Rehabilitated Ashrayan dwellers set example in loan payment

12 April 2014

BSS, Rangpur :
A total of 90 rehabilitated families have set up a unique example in microcredit loan payment through achieving self-reliance at Purbo Kochua-1 Asrayan Prokalpo in Nohali union under Gangachara upazila.
The rehabilitated inhabitants have got back new life, address, livelihoods and a dream of brighter future for children following the comprehensive social safety-net programmes being implemented by the government under the Asrayan Prokalpo.
After becoming self-reliant, the rehabilitated river-eroded, floating and homeless families in nine barracks there have made own assets through various income generating activities and proper utilisation of cooperative microcredit.
They have got necessary training, input and support from local government departments and Upazila Cooperative Office continues providing them with revolving interest-free microcredit for income generations.
Talking to BSS, rehabilitated Nazrul Mian, 58, Bulbuli Begum, 43, and Tobiya Khatun, 53, said they are making good profits to raise capitals through small- scale business, animal husbandry, poultry, tree plantation, vegetables and fruit farming at homesteads.
Alef Uddin, 54, and his wife Feroza Khatun, 44, said they became homeless some twelve years back along with many others as the Teesta devoured everything they had in nearby village Purbo Kochua Fakirpara.
They narrated the miserable days they passed for years amid uncertainty with son Sirajul, 22, and daughter Arjuma Khatun, 20, on the lands of others and flood control embankments.
"But, everything started changing after we got shelter at Purbo Kochua-1 Asrayan Prokalpo to begin a new life as the then government of Sheikh Hasina completed its construction during her previous 1996-2001 tenure," the couple said.
After providing training on income generating activities and other issues, Upazila Cooperative Office formed a cooperative society there and provided with Taka 6,000 microcredit initially to every rehabilitated family.
"We first bought a heifer, opened grocery shop and completed loan payments through 45 weekly installments to get Taka 10,000 microcredit again when we took lease of seven decimals cultivable land that gives three crops, including paddy twice a year," they said.
They again got Taka 15,000 cooperative microcredit after paying all 45 weekly installments, completed marriage of their daughter, purchased another cow and made investment rest of the amount in grocery shop.
"We now have assets, including six cows, grocery shop and other property to be estimated over Taka 2.50 lakh though we had nothing after becoming homeless following river erosion," the happier couple said.
Rehabilitated Moshiar Rahman, 43, and his wife Anichha Begum, 34 similarly said they purchased a heifer and old shallow machine after getting Taka 6,000 cooperative microcredit first time.
After completing loan payments, they again got Taka 9,000, purchased another cow and 12 decimals cultivable land, again got Taka 12,000 and later Taka 15,000 after completing payments of the subsequent loans.
"We have now assets of Taka 2.80 lakh. We are earning through cultivating own land, crushing paddy and irrigating others field using shallow machine and our children Minal, 14, Tazul, 8, and Tanzina, 7, are going to the school," the couple said.
Gangachara Upazila Cooperative Officer Hosne Ara Begum told BSS that the Asrayan Prokalpo dwellers have been changing fortune successfully through proper utilisation of the microcredit and other assistances.
Chairman of local Nohali union Abul Kalam Azad Titul said cooperative microcredit system has been proved to be an effective tool to change fortune of the rehabilitated Asrayan dwellers through various income-generation activities.

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