280 women-led families rebuilt fortune at 4 Asrayan projects

Some 280 women-led families have rebuilt fortune through income generating activities (IGAs) after rehabilitation at four Asrayan projects in Gangachara upazila of the district, reports BSS.

These women had to lead miserable life after losing everything they had due to river erosion. But, they have changed fortune after their rehabilitation at Asrayan projects getting assistance under the massive social safety-net programmes. In the upazila, 90 rehabilitated families at Purbo Kochua-1 Asrayan Prakalpa, 60 at Purbo Kochua-2 Asrayan Prokalpo, 50 at Chengmari Asrayan Phase-2 Prokalpo and 100 families at Chengmari Asrayan-2 Prokalpo have made the difference.

Gangachara Upazila Cooperatives Officer Md. Aftabuzzaman said rehabilitated adult females were provided training to enhance awareness and expertise before disbursing micro-credits among them for launching IGAs to become self-reliant. In the beginning, Gangachara Upazila Cooperative Office provided Taka 6,000 as interest-free micro-credit to each of the rehabilitated women on completion of basic training.

“On payment of first loan, the women subsequently got Taka 10,000, Taka 15,000 and Taka 20,000 and so on to expand IGAs for becoming self-reliant to contribute their own in achieving sustainable development goals,” Aftabuzzaman said. Talking to BSS, rehabilitated women at these four Asrayan projects in Sadar and Chengmari unions of Gangachara upazila narrated their stories of transformation toward prosperity.

Rehabilitated Laila Khatun, 45, at Chengmari Asrayan-2 Prokalpo said river erosion made her homeless when her family along with the family of her sister-in-law Batashi was rehabilitated there in 2012. “After getting trainings, I first got Taka 6,000 and my sister-in-law got Taka 10,000 as revolving loans to launch IGAs,” Laila said.

“With the savings from our earnings, we purchased two goats, one bull and opened a grocery shop,” said Laila, adding that they sold the goats at Taka 10,000 and bull at Taka 45,000 after two years. By this time, Batashi got Taka 14,000 after repaying the first loan and again got Taka 16,000 after repaying second loans and later got Taka 20,000.

“We have now own assets worth Taka ten lakh to lead a happy life with family members and children who go to schools regularly,” said a happier Laila. Talking to BSS at Chengmari Asrayan Phase-2 Prokalpo, rehabilitated Lucky Begum, 37, narrated her story of winning poverty since her rehabilitation there in 2010.

“After getting training on IGAs, Upazila Cooperative Office provided me Taka 6,000 first loan in 2012 when I started cultivating crops as sharecroppers,” she said. After repaying the first loan, Lucky again got Taka 8,000 in 2014, purchased a bull, sold the same at Taka 24,000 in 2016, paid the second loan and again got Taka 18,000 loan and again got Taka 20,000 to run a grocery shop and lead a better life.

At Purbo Kochua-1 Asrayan Prakalpa, rehabilitated Bulbuli said she got microcredit in phases to raise capital through small- scale business, animal husbandry, poultry, tree plantation, vegetables and fruit farming at homesteads. Housewife Feroza was rehabilitated there with her husband Alef Uddin and two children since becoming floating people in a nearby village 22 years back.

After getting trainings and she subsequently got Taka 6,000, Taka 10,000, Taka 15,000 and Taka 20,000 micro-credits as interest-free loan to earn well through IGAs in becoming self-reliant now. Similarly in Purbo Kochua-2 Asrayan Prokalpo, rehabilitated Sabina said she first got Taka 10,000 loan, opened a grocery shop and later, Taka 15,000 and again Taka 20,000 to increase investment in business. “I am working now with my husband Rashidul to earn well and lead a happier life with our only son and parents,” a happier Sabina said.