More than 35,000 women from slum and underprivileged areas across Rajshahi City have joined hands in an anti-poverty savings scheme to raise more than Tk90 million.
The activities were managed proficiently by Community Development Committee (CDC), initiated by the recently concluded Urban Partnership for Poverty Reduction Project (UPPRP), executed by United Nation Development Programme (UNDP).
Nur Islam Tusser, Executive Engineer of Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC), said that the project was implemented with the main thrust of improving the living condition and livelihoods of around 69,000 poor and extremely poor families, especially women.
He said a total of 33,000 women saved around Tk105 million under 173 CDCs. Against the savings, the community members received collateral-free loan for addressing their emergency needs and other family purposes and the credit figure has been cumulated to around Tk110 million.
After taking loan from CDCs, many of the members are operating different kinds of micro business successfully allowing them to have access to a regular income.
The poor communities operate their own savings scheme along with creating a revolving fund from which credit operations are managed through the savings credit programme generating a new dimension towards women empowerment and curtailing urban poverty.
Saving of Ganpara CDC has been raised more than Tk2 million while Tk1.7 million was saved by Natun Budhpara and the entire money is being managed and used by the community members for their own welfare purposes without any outside intervention.
Chief Executive Officer of Rajshahi City Corporation Ajahar Ali said the community savings and credit activities have been adjudged as an effective means of addressing some of the challenges to some extent.
Tk778,000 were disbursed among 223 community members under Firojabad CDC till last month, said cashier Sabera Yeasmin. "We are working to address emerging challenges in poverty eradication through scaling up the innovative solutions by ourselves within the CDC system," she added.
"It couldn't be said certainly that all the members have become successful through the money transaction activities but some of them attained remarkable success," said Nizam-Ul Azim, Mayor-in-Charge of Rajshahi City Corporation.
The approach is good for alleviating urban poverty coupled with women empowerment but its proper implementation is important to attain a total success, he added, according to BSS. - Idrak