“Now I am economically solvent and happy”, said Monowara (45), a mother of two children of the Hatbati village of Batiaghata upazila of Khulna district. Just three years ago, the situation of Monowara’s family was very miserable. But her life has witnessed a positive change after being selected for BHH of EEP-shiree-SEMPTI project in June 2010. As a part of the project, Uttaran formed a primary organization at Hatbati village chaired by Monowara. Before joining Uttaran, Monowara worked as domestic help and her husband Ruhul (50) pulled a rented van. The total income of the couple was not sufficient enough to maintain the family of 4 members. In the meantime, Monowara and her husband arranged the wedding of their only daughter by taking some loan. Their daily condition became so difficult to manage that they were unable to look after their normal life. They were living in a poor hut near the river Sholmari.
From the project Monowara received a number of trainings from Uttaran like, homestead gardening, fish culture, live assets rearing, leadership, water-sanitation-hygiene etc. Along with training, she received assets for income generating activities worth of 13,961 taka. She received a Rickshaw Van for her husband worth 8,273 taka, 3,988 taka for fish culture and one goat worth 1,700 taka. Apart from these Monowara and her husband jointly received 20 decimals of Khas land including a pond as permanent settlement from the Government, assisted by Uttaran. Its present value is around Tk. 600,000. Monowara made Tk. 40,000 return by fish culture after two year only and her husband’s income has drastically increased by newly owned rickshaw van. After one year, her goat reproduced 3 kids. Besides, Monowara started vegetables cultivation in her homestead. So, within two years Monowara saved an amount of Tk. 50,000. She spent this money for repairing her house. She repaired her house by spending more than 30,000 taka. She also prepared some furniture, ornaments. The value of these furniture is around Tk.100,00. By this time she has also started a poultry farm with 20 birds of local indigenous variety. In addition, she has bought a cow by Tk. 12,000 last year and its current value is around Tk. 20,000. In spite of doing this, she didn’t forget her savings. She deposited some money weekly as savings to her Group and now it has reached more than Tk. 1,000. Monowara failed to continue the education of her daughter due to poverty but now her son reads in a prestigious high school of Batiaghata Sadar. Monowara is now a role model in her area. Uttaran’s assistance for receiving the Khas land, IGA support and Monowara’s hard labour along with her husband brought their life to this point.
“Training from Uttaran helped me to be successful and empowered me in all aspects”, said Monowara with confidence about the success in her life.
Monowara doesn’t want to stop here but her dream is to go long ahead. To make her dream real, she wants to continue her son’s education. She is trying to start a grocery business for her husband. She wishes to make a big and safe house which will be disaster protected.
“Many of my neighbouring women come to me to know the secrets of my success”, said Monowara. And she always satisfied their thirst with smile. She advises them to be hard working, make homestead garden, make savings etc. If you ask her “how are you Monowara Apa?” She will immediately reply “Ami Khub valo Achi, Allah Apnader valo Koruk’ (I am fine. May God bless you).