Thousands win over extreme poverty in riverine char areas

Thousands win over extreme poverty in riverine char areas

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Thousands of the have-nots group char families, living in the riverine char islands, have successfully won over extreme poverty to change their fortune and lead better life on the Brahmaputra basin in recent years.Earlier, the extremely poor people had to live in utter miseries amid malnutrition, unhygienic environment and superstitions even a decade ago for having no income and livelihood especially during the lean periods of ‘Aswin’ and ‘Kartik’ months every year.However, they have been leading improved life with the hope of brighter future for their children through income-generating activities after adapting with changing climate and natural disasters like flood, erosion in the riverine char islands.Under assistance of the comprehensive Chars Livelihoods Programme (CLP), the beneficiary landless char families have achieved self- reliance to lead better life bidding permanent good-bye to decades-old extreme poverty in recent years.Livelihoods Coordinator of CLP Dr. Mahbub Alam said UKaid through the Department for International Development and Australian Government through Australian Agency for International Development are supporting implementation of the CLP activities.Under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives, CLP is being executed by the Rural Development and Cooperatives Division with the management through Maxwell Stamp Plc.The multi-dimensional CLP activities are being implemented successfully by different NGOs in the riverine char islands of ten northwestern riverine districts to assist the char people in adapting with adverse situations to improve livelihoods.He said 55,000 households were benefited under CLP phase-I during 2004-2010 and 78,000 targeted households under phase-II (2010-2016) by last Saturday to improve livelihoods of 1.9 million extremely poor char people of 1.33 lakh households by 2016.The CLP has been assisting the poor char households through providing package supports, assets, raising plinths and training for income generation activities under adverse situations to boost char economy and improve their life standard.The CLP beneficiary households have easy access now to hygienic sanitation, pure drinking water and family planning and their children are going to the schools with the dream of brighter future.
Agriculture and Environment Coordinator Mamunur Rashid of RDRS Bangladesh, one implementing partners of CLP, said the success begins first from plinth-raising that helps the char people to escape wrath of floods saving their properties effectively.Beneficiaries Sufia Begum, Anwara Khatun, Ambia Khatun, Shabana Begum, Shyamoli and Sabiha of different char villages said they have changed fortune during the past eleven years with CLP assistance through various income generation activities.They are now self-reliant with the incomes through animal husbandry, poultry, dairy, sewing handloom garments, selling labours, homestead gardening, animal husbandry, farming vegetables and agri-activities to achieve the success towards prosperity.Beneficiaries Rasheda Begum, Shakila Khatun, Kohinoor, Saleha Begum and Momena said they have achieved success through sewing handloom garments, animal husbandry, poultry, dairy, homestead gardening, farming vegetables and agricultural activities.Beneficiaries Noor Jahan, Rita Begum, Lovely and Shakila narrated their struggles in achieving success to win over extreme poverty through cultivation of various crops on their tiny homesteads and alluvial char lands, animal husbandry and other ventures.While narrating the stories of winning against extreme poverty and hunger, the happy char women said that they are happy now and their children are going to schools though their days were miserable without hopes even a decade ago.Legendary freedom fighter Taramon Bibi, Bir Pratik and Chilmari upazila chairman Shawkat Ali Sarker, Bir Bikram, said the CLP has become a model to bring revolutionary change in the socioeconomic condition of the char people driving away extreme poverty.They said life standard of the char people has improved, extent of
maternal, neonatal deaths and malnutrition of children, women and pregnant women reduced as the people now have access to livelihoods, healthcare, sanitation, hygiene and nutrition. -BSS,Rangpur

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