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28 October, 2019 09:29:16 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 28 October, 2019 09:29:29 AM

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Cooperative society changing lives of distressed people

OUR CORRESPONDENT, Jhenidah
Cooperative society changing lives of distressed people

Just when people were beginning to lose their faith on cooperative action and looking for alternative means of survival, a cooperative society has changed their lot.

Without caring for personal interest, the society members, under the bold leadership of its founder, has organized hundreds of people under the banner of the cooperative in three remote unions of Harinakundu upazila of Jhenidah.

During a visit to the populous village market Joradah, about 35 km from the district headquarters, this correspondent saw varied activities like people engaged in selling rice, fodder for cattle heads, solar units and their accessories, battery-driven vans and others.

Rural people from different villages were thronging the shop, ‘Rupali Sanchoy O Rindan Samabaya Samity’, purchasing the items with cash or in instalments.

Sona Bhanu, 45, a woman living in her own tin-shed house on the bank of an irrigation canal at Joradah Schoolpara, said now she owned three battery-driven vans, six goats and other assets with the support of the association. She was going to purchase another 12 decimals of land near her present place of residence.

Recalling the tragic death of her college-going son about 13 years back, the women said the society members came at the burial with a coffin for the boy, as the poor family could not afford one.

Since then, hundreds of women like her joined hands with Rupali Sanchoy O Rindan Samabaya Samity.

Altaf Hossain, 33, the founder of the society, said he was leading his life as an associate of people engaged in the dark politics of the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) about 20 years back.

It was at that time that the then home minister Mohamamd Nasim urged the armed men to join the main stream.

Facing a number of cases, he left dangerous politics and began working as a day labourer (kulli). He also worked in a betel leaf gardens for survival.

Fighting acute poverty, he along with other local youths was determined to establish a society in the village and organize the poor and marginal people in cooperative activities.

Within a year, the society members saw a ray of hope and registered the society with the district cooperative office in Jhenidah.

He said the number of his cooperative centres (society) was 19, spread over Joradah, Bhaina and Taherhuda unions of Harinakundu upazila, where 486 members, including 209 women, were enrolled.

The society has been providing financial support to the members for cattle and goat rearing, betel leaf farming, van purchasing, solar panel installation and similar purposes. Cow purchase and betel leaf farming was given priority for the support. The number of members who had taken loans stood at 285.

The society has also been managing the primary expenses of marriages for women for poor and disadvantaged families. They arrange education stipend for the poor and meritorious students, wheel chair for the people with disability (PWDs), clothes distribution among the distressed women and men and some other support.

The members of Rupali Sanchoy O Rindan Samabaya Samity have so far put Taka 13.66 lakh as savings, while Tk 1.38 lakh was deposited as shares. An amount of Tk 28.30 lakh has been disbursed as loans in the society.

Officials and the staff of the cooperative department at Harinakundu upazila and Jhenidah district have extend their cooperation to run the societies activities well.

District cooperative officer (DCO) in Jhenidah Syed Nurul Quddus, when contacted, said the society was a beacon of hope for the local people.

The cooperative department had awarded the founder for his outstanding work in the district. The society was provided a loan of Tk 10 lakh by the Bangladesh Samabaya Bank Loan (BSBL) fund for smooth flow of capital.

BK

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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