'We are very much hopeful about completion of loan distribution within next two weeks,' said Chandan Kumar Biswash, District Coordinator of ABAK Project
A total of 706 beneficiaries including 247 women of Amar Bari Amar Khamar (ABAK) project have, so far, received special loan of Tk3.08 crore to recoup the losses caused by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic situation in the district.
According to the latest official data, the loans were disbursed from ABAK for job creation in various fields like beef fattening, dairy and milk processing, fisheries, computer, sewing, nursery, poultry and grocery.
Target has been set to disburse the micro-entrepreneurs loans worth Tk3.90 crore for job creation aimed at bringing dynamism into the rural economy with fighting against the crisis.
“We are very much hopeful about completion of loan distribution within next two weeks,” said Chandan Kumar Biswash, District Coordinator of ABAK Project.
The ABAK project as well as its Polly Sonchoy Bank (PSB) has been working relentlessly for transforming the less-income group villagers into self-reliant through inspiring and engaging them to various income generating activities so that they can face the pandemic situation.
Chandan Biswash said 1,34,906 members of 2,808 Village Development Committees (VDCs) have learnt on how to search for income generating activities and become self reliant through quality investment and best uses of those in the district.
He said loans of Tk 319.47 crore have, so far, been disbursed among the VDC members and recovered Tk 62.19 crore as asset volume has reached 209.48 crore at present.
In addition to the formation of a revolving fund worth Tk69.94 crore provided by the government, government bonus of Taka 48.65 crore has been disbursed in the VDCs level.
Apart from this, Biswash said the new micro-entrepreneurs loans will ultimately contribute a lot towards recouping the losses being triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Almas Mollah, 48, has received a loan worth Tk 50,000 for reviving his poultry business.
Mollah, a member of Aliabad VDC in Durgapur Upazila, had initiated the poultry business after receiving a loan of Tk7,000 in 2012. He had elevated his business having 1,000 layer birds with SME loan of Taka 70,000 and personal Tk50,000 before the pandemic began.
But, the business has been affected badly by the prolonged pandemic situation.
Mollah hoped that loan from ABAK will help him revitalize the poultry business.
Delwar Hossain, 53, member of Fakirpara Kolabaria Village Development Committee (VDC) in Charghat Upazila, was given loan of Tk50,000 for reviving his beef fattening business.
Hossain had also attained success and fame in beef fattening business in his locality after best uses of his microcredit borrowed from his VDC. He’s pleased after getting the loan afresh.
Many other people like Almas and Delwar of their respective 60-member VDCs are seen coping with the present fallout situation of the pandemic through diversified job creation activities.
Dr Tariqul Islam, an associate professor in the department of economics at Rajshahi University, said the VDC members have been playing pioneering role towards intensifying the rural economy in many ways despite the pandemic situation.
He also said the new job creation loan will boost the level of confidence of members of the ABAK project which has become a driving force to the villagers in terms of transforming them into various income generators besides social contributors.
Paba Upazila Nirbahi Officer Shimul Akhter said utmost importance has been given to proper implementation of the project so that the target group of people can get its total benefits.
ABAK is one of the 10 special initiatives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he added.
Role of the project is very much important towards capacity development of the members, particularly empowerment of women beneficiaries, said Bagmara Upazila Chairman Anil Kumar Sarker.