Chairman of Rangpur-based 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
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 the last ten years.
Most of them have changed their fortune with government support, and their own initiatives, capacities, and potentials, thus setting up a dazzling example of women empowerment by eradicating poverty in a lasting manner.
Chairman of Rangpur-based 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, reports BSS.
However, various government support was 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 self-reliance, especially in the last ten years.
“Besides, rehabilitation of many homeless, and have-not group women under ‘Asrayan’, and Cluster Village projects, providing training, and micro-credits 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 self-reliant in Rangpur district alone, through IGAs in the last ten years.
District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer for Rangpur ATM Akhteruzzaman said, successful implementation of the government’s massive social safety-net 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, with assistance from the Department of Women Affairs in last ten years.
Successful women of different rural areas said they attained self- reliance through hard endeavours, and with government assistance under the SSNPs, and supports provided by different NGOs to improve their living standards.
The ‘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 much hardship even ten years back.
“Being a Member of Kursha Balorampur Village Development Samity (VDS), I took Tk10,000, Tk15,000, and Tk18,000 loans since 2012, purchased heifers, goats, and sheep,” she said.
“Currently, I have seven cows, ten goats, and 15 sheep, two acres of cultivable land taken on lease, along with other assets worth Tk8 lakh,” an affluent Begum said.
Member of Horkoli VDS Ambia Begum of Sadar upazila said she got Tk7,000 loan, and invested it in her small hotel business at Horkoli Bazar with the assistance of her husband Mominul in 2012.
“I got Tk18,000 in 2014, and again Tk30,000 in 2015 to expand my business with the assistance of my husband,” she added that she has assets worth Tk5 lakh, and their two children are going to school.
Like other beneficiaries, Feroza Begum was rehabilitated at Purbo Kochua-1 Asrayan Prokalpo in 1997 in Nohali union of Rangpur, as the then government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina completed its construction during her previous tenure in 1996-2001.
Everything started changing when she got shelter at Purbo Kochua-1 Asrayan Prokalpo getting back a new life, address, ensured livelihoods, and dream of a brighter future for her children.
Upazila Cooperative Office provided her with Tk6,000, Tk10,000, and Tk15,000 microcredit when she opened a grocery shop, and attained self-reliance,” she said, adding that she now has assets worth Tk4 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.