Modern public service helps improve rural livelihood in Rajshahi

Published : 27 May 2023 08:59 PM

Modern public service has been contributing a lot towards improving living and livelihood conditions of the public in general in the rural, including the remote and hard-to-reach areas for the last couple of years.

Like the city residents, the villagers are seen deriving the benefits of modern information and communication technologies (ICT) to get a number of important public services, easily adding a new dimension to the 

rural life.

The existing Union Digital Centre (UDC) and many private online entrepreneurs are playing pioneering roles towards reaching the public services to the grass root level after the best use of ICT-knowledge and devices.

Abdur Rashid is a marginal farmer living in Barobaria village of Poba upazila. Once he had to go to the district headquarters to collect documents for land-related services.

But when he learnt about the UDC from a neighbour, it was surprising for him who previously had to spend a lot of time and money to get services through the traditional system.

"When I went to Rajshahi, I had to spend around Taka 300 on transport and food. But now I receive the same services from UDC very quickly. It costs only Taka 100," Abdur Rashid told BSS here on Thursday.

He said the villagers have been availing scopes of improving their living and livelihood conditions as a result of implementing various demand-driven programmes by local government institutions as per the direction given by the government.

UDCs are working as a model towards successful implementation of digital Bangladesh and decentralization of public services besides providing the government and non-government information and capacity building through entrepreneurs' development.

Ziaul Haque, entrepreneur of Huzripara UDC, said he got laptops, scanners, printer and photocopy machines from the ICT-related project. Not only that but also each of the Union Digital Centres got need-based devices and machines from the project, 

he added.

The grassroots people are getting around 100 types of digital services from the UDCs regularly. "We are reaching all the union level services to the villagers like urban people together with strengthening the digitization process," Haque continued.

Many unemployed youths have got jobs after receiving training on computers from the center, he said adding students, youths and working-people are imparted training in his centre, which is helping them to be skilled.

Union Parishad (UP) has been working on various important activities, including communication, education, health, water supply, natural resources, agriculture, sanitation and human resource development for elevating the livelihood of the marginalized population.

Full-length implementation of the time-fitting policies related to ensuringtransparency and accountability of the small-scale investments has added new dimensions to the rural livelihoods.

A total of 1,586 concrete roads and 300 culverts were constructed through implementation of 1,786 projects aimed at improving living and livelihood conditions of the villagers in the district.

Besides, 4,500 tube-wells and 170 submersible pumps were installed through implementation of 540 projects for ensuring safe drinking water.

The infrastructural development projects were implemented in 1,914 villages in the last five years on behalf of Local Governance Support Project-3 (LGSP- 3) with involvement of around Taka 74.68 crore.

The project is being implemented for uplifting living and livelihoods of around 21.37 lakh populations of 72 UPs in nine upazilas of the district since June, 2016.

Each of the UP people, including chairmen and members, were imparted training for elevating their capacity coupled with boosting their knowledge about their roles, responsibilities and mandates to their respective communities.

Demands of the people were shortlisted through ward meetings foimplementation on priority basis.

"We have learnt the methods and techniques of implementing village-level projects with transparency and accountability," said Sohel Rana, chairman of Matikata UP in Godagari upazila, adding that the villagers are deriving total  benefits of the allocated money.

LGSP-3 District Facili­tator Akter Hossain told BSS that sewing machines, bicycles, sanitary napkins and hygiene materials were distributed among the women to make them self-reliant.

Apart from imparting training, 650 sewing machi­nes among women and 174 laptops with printers were  among union digital centres (UDC) for human resource development.