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Self-managed savings , credit activities

Over 10,500 households get path of eradicating poverty from extreme poor in Naogaon

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BSS, Rajshahi :
More than 10,500 households from the extreme poor and underprivileged communities have got the path of eradicating their long-lasting poverty through self-managed savings and credit activities to some extent in Naogaon town.
Most of them are now enjoying taste of self-reliance through diversified anti-poverty interventions. Side by side with improving their living and livelihood condition they are contributing to the society enormously as a whole.
The poor communities operate their own savings scheme along with creating a revolving fund from which credit operations are managed through the savings credit programme generating a new dimension towards women empowerment and curtailing urban poverty.
By dint of her hardworking coupled with relentless efforts, Shahima Banu, 38, a poverty-stricken woman, has become icon for breaking the vicious cycle of poverty and hunger.
Born and brought up in a poor family, Shahima, mother of two children, has now been familiarised as successful money-maker and social contributor culminating her long-lasting financial hardship and anxiety.
Very recently, she has been selected as second best self-reliant woman in urban sector development of LGED in Rajshahi division. She received Taka 10,000 as prize-money, crest and certificate from the LGRD Minister in Dhaka as recognition to her laudable contribution to this uplift field.
A resident of Moddhyapara in Naogaon district town, Shahima, who became widow in 2009, began her small business after taking loan worth Taka 5,000 from Sardarpara Community Development Committee (CDC), a mid-level organizational tier of a project titled "Urban Partnership for Poverty Reduction (UPPR)", in 2009 and ultimately unearthed the way of materialising her dream.
Prior to this, she received a six months' training on savings and credit operation, poultry rearing and nutrition. She also got tailoring training with apprenticeship support from UPPR project. After successful completion of the training, she bought a sewing machine and dreamt to be a self reliant woman.
Mahbubul Alam, town manager of UPPR Project, says Local Government Engineering Department has been implementing the project in association with UNDP and financial and technical supports from UKaid and UN Habitat.
He said the project aims to improve living and livelihood condition of more than 50,000 poor and extreme poor people, especially women and girls of around 14,000 households under 54 CDCs through diversified promotional activities in Naogaon town. In the wake of her tailoring business expansion, Shahima received second time loan of Taka 10,000 and appointed one tailoring worker. She bought another sewing machine and 2 cows for improving her living and livelihood condition.
In the initial stage, she earned Taka 800 per month, now she is earning Taka 9,000 from the business every month. Now she has a plan of renting a large shop in the market place and train to poor and extreme poor women to be self reliant like her. She is regular in the payment of her monthly installment of Taka 150 to repay her loan.
Shahima becomes conscious against early marriage, polygamy, dowry, women violence coupled with the advantages of savings through the group meeting. She intends to execute the issues in her practical life.
Deputy Commissioner Enamul Haque said the beneficiaries have learnt how to organize themselves, take decision on necessary issues and forge social unity to prevent various crimes like early marriage, dowry and violence against women. "Now, they are able to eradicate their long-lasting poverty."
He said, "I don't think all the project beneficiaries are doing well but many of their tasks have become lucrative".
Implementation of the project has been adjudged as very effective toward eradicating the urban poverty coupled with women empowerment.
He believes that the beneficiary women without any outside help will be able to maintain the pace of their success after utilizing their saved money together with the best learning in future. He observed that some other government and non-government organizations implement similar projects but, in many cases, their activities remain concentrated in seminar and workshop even in paper works as those were not consistent with the reality.

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