Micro-Finance activities is on the road to progress
The vast majority of women in Bangladesh are not only hard core poor on the bottom end of per capita, they are also caught in struggle of values within four walls where poverty forcing them outside for survival. There is a norm in society that equates pardah practice as a religious symbol. But poverty has forced them in changing this norm, particularly among rural women who are at the marginal level in the society. Landless people cannot get any loan from any govt. sources since they are asset less and regarded as high risk borrowers. In response to the need of rural women, ISDCM offers its rural credit program with financial assistance of ASA under a joint partnership agreement to improve the socio-economic condition of the rural people. ISDCM has been working on this issue for several years with its limited resources and has covered to-date 72 villages through its 4 Branch offices having more than 4000 members. The extreme poverty condition of rural women gradually changing and have created a positive impact on their life style where ISDCM played a key role in organizing rural poor women into functional groups and building leadership from among poor women. There is a considerable evidence that a sense of self respect and status of women within the family and community has improved.
Case Study – 01
Women laborers are engaged in netting the brick chips
under Sanitation Activities
Mrs. Rahima Khatun wife of Mr. Abdul Karim Mondol of village Bagunia, Upazila Bagatipara district Natore. She is 35 years old. Her husband Mr. Karim was small Timber business man in the local market. Due to lack of capital he became unsuccessful in his endeavor. Following financial constraint Mrs. Rahima had to live under hard economic condition. Even she could not feed her children 3 times a day. Mr. Mondol did not have any alternative. Under this situation the couple was searching for an alternative source of earning. Mrs. Rahima did know that ISDCM was working in this locality. Once she came across with neighbor and was informed about ISDCM micro-finance project activities. Accordingly she visited ISDCM and was briefed by field workers. ISDCM enrolled her as a member for micro-finance project. She regularly attended group meetings where discussions took place on weekly savings repayment of loan, income generation activities, installment of loan, Health and Hygiene, Water and Sanitation etc. She started weekly group savings. After two weeks of observation. She was given 1st loan Tk.5,000. and Rahima Khatun was briefed about different trades. But she and her husband decided that they would invest money in production of water seal latrine slab and rings. Mrs. Rahima and her husband informed us that there is a great demand of latrine set in the locality. Because the peoples were aware about safe sanitation and health hygiene practices. Mr. Mondol shifted entire balance amount from timber business and invested in the sanitation project. The materials like bricks, road, cement and procured from local market and from Natore district town. She has engaged one women laborer for breaking of bricks into chips and one male mistry for construction of slabs and rings. She sells the slab @ Tk. 150/- and one ring @ Tk.70/-. Each latrine set consists of one slab and 4 rings. So far she has sold 42 sets of larine. Mrs. Rahima informed that her husband received work order for latrine supply of Tk.80,000/- from local Union Parishad. She now thinks better future. She has one daughter of 15 years of age who is a student of class IX. She has built one tin shed house. Mr. Mondol helped Rahima in mobilizing community people on the use of safe sanitation. She now feels that her exposure to development activities has put her in a acceptable position and her social status has been enhanced.
Case- Study – 02
Mrs. Ayesha Begum aged 43 years, wife of Mr. Shamsu miah of village Mohsinda, Upazila Singra of Natore district. Her husband Mr. Shamsu was a day labourer and used to work in the agricultural field. She has 4 children, 2 sons and 2 daughters. The eldest daughter aged 24 years has been married. The eldest son age 18 is a student of grade – X and daughter aged 11 is student of grade – IV and the youngest son is studying in the grade II. Before joining ISDCM groups, Mrs. Ayesha was living in a poor economic condition with her 4 children. They were desperately looking for better economic life. ISDCM started micro-finance project activities in the year 2001 at Singra. At the beginning of operation a survey was carried out to assess the socio-economic condition of the people of the project area. After completion of survey ISDCM started mobilizing poor women and enrolled potential women. Mrs. Ayesha Begum took the opportunity and she and her husband once visited ISDCM office and enrolled Ayesha as a member of groups for micro-finance project. She regularly attended the group meetings where micro-finance project including health and hygiene, water and sanitation were discussed. Mrs. Ayesha strictly maintained organizational behavior and discipline. She understood that this was the way which might help her to improve the economic condition. She regularly deposited weekly savings. After few weeks of observations she was given a loan of Tk. 5,000. On receiving loan she and her husband decided to invest money in making jute chord. The raw materials jute is available in the market. This is interesting that Mrs. Ayesha has engaged her more than 70 years old mother-in-law in making this chord. She and her husband generally work together at least 5-6 hours a day in winding the jute for making coil where her mother in law actively support them. Mr. Shamsu visits the market to sell product twice a week. So far Mrs. Ayesha took loan amounting to Tk.41,000.00 in the following intervals:
She is one of the promising members of the groups of the organization who has vision. She has constructed 2 tin-shed houses. She is not much worried about 3 time meals a day for her children. Now she is having one shallow tube well in her house for safe drinking water and one sanitary latrine for defecation. It was observed that she maintained hygienic practices in the family environment. Mrs. Ayesha seemed much confident about her economic future and to be self reliant and has reached in a respectable level in the society. It is very much worthy that a very old mother-in-law is actively participated in the business process. Good luck to her.
The Village Water supply through pipeline in the rural areas has been completed by ISDCM under technical support of DPHE and financial assistance of UNICEF during the period of Annual Report. Ujirpur village is one of the highly Arsenic and excessive Iron affected village of Damurhuda Upazila of Chuadanga district. 89% population of the village is affected by high prevalence of Arsenic. The Damurhuda is dry area and the people are mainly depends on the ground water. Source of safe water in the Upazila is mainly from ground water and it continues to be so even today until arsenic contamination in ground water has posed great concern for the village people of Damurhuda. To ensure safe water supply ISDCM has used a private Deep irrigation tube well of the village for supply of water
through pipe line. The total coverage
of pipeline network is 12,913 ft. which is about 4 kilometers.7 Paras out
of 9 of the village have been benefited by the pipe line water supply which
is about 590 affected families consisting of 2,812 populations. The baby
Salma age one and half years old of Mrs. Jesmin Akter was victim of arsenic
who always suffering from water borne diseases. She was under medical treatment
since her birth but not cured. Surprisingly, since Salma started using piple
line water she became free from all the diseases she was suffering. Jesmin
was grateful to ISDCM for ensuring pipe line water supply for which her
baby becomes cured.