Tales of Turning Back

Monday 25 March 2013

Minati Das (26) is a single mother from Godaipur union of Paikgachha Upazila in Khulna. Every day is a busy day for her. She gets up very early and goes through morning works. She prepares morning meals, makes her daughter ready for school. After sending her daughter to school, she starts doing household chores.

Then she starts her vocational activities regarding bamboo crafting and rice selling. Sometime she goes to markets to buy bamboo and other necessary goods for her business. She brings them to home, process them to the products and deals with the customer. As she received small business management training, she can easily do everything, e.g., managing goods, working for quality products and optimistic production, dealing with customers and selling products at the expected price.

Two and half years ago, the life of Minati was very difficult; ragged by the curse of poverty and misfortune. Minati’s survival was dependable on the grace of others.

Minati got married at the age of 13. That was the start of her severe sufferings. She became mother at her early ages which affect her very badly. As during pregnancy instead of having nutritious foods Minati had to starve all day due to extreme poverty, thus many doubted that the mother and the daughter could survive.In addition, around 7 years ago, Minati’s husband left her along with the baby. Minati fell in a grave-danger. Minati was forced to live with her parents though her parents do not have the economic ability to look after them.

In a field study of Save the Children in Bangladesh, the vulnerability of Minati had been found. Thus Save the Children decided to include Minati in SHIREE program which has been specially designed for driving away the extreme poverty and building capacity to make regular earning.

The field organizers from SHIREE analyze the reality factors and existing capacity of Minati and thus made a long-term plan. At first, some money was given to her to make rice business. According to the agenda of SHIREE, an alternative income source will be created to confirm livelihood security.

Minati was good at making stuffs with bamboo. Bamboo is very much available in Bangladesh and things made of bamboo have great demands at the local markets. Thus Save the Children introduced bamboo craft business to Minati. They gave her money to buy bamboo and trained her about managing her business such as- handling customers, buying raw materials, financial managements etc. They introduced a micro-plan of financial management which projects the right amount of money in different perspectives, such as- enlarging business by reinvestment, spending money for elevating life standard, educating children, having nutritious foods and safe shelter. As the micro plan is very effective along with Save the Children’s dedicated enthusiasm as well as its partner Prodipon and Minati put her enormous effort for this, thus the achievement went beyond the scale.

Now, Minati is the owner of a land, has a home, her daughter is going to school, they could have diet food at necessary scale, could buy what they need. From floating insecurity and extreme poverty, Minati has been graduated to a safe and secured life.