By Dr Aynal Haque
RAJSHAHI, May 28, 2017 (BSS) - Latifa Akhter, 40, wife of a rickshaw-puller Sabij Mian, has become self-reliant by running a small-scaled poultry farm at her home.
Latifa, a resident of Halidagachhi Charghat upazila of the district, started her poultry farm in 2015 under the Ashrayan Project.
At the preliminary stage, Latifa, mother of two daughters and a son, received training from the Local Service Providers (LSP) on chick rearing, including its proper feeding, vaccination and marketing.
This year, she earned Taka 3,500 so far selling eggs and chickens. She told the BSS that both the demand and prices of native variety of chick are higher than that of others at markets.
As a part of 25-member of Halidagachhi Micro and Small Enterprise (MSE), she gets some privileges of poultry rearing and its marketing.
Her elder daughter Sazima Akhter, a student of class nine at Zafarpur Secondary Girls School, gets all educational expenses from her mother's earning.
Like Latifa, members of 280 landless families are now living better life for the implementation of the government's Ashrayan Project.
"Once we lived under a shed on the roadside in Baganpara area. Now, we have got a permanent house to live," said Alima Begum, 45, another housewife.
Her eyes were filled with tears when she was recalling her earlier
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched the 'Halidagachhi Ashrayan Project II' on February 8, 2014, which has already become popular among landless people of the upzila.
Monwar Hossain, 38, a farmer of Jhikra Thakurjhi Ashrayan Project in Bagmara Upazila, said he along with other marginal people are farming fish and vegetables on cooperative basis.
Hossain said there are four ponds in the project where fish is cultivated under cooperative system. The poor and destitute people are happy getting shelter there, he added.
Zakia Begum, a housewife in the same area, said they have vegetables and poultry farming around their houses.
She also said pure drinking water is also made available there for 50 households in the project area.
Jahanara Begum another housewife said she and her family members used to live on the bank of a river before getting settler in the project area.
"Now the government has given us a shelter. We are cultivating vegetables as well as rearing poultry. Our children can continue their studies at home without any hassle as electricity available here. May Allah bless Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her government," she said in an emotion-chocked voice.
Chairrman of Bagmara Upazila Parishad Jakirul Islam Santu said the genuine landless, ultra poor and shelter less people have got accommodation facilities under the project.
Additional Deputy Commissioner (general) Md Shalahuddin said a total of 21 Ashryan Projects have been implemented at nine upazilas where 1,032 families have gotten shelter.
He said the Ashrayan Project has not only given shelters to the poor families, but also created opportunities for the self-employment besides providing health services, sanitation, drinking water and education for children.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)