As a matter of fact, Bangladesh is also doing well in terms of women empowerment. While even a few decades ago women working outside the home were a taboo, more and more women are now becoming economically self-sufficient.
Being stuck in the traffic jams for hours on the streets of the city, it might get hard to identify the silent revolution that is going on in the rural areas of Bangladesh.
Aklima Akter is a young housewife of 22 years of age who lives in Mehergoan village of Fulbaria Upazila of Mymensingh district. Her life was hit by grief at the early stage of her conjugal life as she lost her husband. Her husband passed away not only leaving her alone but also her two daughters Abida and Afshana.
Aklima had a deep interest in education from her childhood. But she couldn’t fulfill her dream to obtain a graduate degree. She was born in a very poor family. Her parents were illiterate that was the key obstruction to continue her studies. Aklima attended up to class 7.
Since she couldn’t complete her education, she was drowned in despair by thinking of how she could survive along with her daughters.
Capacity Building of Farmers of Family (CBFF) project of ADRA in Bangladesh organized a community meeting back in 2015 at Mehergoan village. Aklima attended the meeting and came to know more about ADRA. She was inspired by its intervention in her locality. She decided to join the ADRA women group and receive Income Generating Activity (IGA) training aiming to earn money and support her family financially.
She joined the Shapla Women Development Group of CBFF project and started depositing BDT 20 per week to their group fund as savings. Gradually, Aklima received tailoring training and training on preparing Vermicompost. She received a sewing machine from the CBFF project after accomplishing her training. She also received a wide variety of vegetable seeds as she accomplished her training on Vermicompost.
Now, she’s the breadwinner of her family. She’s working as a tailor in her locality and receiving orders from her neighbors. Besides, she’s cultivating vegetables in her courtyards which helps to fulfill the demands of her family.
She is also rearing poultry and producing Vermicompost. She is earning a good sum of money from these sectors. Now, Aklima can arrange three meals for her daughters.
Aklima has played a vital role amid this coronavirus outbreak by producing masks. She has been preparing face masks for her community people to protect them from the COVID-19. CBFF project patronized Aklima to prepare masks by supplying clothes and the required materials.
“I’m feeling proud to do something for my neighbors when they need masks the most. Since there’s no specific treatment and medication for this virus, we need to protect it by taking precautionary measures,” Aklima expressed her thoughts in terms of stopping the contamination.
Since ADRA was backing Aklima, she was able to prepare 15-20 masks per day. She was earning BDT 1000 that was great financial support for her family.
“Today, I have been able to arrange three meals for my daughters and this has been possible by the support of ADRA. ADRA is transforming lives by helping people in many ways. I pray to the Almighty so ADRA can keep up their good work for the betterment of the destitute women like me,” Aklima showed her heartfelt gratitude towards ADRA in Bangladesh.