A single mother from a Tripura community has not only secured her own footing, but is now helping others to find their own foothold
Bina Rani Tripura, from Khagrachhari Sadar upazila, has successfully turned her fortunes around, thanks to her tailor shop.
A single mother, Bina was in deep financial crisis even a few years ago, but with her determination and help from the local youth development office, she was able to find her way out of her troubles.
What’s more, she has turned her tailor shop into a training centre, where she mentors impoverished women and helps them become self-employed.
After receiving a six-month training from the Department of Youth Development in Khagrachhari, Bina started working in front of her yard in 2015. Her craftsmanship drew both praise and business from her locality.
She planned to be an entrepreneur and start her own shop, but she struggled to manage loans because she did not have a spouse, thus failing to meet the banks’ requirement to get loans, she says.
However, with the assistance from the deputy director of the Department of Youth Development, she availed a Tk50,000 loan and set up a training centre on a khas land.
With the start-up money, she bought some sewing machines for her shop, named “Hemi Tailors and Training Centre,” and opened her door for young women to receive training.
In 2016, 30 women interned at her training centre. In 2018, she was honoured by the state for her efforts as an self-employed person.
Currently three women are undergoing training at her centre.
Akhi Akhter, a resident of Islampur area in Khagrachhari township, said she had been developing skills at Bina’s training centre to support herself and her parents.
"I have already learnt most of the things offered by the training. After I finish, I want to start my own shop in my area.”
Mottorani Tripura, a college student from Panchmail in Sadar upazila, said she had been participating in the free training to be self-employed.
"The greatest challenge for a woman to become an entrepreneur is the financial hurdles they face. Women here cannot avail loans on easy terms,” Bina told Dhaka Tribune.
"It’s even more difficult for single mothers to get loans. My training centre is on a khas Land. I don't know how long I can continue to operate it here. If government support is provided, I can run it permanently."
Md Mohiuddin, deputy director at the Khagrachhari office of the Department of Women Affairs, said: "The government has directives for banks to stand by female entrepreneurs. But most women do not have the capability to fulfil the terms and conditions of the banks, which are in effect for protection of the bank's interest.
"Although the Department of Women Affairs cannot help women individually, loans could be provided in groups."