Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Micro-credit programme with a difference

Chinta Rani, 32 and Maloti, 35, both housewives and living at the village of Kutubpur under South Sunamjganj Upazila in Sunamganj, are no more taking loan from any NGO or Mohajan.
Now, they can take loan from their own organisation formed comprising 30 others families of the village three years ago in association with a government project.
Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) under its Sunamganj Community Based Resource Management Project (SCBRMP) helped them to form such organisation to run micro-credit programme among them and to get involved in human resource development activities in an integrated approach.
“Earlier, I had taken loan from an NGO at high rate of interest. Now, I save with my organisation and take loan without hassle. The profit is also deposited with our savings,” said Chinta Rani. Maloti also shared her view.
After formation of the organisation titled Kutubpur Hindupara Female Loan Organisation, they can realise its benefit and importance of the SCBRMP funded by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Shamoli Rani, 44, a mother of five sons and two daughters, of the same village, told this correspondent that her family had to live a miserable life several years ago to maintain her big family where her husband was only earning member.
“We have been benefited largely by the SCBRMP. Other members of my family and I have been involved with various income generating activities with loan from the organisation,” she said.
The smiling woman said that she has been rearing about 700 ducks. The price of each of the ducks is about Tk 70, she added.
“The SCBRMP has changed our fortune through its human resource development programme. We had led miserable lives earlier. Now we are enjoying better lives,” said Provashini Das, 45, president of the organisation.
She said the organisation having 32 members, one from each family, is independent and works freely. The SCBRMP is playing a facilitator’s role.
“As of July 20, 2009, the total savings of our organisation stood at Tk 1,02,400. Each member of the organisation has to deposit Tk 20 every week. Preliminarily, a new member can take loan of Tk 4,000 which is payable in 12 months in 10 installments. The interest rate is 15 per cent which is added with the savings,” Provashini said.
Ms. Shafiya Akhter, Community Development Facilitator (CDF) employed under the SCBRMP, said she facilitates holding of weekly meeting, updating documents, encouraging association members to involve in income generating works, providing training to the members and suggesting utilisation of local resources under the project.
Each organisation was provided Tk 8000 for exhibition, Tk 10,000 for cow fattening, Tk. 5000 for food processing and Tk. 5000 for vegetable cultivation. The money was sanctioned to each member by rotation. The money is distributed among the members after ending the turns, she informed.
These are about 2,465 such organisations at 559 villages under nine upazilas of the district. Of these, 789 were formed by males and 1716 by females.
Michel A Roy, Management Consultant of the programme, said the micro-credit programme is one of the five components of the SCBRMP.
Sheikh Md Mohsin, Project Director said the number of beneficiaries under the SCBRMP is at about 70,000.
The SCBRMP facilitate them to carryout the comprehensive micro credit and livelihood programme, like fisheries in haors and raring cows and goats and construct infrastructure in the remote areas, he said.
He said the programme is being implemented by LGED with funding from IFAD.
Mohsin said till June 2009, loan organisations have raised Tk. 714.54 lakh as their own savings.
Around Tk. 753.62 lakh has been disbursed as loan from savings among 15175 member and they invested it in different income generating activities. The recovery rate of loan is 91 per cent, he said.
LGED Chief Engineer Md. Wahidur Rahman said they had taken the model project as a challenge.
“Our target people are poor and helpless people those are getting benefit from the project,” he said.
The LGED Chief Engineer said they have a plan to carry out such programme in Habigabj, Netrokona and Kishoreganj districts in future.
Lauding the success of the SCBRMP, local MP MA Mannan said the programme has brought meaningful change in eradicating of poverty in the hoar areas of Sunamganj.
Addressing a profit distribution programme of a fishermen group at Vimkhali Bazar under the project, he called upon the government to carry out such comprehensive programme particularly in neglected areas in the country.

Courtesy of The New Nation

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