Tackling poverty with handicraft business
Handicraft brings the joy of self-reliance
The economic hardship has gone from the life of Basana and her family since she has started a handicraft business.
Basana Rani, a 35-year old woman of Adhairpur village in Badalgachhi upazila of Naogaon, is now self-dependent and able to take a square meal thrice daily with her husband two sons, although she spent the most of her life as a domestic help to survive along with the family.
The villagers think that Basana has set an example of success in escaping the vicious cycle of poverty which other can follow. “The almighty keeps me well as I have escaped the curse of poverty” Basana Rani told daily sun.
Basana and her husband Gostha Chandra Dev are now engaged in sewing mats by straw everyday and sell it in local markets, which have helped them to win over the poverty.
Although Basana has the expertise of sewing mats, they did not have the capital and raw materials for the business.
Apprehending the potentiality of small handicraft business, Brac stood beside Basana and gave her a few bundles of straw worth Tk 2,750 along with two goats and corrugated iron (CI) sheet in 2006 under its special programme titled “Challenging the Frontiers of Poverty Reduction– Targeting the Ultra Poor (CFPR-TUP) initiated in 2002.
Brac also gave her a total of Tk 2730 as supporting fund to feed the goats.
Basana said she and her husband had been sewing mats from the straw granted by Brac and made profit of Tk 10,000 after selling those mats.
“Once the profit had been made, I took eight decimal of land as mortgage for Tk 5,000 and started farming straw for sewing mats,” she said.
Basana informed that they usually sew five mats of both large and small sizes on average per day. A large mat is sold at Tk 150 while the small one is Tk 110.
Each mat takes two hours of sewing in average, she informed.
Later, Basana bought 10 khathas of land, a cow, a shallow engine and took mortgage another one bighas of land. Her two sons go to school while her elder son is also receiving a computer training to open a shop in the local bazaar (market). Basana said she has no privation currently rather she is Saving Tk 20 per week. The family now takes milk and eggs to keep themselves in good health. Besides, she is also taking health service from Brac regularly.
Under the CFPR-TUP programme, Brac plans to cover about 400,000 families in 2002 to 2011 in the poorest geographical location of the country. As part of CFPR-TUP, Brac provide training, assets, stipend, community mobilization and healthcare free of cost, said Brac officials.
Talking to daily sun, Atae-Rabbi Al Selim, senior area manager of Brac, said they provided support to Basana on the way to her self-sufficient.
Brac is still monitoring her and providing assistance, he informed.
Courtesy of Daily Sun