member of Matikata VDC in Godagari upazila, has attained

self-reliance after the best uses of her loan money. Firstly, she took a loan

of Taka 10,000 and purchased a sewing machine in around five years back.

Now, she is the owner of three goats and two cows side by side with her

tailoring works with furthermore investments.

“My conjugal life is very miserable due to my husband’s drug-addiction,”

said Khatun, adding that she left her husband with a minor daughter amidst an

uncertain condition around five and a half years back.

But at present, she becomes a small entrepreneur limiting her dependence on

her parents to a greater extent. She got a new life terming the VDC

membership as the turning point of her life.

Like other upazilas across the country, the ABAK project is being

implemented in 166 selected villages of nine Union Parishads in the Godagari

upazila since 2009-2010 fiscal year benefiting 6,732 people including 4,040

women, said Nure Tanjila, upazila coordinator of the project.

A fund of Taka 7.24 crore including the monthly savings of the

beneficiaries worth Taka 2.06 crore has already been developed, she said,

adding all the financial transactions are now being conducted through online

banking that ensured transparency and accountability in the whole process.

The loans over Taka 7.91 crore were given among 6,121 VDC members for

cattle rearing, fisheries, poultry farming, producing paddy and vegetable and

vermicompost.

Julekha Begum, a member of Enayetullapur VDC, has become a successful small

entrepreneur in terms of her processing and selling of cheese to different

hotels and restaurants. “We are processing cheese from around 75 liters of

milk every day,” said Begum, adding that she is paying her loan installment

regularly.

She gets full support from her husband and two sons to operate the business

enterprise.

Homestead gardening has become a boon to the life of Ataur Rahman, a member

of Pakri Dighipara VDC, who started farming after getting a loan worth Taka

50,000 in 2016.

A member of Kurshuna Eshabpur VDC, Durul Huda has become an icon in grocery

business. In line with his previous success, he took a loan worth Taka 70,000

and invested it to his business very recently.

Nure Tanjila said the beneficiary members were imparted improved and modern

training on various trades including livestock, fisheries, nurseries and

horticulture at the initial stage of their membership.

Important portfolios of the committees like president and managers were

given training on project management and innovation of income generating

activities. Besides, 60 members have been brought under small

entrepreneurship training.

Upazila Nirbahi Officer Nazmul Islam Sarker said utmost importance has been

given on proper implementation of the project so that the target group of

people can derive its total benefits. ABAK is one of the 10 special

initiatives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he added.

“Role of the project is very much important towards capacity development of

the members, particularly empowerment of women beneficiaries,” said Jahangir

Alam, an upazila chairman.

The ABAK project and PSB are benefiting 9,340 members of 292 VDCs in all

nine upazilas of the district including Godagari one at present, said Gloria

Ghosh, district coordinator of the ABAK project.

Professor Moazzem Hossain Khan of the Department of Economics in Rajshahi

University (RU) said the project has become a driving force to the villagers

in terms of transforming them into various income generators.

“ABAK has been playing a vital role towards making the less-income group

people self-reliant in line with its key objectives,” he said, adding that

the project will bring a positive change to the lives of the beneficiaries

within the near future.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)