Underprivileged and disadvantaged women living at hard to reach chars of the district are becoming self-reliant gradually after they had involved in a welfare project of a non-government organization.
As the underprivileged women of the chars cannot enjoy the state-run facilities easily due to living in remote and backward areas. It is not possible to change the socio-economic condition of the char women easily. As the country 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 Smar Bangladesh leaving the char women behind.
Taking this in view, FRIENDSHIP, an international social purpose organization based in Bangladesh took an initiative to bring the char women under the mainstream of development through involving them in a welfare project entitled Assistance for Sustainable Development (ASD).
The project is being implemented by the organization at 8 chars of Sadar, Fulchhari and Sundarganjupazilas in the district and a total of 240 char women have been targeted for changing their lot through involving them in various income generating activities which are sustainable and profitable.
Government of LUXEMBOURG, a country in Western Europe, is providing the fund for the implementation of the project, said Nayeem Khan, general manager of the project.
As the environment of the chars is very suitable for sheep rearing and vegetable farming, FRIENDSHIP adopted the plans to distribute lamb and vegetable seed in a bid to make the char women of project command areas empowered and self-dependent in the society.
Accordingly, lamb and vegetable seed were distributed to the selected women of the chars to earn economic profit through engaging them in income generating activities.
Almost all women have enabled to change their fates after they had involved in the income generating activities, said Shaira Rahman, senior programme manager.
Of them, a good number of women had already become self-reliant through sheep rearing and vegetable farming, she also said.
Earlier, to be successful in sheep rearing and vegetable farming, all beneficiary women were imparted need base training on the issues, she added.
China Begum, wife of Dulal Hossain of Batikamari char under Kamamarjani union of Sadarupazila said she received a female lamb from the organization free of cost and gave her attention on rearing the female lamb. After few years, she got a number of sheep from one that means the number of sheep has stood to 8 from one female lamb. China Begum is taking the sheep carefully like her children with the hopes of getting a large amount of money through selling the sheep in local market.
Like other beneficiary women, Anwara Begum of the union has become a successful women in vegetable farming through following the guidelines of the project officials.
At this moment, Economically she is fully self-dependent. She set up a nutrition garden where she grew various types of vegetable successfully. After meeting the family demand of the vegetable, she sells the vegetable in local markets and earns economic profit by which she is able to change the socio-economic condition of her family. Now, the family with five members are passing the days and nights without economic hardship of trouble.
Matiar Rahman, chairman of Kamarjani union parishad, said taking different materials and technological support from the project being implemented by the organization, most of the beneficiary women have abled to change their living standard.
A good number of women have become self-dependent and they are the example of self –reliance in the society, he added.
After seeing their achievements, other women of the union are involving in income generating activities that help build happy prosperous hunger free union, the chairman added.
After talking to the beneficiary women, it is learnt that they are happy and economically solvent. Their husbands evaluate them more compared to any previous time for proving economical support to run the families peacefully. For earning economic profit, the women are playing role in decision making of the respective families, said Dibakar Biswas, project manager.
As the flood visits the char every year, the char women and their guardians are made aware on early preparedness of flood, a natural disaster, to reduce the loss of lives and properties, he also said.
Talking to the correspondent, Runa Khan, founder and executive director of FRIENDSHIP, said collective efforts of GO and NGO is very crucial to reach the country towards desired development.
Taking the matter into cognizance, FRIENDSHIP has been working for char people tirelessly since 2002 and has stood beside them with positive attitude to build happy, prosperous, poverty and hunger free Bangladesh, she added.