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1.50 lakh women become self-reliant through vegetables gardening

  • Published at 01:57 pm December 12th, 2013

Homestead vegetables gardening has brought fortunes to about 150,000 lakh distressed and landless women living in the remote and hardly reachable char areas on the Brahmaputra basin during the past nine years.

The charwomen have achieved the success through cultivating vegetables on their tiny homesteads along with other income gener-ating activities driving away ‘monga’ to begin new life under assistances of the Char Livelihoods Programme (CLP).

Over 150,000 lakh extremely poor families living in char areas of Kurigram, Bogra, Gaibandha, Sirajganj, Jamalpur, Lalmonirhat, Nil-phamari, Rangpur, Pabna and Tangail have achieved the success to overcome poverty comprehensively so far.

Talking to BSS, CLP beneficiaries Maksuda, Shahera, Lalbanu, Halima, Rahela, Ayesha, Delwara and Suborna of different char villag-es narrated about their unthinkable success achieved through vegetables farming on tiny homesteads.

Chilmari upazila Chairman Shawkat Ali Sarker, Bir Bikram, said the poor char people have been improving livelihoods through homesteads vegetables cultivation, animal husbandry and other income generation activities.

Taramon Bibi, Bir Pratik of Rajibur and Professor Nazmul Huda Parvez of Chilmari said the charwomen achieved success in vegeta-bles farming and income generations after escaping floods following raising plinths in recent years with CLP assistances.

Before taking up vegetables farming as the means of their subsistence, most of the women were in abject poverty in the erosion-and poverty-prone sandy chars on the Brahmaputra, Teesta and Dharla basins, they said.

“Now they are leading a changed life and their children are going to schools and dreaming for a better life in the desired middle in-come Bangladesh,” said Head of Programme Coordinator of RDRS Bangladesh Monjusree Saha.

With the Char Livelihoods Programme assistances, huge quantities of vegetables are being produced in over 42 char villages of the Teesta basin under Gangachara, Pirgachha and Kawnia upazilas in Rangpur alone, changing life of over 1,100 families so far.

“We are mostly cultivating pumpkin, sweet gourd, `Korola’, `Chichinga’, `Borboti’, `patol’, `Kakrol’, `Jhinga’, `Shosha’, `Lomba Lau’, brinjal, cauliflower, chilly, ‘Palong and Lal sak, garlic, water melon etc,” charwomen Afroza, Bilkis and Jahanara said.

Under the comprehensive CLP activities, the poor char families are being assisted to escape floods through raising plinths and make them self-reliant through various income generations including homesteads gardening under adverse situations.

According to CLP officials, plinths of 90,600 households were raised under phase-I during 2004-2010 and some 60,000 households so far under phase-II aiming at raising 85,000 households on plinths by 2016 to improve livelihoods of 1,900,000 lakh extreme poor in char areas.

The UKaid through the Department for International Development (DFID) and Australian Government through Australian Agency for International Development (Aus AID) have been funding CLP implementation.  

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