WB project changes ultra poor women’s livelihood

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim will visit Rakudia village in Babuganj upazila under the district tomorrow to hear the success stories of rural women who have overcome poverty through various income generating activities.

During the tour aimed at seeing innovative work with the poor, job creation by the private sector, and effective disaster management, he will observe progress of a project titled ‘Natun Jiban Livelihood Improvement Project’ run jointly by the Word Bank (WB) and Bangladesh Government at Rakudia village.

Under the project, at least 198 ultra poor women in the village became self-reliant. The number of such women in Dehergoti union is 1847,” said Nakidul Islam, cluster facilitator of Social Development Foundation (SFD), a local partner NGO.

“The beneficiaries got trainings and financial support for cattle and poultry rearing and fish and vegetable cultivation. The produced milk, eggs, fish and meat helped to improve nutrition for their families and brought added earning as well,” he said.

The WB president will hear directly from these beneficiaries who have changed their lot and are playing vital role in their families, he said.

During a recent visit to Rakudia village, this correspondent talked to several of the beneficiaries of the project there.

Sheuly Begum was found making pieces of fish that was collected from a pond under her cultivation.

“My husband went to the nearby bazar to sell fish, eggs, cow milk and seasonal vegetables produced in our farm,” she said.

“I started these income generating activities after taking a loan of Tk 10,000 from the samity (cooperative) under the project three years ago. Now we can earn well, besides feeding the family members properly,” she added.

“My wife’s involvement in income generating activities has helped improve our social status,” said Sheuly’s husband Anis Farajee, talking with this correspondent later.

Nasima Begum, another beneficiary of the project, said, “I get at least eight litres of milk from three cows kept in my cow-shed. I have over 50 hens in my mini poultry farm. Besides, I cultivate fish in my pond and seasonal vegetables on my yard.”

“From these sources, I earn well and living happily with my four-member family,” she said.

Kohinoor Begum, another beneficiary, said, “I took loan Tk 10,000 in 2013. I bought two cows at a cost of Tk 60,000 after selling ornaments and borrowing from relatives. Now I get eight kg of milk daily from two cows that help to run my family well.”

Many other women in the village including Feroza, Momotaj, Sonia and Shanta told about their stories of success gained through income generating activities.

Md Moshiur Rahman, chairman for Dehergoti union parishad, said, “At least 1,847 families in this union have been able to break free their poverty cycle with the help of the project. Women of these families are plying vital role as the change makers.”

Involvement of more women in such activities can help to minimise poverty in rural areas, he said.

Source: The Daily Star. Date: October 17, 2016