Bangladesh is advancing fast towards desired development, is dreaming of building happy, prosperous, and hunger free Smart Bangladesh by 2041. So, it should not be right to build Smart Bangladesh leaving the char dwellers behind.
Taking this in view, FRIENDSHIP, an international social purpose organization based in Bangladesh took an initiative to bring the char dwellers under the mainstream of development through involving them in a welfare project entitled Transitional Fund (ASD) under Climate Action sector is being implemented for 720 char dwellers in Sadar, Chilmari and Rowmari Upazilas under Kurigram district in this year and the project led by Md. Nayeem Khan, General Manager of same sector.
With the financial assistance of Friendship Luxembourg, Friendship, a non –government organization of the country, is implementing the project designed for five years (2018-2023) for the underprivileged and disadvantaged char dwellers of the Upazilas aimed at improving their living standard for making them self-dependent economically along with ensuring equal dignity through providing them with season- wise good seed of various vegetables and sheep.
The organization is encouraging Community Based Vegetable Cultivation so that vegetable production continues even during flood and also facilitating ginger cultivation through sack method, papaya cultivation, production and use of vermicomposting instead of chemical fertilizers in vegetable cultivation.
Apart from it,to ensure good governance among the char dwellers and to eradicate social problems like child marriage, domestic violence side by side with building their capacity on facing natural disasters are also the objectives of the project, said Senior Project Manager Kbd. Md. Ashraful Islam Mollick.
The beneficiaries started changing their socio-economic condition by sheep rearing, vermicomposting production, ginger cultivation through sack method and vegetables farming. Aheton Begum, a beneficiary woman of Sadar Upazila, said like other beneficiaries, she received a sheep worth three thousand and six hundred taka and seed of vegetables of sixteen varieties from the project.After rearing the sheep on the char land and the farming vegetable on thehomestead, the number of sheep has increased, and the vegetable farming is also extended at the homestead at larger scale. Now she has four sheep the price of sheep has stood at 28 thousand taka. She earned 24 thousand taka through selling vegetables in the local marketafter meeting the family demand and also earning 2 thousand taka by selling vermicompost in every month. The earned money helps her to bear the family expenses without economic trouble during the hard and critical times. She established 40 bags for ginger cultivation and expecting income from ginger will be 15 thousand taka. She participated to repair a road in her village for smooth movement on the rural road.
Biplop Kumar Mahanta, Deputy Director of DAEassured that, DAE will support the beneficiaries through capacity building and provide technical support same as earlier.
Dr. Md. Monakka Ali, District Livestock Officer said, “The organization provide sheep and training to the 720 families in this year. Department of Livestock Services of government ensured vaccination and deworming. As a result, the families got chance to increase their income within a short time through sheep rearing”.
Earlier, the beneficiaries were imparted need-based training successfully on sheep rearing, vermicompost, ginger cultivation and vegetable farming before engaging them in income-generating activities at the initiative of the project Shaira Rahman, Senior Programme Manager of climate action sector said. As the lots of the beneficiaries had been changed significantly, they also expressed their gratefulness to the organization and its welfare project including the concerned officials and staff for standing beside them with sheep, ginger and papaya cultivation, vermicompost plant and vegetable seeds.