A total of 400 slum dwellers especially women in Rajshahi city on Sunday received around Tk 20 lakh as block grants for small business with a noble view of
eradicating their long-lasting poverty and hunger.
Under the socio-economic fund, the Urban Partnership for Poverty Reduction Project, distributed bank cheques of the grants in two separate ceremonies held at Metropolitan College and Seroil Government High School in the city.
The disbursed grants have been fixed for only income-generation activities.
The seven-year project is being implemented aimed at improving the living and livelihood conditions of around three lakh poor and extreme poor people, especially women and girls, in the city by 2015, said the officials.
UNDP in association with UKaid and UNHabitat extends financial and technical supports to the project.
AHM Khairuzzaman Liton, mayor of the city, attended and addressed the ceremonies as the chief guest saying, the city corporation intends to free the slum people from poverty and hunger.
He attributed that financial support towards distressed women for their small-business purposes as effective means of making the urban poor and extreme poor communities self-reliant.
The cheque recipients have been asked to put in their level best efforts for successful operation in businesses through the best uses of the grant for uplifting their living and livelihood.
Liton said the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, has been working relentlessly for bringing the poor and marginalised people under a social safety net.
Ershadul Haque, UPPRP Town Manager, said the disbursed grants would contribute a lot to improving their small businesses for attaining self- reliance.
The anti-poverty project promotes household and community-level UFP technology demonstrations, provides small input supports especially high yielding variety vegetable and fruits seeds, saplings, chick and integrated fish farming in community ponds and poultry vaccination.
It also provides business start-up grants to extreme poor women for poultry, goat rearing, cow fattening and agri-business.
Various other settlement improvement facilities like 8,484 pit latrines, one community latrine, 1403 tube-wells, 42,412 sq-kilometre footpath, 6,708 metre drain, 34 dustbins and seven community centres were developed for ensuring improved water and sanitation among the poverty-prone communities.
Among others, Shaheen Akhter Rainy, social worker of RCC, ward councilors Shahidul Islam and Belal Ahmed also spoke on the occasions.
-With New Age input