Rural women making own fortune in Rangpur region

RANGPUR, Near about 25,000 rural women have become own fortune makers through various income generating activities (IGAs) in all five districts of greater Rangpur region in last ten years.

Most of them have changed fortune with government supports and their own initiatives, capacities and potentials setting up dazzling example of women empowerment after eradicating poverty everlastingly.

Talking to BSS, Chairman of Rangpurbased research organisation North Bengal Institute of Development Studies Dr Syed Samsuzzaman said many rural women used to live amid miseries due to abject poverty even a decade ago in greater Rangpur region.

However, various government supports has being extended to rural women to enable near about 25,000 of them to become engaged in cottage industries, setting up enterprises, businesses and IGAs to achieve selfreliance especially in last ten years.

Besides, rehabilitation of many homeless and havenots group women under 'Asrayan' and Cluster Village projects, providing training and microcredits for IGAs, allowances and other supports assisted them to improve livelihoods, Samsuzzaman added.

Deputy Director of the Department of Youth Development Dilgir Alam said 3,200 unemployed youths, mostly women, got training and many of them got interest free loans to become selfreliant in Rangpur district alone through IGAs in last ten years.

District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer for Rangpur ATM Akhteruzzaman said successful implementation of the government's massive social safetynet programmes (SSNPs) effectively helped many rural women to improve their livelihoods.

District Women Affairs Officer for Rangpur Kawser Pervin said over 3,000 unemployed female youths are earning well after getting training on sewing and embroidering and assistance from the Department of Women Affairs in last ten years.

Talking to BSS, successful women of different rural areas said they attained self reliance through hard endevours with government assistance under the SSNPs and supports of different NGOs to improve their living standard.

An 'Ekti Bari Ekti Khamar' project beneficiary Alefa Begum of village Kursha Balorampur in Rangpur Sadar upazila said she along with her husband and four children were in hardship even ten years back.

Being a Member of Kursha Balorampur Village Development Samity (VDS), I took Taka 10,000, Taka 15,000 and Taka 18,000 loans since 2012, purchased heifers, goats and sheep, she said.

Currently, I have seven cows, ten goats and 15 sheep, two acres cultivable land taken on lease along with other assets worth Taka eight lakh, an affluent Begum said.

Member of Horkoli VDS Ambia Begum in Sadar upazila here said she got Taka 7,000 loan and invested the same in her small hotel business with assistance of her husband Mominul at Horkoli Bazar in 2012.

I got Taka 18,000 in 2014 and again Taka 30,000 in 2015 to expand my business with assistance of my husband, she said adding that she has assets worth Taka five lakh and their two children are going to schools.

Like other beneficiaries, Feroza Begum was rehabilitated at Purbo Kochua1 Asrayan Prokalpo in 1997 in Nohali union of Rangpur as the then government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina completed its construction during her previous 19962001 tenure.

Everything started changing when she got shelter at Purbo Kochua1 Asrayan Prokalpo getting back new life, address, ensured livelihoods and dream of brighter future for her children.

Upazila Cooperative Office provided her with Taka 6,000, Taka 10,000 and Taka 15,000 microcredit when she opened a grocery shop and attained selfreliance, she said adding that she has assets worth Taka four lakh.

Additional Divisional Commissioner (General) Md. Zakir Hossain said rural women are achieving sustainable development through IGAs to accelerate the process of attaining sustainable development goals.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)