Financial support towards slum households for their small-business promotion could
be effective means of freeing the urban poor and extreme poor communities from the
vicious cycle of poverty and hunger.
Mayor of Rajshahi Mosaddeque Hossain Bulbul said this while disbursing bank cheques
of block grants worth Taka 7.65 lakh among 153 poor and extreme poor women for small
business in two separate places in the city as the chief guest.
Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) under its ‘Urban Partnership for Poverty Reduction
Project (UPPRP)’ hosted the grant disbursing ceremonies in Chhotobangram and Kazla
areas Thursday afternoon.
Under the scheme, around 1,700 slum households will get block grants valued Taka 65
lakh for promotion of various income generation activities especially small business and
Mayor Bulbul urged the cheque-recipients to put in their level best efforts for successful
promotion of their small business after best uses of the grants for elevating their living
and livelihood condition.
He said the city corporation has been working relentlessly for bringing the poor and
marginalized people under a social safety net.
Terming adequate promotion of business as vital means of making any region
economically prosperous, the Mayor said priority should be given in identifying the
existing problems related to business environment here.
In the wake of gradual rising of slum, poor and extreme poor people, the ongoing anti-
poverty scheme needs to be continued for urban poverty eradication in the city. “We want
to see visible success of the project to make the city free from various poverty-linked
crimes and curses like child marriage, early pregnancy, dowry and drugs addiction and
trafficking”, Bulbul added.
In his address of welcome, UPPRP Town Manager Ershadul Haque said the project is
being implemented for improving the living and livelihood condition of around three lakh
poor and extreme poor people, especially women and girls, in the city.
UNDP in association with UK Aid and UN Habitat are extending financial and technical
supports to the project.
The programme promotes household and community level urban food production
technology demonstrations and provides small input supports especially for high yielding
variety vegetable and fruits seeds, saplings and poultry vaccination to the target group.
It also provides business start-up grants to extreme poor women for poultry, goat rearing,
beef fattening and agri-business.
Various other settlement improvement facilities like 11,000 pit latrines, 2,300 tube
wells, 57,000 squire-metre footpath, 9,000 metre drain and seven community centres
were developed for ensuring improved water and sanitation among the poverty-prone
The access to improved water sources makes the lives of community members healthier
while the constructed toilets and bathing facilities leads to improved hygiene practices
and the footpaths improves settlement accessibility and mobility. RCC Ward Councilors
Monir Hossain and Ashraful Hassan and other officials and community leaders
concerned were present on the occasions. -BSS