PKSF programme ends, so does 'Monga
Senior Correspondent bdnews24.com
Published: 2016-12-01 11:12:09.0 BdST Updated: 2016-12-01 19:39:48.0 BdST
In great trouble after divorce from her husband, a woman had to beg. Another man could not feed his children after working hard.
But now that is all in the past.
The beneficiaries of a 10-year programme of Palli-Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) told their stories at an event to mark the end of the programme.
At the event ending the Programmed Initiative for Monga Eradication (PRIME) in Dhaka on Wednesday, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said the word 'Monga', which stands for a seasonal poverty and hunger in northern Bangladesh, has been ended with effective implementation of the PKSF programme.
"I don't want to use this word anymore," he said.
Muhith also claimed there would be no poverty in the country after eight years.
Jahira Begum from Nilphamari said she had been wed to a jobless man when she was 13 because her husband demanded 'less dowry'.
"I contacted many NGOs for loan when my in-laws put pressure on me for more dowry, but no-one helped me. Later I joined a team of women and took training for chicken farming. I was given Tk 3,000 as loan to start work," she said.
Now Jahira has repaid that loan, and has built a betel-leaf shop for her husband after taking another Tk 8,000 in loan.
She also took training for mat-making and now she trains other women and runs her own mat business.
Shahed Jamal from Gaibandha said it was very difficult for him to bring food for his five-member family by pulling a rickshaw van.
He took training for making vermicompost and got earthworms as loan from a PKSF partner of the programme.
"Now I have several persons working in my vermicompost farm," he added.
Amena Bewa from Nilphamari told her story of success through goat farming with the help of PKSF.
"I even had to beg after getting divorce...Now I am very happy. I have 10 cows and 22 goats," she said.
Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, the Chairman of PKSF, a not-for-profit company of the government, said: "We have given a human face to microcredit. Only giving loans won't work. The people also need training, technology and help for marketing."
According to a statement issued over the event, the programme called PRIME was launched in greater Rangpur in 2006. The UK's Department for International Development (DFID) started providing financial help to the programme the next year.
The programme was expanded to the southwestern districts and Jamalpur later in 2010.
Microcredit of around Tk 23.86 billion and emergency loans of over Tk 700 million have been distributed under the programme. A total of 264,695 persons took training under it.
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