Community savings facilitate reducing urban poverty in Rajshahi

Community savings facilitate reducing urban poverty in Rajshahi

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More than 30,000 women from slum and underprivileged areas across Rajshahi City have come together in an anti-poverty savings scheme to raise more than Taka nine crore.
The poor and extreme-poor people have gotten the path of eradicating their long-lasting poverty through self-managed savings and credit activities to some extent.The activities are being managed by Community Development Committee (CDC), initiated by Urban Partnership for Poverty Reduction Project (UPPRP), being executed by United Nation Development Programme (UNDP).Rajshahi Town Manager Ershadul Haque told BSS that the project aims at improving the living condition and livelihoods of around 69,000 poor and extreme poor families, especially women and girls, in Rajshahi by 2015.He said a total of 33,000 women saved around Taka 9.5 crore under 173 CDCs consisting of around three lakh populations in the metropolis with the main thrust of elevating their living and livelihood conditions till September last. Against the savings, the community members received collateral-free loan for addressing their emergency needs and other family purposes and the credit figure has been cumulated to around Taka 11 crore till the same time.After taking loan from CDCs, many of the members are operating
different kinds of micro business successfully allowing them to have access to a regular income.
The poor communities operate their own savings scheme along with creating a revolving fund from which credit operations are managed through the savings credit program generating a new dimension towards women empowerment and curtailing urban poverty.Saving of Ganpara CDC has been raised more than Taka 20 lakh while Taka 17 lakh was saved by Natun Budhpara and the entire money is being managed and used by the community members for their own welfare
purposes without any outside intervention.Chief Executive Officer of Rajshahi City Corporation said the community savings and credit activities have been adjudged as an effective means of addressing some of the challenges to some extent.Ummaton Begum, 37, of Ganpara CDC, has become a successful grocery shop owner as she pays monthly installment of Taka 7,350 against her credit of Taka 70,000 regularly through operating her shop besides leading her four-member family.At present, Jahanara of Baganpara is owner of an auto-rickshaw and enabled herself to bring out from the vicious cycle of poverty. Locals Selina and Sonabhan also stated the similar success story.Taka 7.78 lakh were disbursed among 223 community members under Firojabad CDC till last month, says cashier Sabera Yeasmin.“We are working to address emerging challenges in poverty eradication through scaling up the innovative solutions by ourselves within the
CDC system,” she added.“It couldn’t be said certainly that all the members have become
successful through the money transaction activities but some of them are doing well,” said Mosaddeque Hossain Bulbul, Mayor of Rajshahi City Corporation.He added that the approach is good for alleviating urban poverty coupled with women empowerment but its proper implementation is important to attain a total success.- BSS, Rajshahi

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