1500 poor women become income-generators in Rajshahi city

1500 poor women become income-generators in Rajshahi city

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More than 1,500 women have come together from the poor and extreme poor communities like sweeper, chamarpara (tanner) and Jelepara (fishermen) for eradicating their long-lasting poverty and economical uncertainty in the city.Most of them have become moneymakers through various income- generation activities like sewing, embroidery, paper-bag making and some other food productions.They attained some knowledge on how to become self-reliant after thwarting poverty. Side by side with changing their fortunes they, eventually, have now become social contributors as the present society receive their services in many ways.”Momentum of our works has been enhanced to a greater extent with the increasing demand of finished products for households,” said Rupa Rani, community leader of sweeper colony. She said, “These works are very new for us as our community people both males and females are habituated in sweeping and cleaning toilets, drains, footpaths and other activities in the city”.
Presently, there is no shop and service- delivery center where the paper-bags aren’t used,” Radha Rani Halder, deputy chief of fishermen community, has said. “We receive many orders for making paper-bags as its demand has gradually been rising,” she added.She said many of the women pass their sleepless night to supply the ordered goods like ladies-ware and paper-bags especially in ahead of any religious or community festival or ceremonies.
Based on the demands, they prepare bags of all sizes but their earning is very scanty. “We got only Taka 20/25 for making every 100 bags. We need a whole day to finish the works of 300 bags,” said Basanti Rani Halder.Is spite of this, most of the housewives of the disadvantaged community are doing the works with help of their family members to rotate their family wheels.The community women and children are now compelled to do any kinds of income-generation works for their survival as their ancestral profession of fish catching is on the verge of extinction. With breakthrough of the working atmosphere the women got the chance of uplifting their working- skills.They have learnt many other things like on how to get safe drinking water and construct and use sanitary latrines as well as on how to literate their children.Basically, women of the disadvantaged communities weren’t familiarised with the income-generation activities as they were ignorant about on how to elevating their living and livelihood condition, Mukta Mallik, Chairperson of Chamarpara Community, said. “First of all, I got a grant of Taka 4500 from a development project of Rajshahi City Corporation around two years back and since then I have been doing the paper-bag making work”, said Puspa Rani Halder, a member of Jelepara community. Not only Puspa, many others are doing the same as they need extra income to bring happiness in family. “We have provided Taka 4,500 to each of the 500 women for small business as block grants,” Ershadul Haque, Town Manager of Urban Partnership for Poverty Reduction Project (UPPRP), said.He said the seven-year anti-poverty project is being implemented for improving the living and livelihood conditions of around two lakh poor and extreme poor people, especially women and girls, in the city. UNDP in association with UK aid and UN Habitat extends financial and technical supports to the project.Razen Mardee, Community Organizer of UPPRP, said income generation activities related to the communities like sweeper and chamar are being adjudged as very effective in terms of educating their children and in-taking nutritious food. Urban food production inputs and some other necessary supports were extended to some of the households to ensure their food security. In addition to construction of some footpath and drains, 13 Deep-tube wells and 130 community latrines were commissioned for ensuring their safe drinking water and hygienic sanitation.Many of the community people have become familiarised with different livelihood issues like safe drinking water, sanitation, education, health, reduction of violence against women and reduction of early marriage, he added. -BSS, Rajshahi

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