“A few years ago, I couldn’t talk properly with the village people because of coyness. On that occasion, the village people didn’t know the name of Bedena Begum. All of them knew me as the wife of Monjurul Haque,” Bedena Begum the lady in her late forties was recalling the situation of her early life.
Bedena Begum is a successful volunteer community health worker but her expedition to survive people from diseases wasn’t harmonious. In our society, especially in rural areas, people barely admit women working because of our patriarchal rural social system. But Bedena didn’t fall back.
“I’ve got married and it’s been thirty years. I’ve been living with my husband after our marriage. I saw the village people were always affected by different types of diseases. Because they were not conscious of health and hygiene even they were completely unaware of the primary diseases. The matter made me think but I couldn’t do anything as I was a bride,” Bedena said anxiously.
Social adversity could not put her down. Bedena was thinking how she could save her village people from immature death and raise awareness to fight against the diseases. In the meantime, she came to know about ADRA from its field workers.
“I had participated in a couple of social awareness sessions organized by ADRA and learned some vital lessons which inspired me a lot,” said Bedena. “I realized the significance of raising awareness among the village people to keep them safe and I helped ADRA Bangladesh project staffs to form a community group in our locality,” she added.
“Afterwards, I got an opportunity to attend ‘Social Volunteer Training’ from ADRA Bangladesh and I received a thermometer and a weighing machine for volunteer social work. It was a massive achievement for me,” Bedena said confidently. “Then I started working in the village but the people of the village did not care about me. It was obstructing my works, yet I used to offer them various kinds of advice to get rid of different types of diseases. Some people took my advice, some not. People who never accepted my advice fell into danger and realized their blunder,” she explained her experience while she was serving the village people.
At present, the village people are coming to Bedena with different types of problems and she is trying to solve their problem utilizing the lessons she learned from the training of ADRA Bangladesh. “Sometimes I advise them and sometimes I take them to the health complex. I am very happy and much satisfied by helping my village people,” she said gratefully.
“I wish, in the future, many women will come to work for the society like me. I have a dream if I could transform my village to a model village,” Bedena said gallantly having a dream in her eyes.