There is no existence of ‘monga’ this time in Rangpur region where the poor are passing their days without any bite of seasonal lean period for the ninth consecutive year, reports BSS.
The poorer section people are leading normal life during the ‘monga’, ‘Aswin’ and ‘Kartik’ months, now though they had to live amid sufferings over a decade ago.
“Following successful implementation of massive social safety-net programmes (SSNPs) and other effective efforts by the government, the poor are not experiencing any ‘monga’ during the past nine years,” said Divisional Commissioner Kazi Hassan Ahmed.
The main SSNPs include Test Relief (TR), Food for Work (FFW), Works for Taka (Kabita), Vulnerable Group Development (VGD), Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF), employment generations, providing shelters, various assistance and allowances, he added.
Chairman of Rangpur-based research organisation Northbengal Institute of Development Studies Dr Syed Samsuzzaman said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has eradicated ‘monga’ permanently by taking and implementing various effective steps.
“Socioeconomic condition of the poor marked improvement following their engagements with various income generating activities, effective and comprehensive GO-NGO-private sector initiatives during the past nine years,” Zaman added.
Associate Professor of Begum Rokeya University Dr Tuhin Wadud said massive SSNPs, easy-term loans, training for unemployed youths on various trades, digitisation and other initiatives contributed a lot to eradicate ‘monga’.
“The small-scale enterprises, cottage industries, handloom garments, homestead farming, pisciculture, dairy, rearing poultry birds, animal husbandry, social forestation and other income generation activities played vital role toward the direction,” Tuhin
Deputy Director of Bangladesh Rural Development Board Abdus Sabur said some one-lakh poor people have improved livelihoods utilising training, assistance and micro-credits under the “Ekti Bari, Ekti Khamar (EBEK)” project so far in Rangpur district.
“Getting fund from the Village Development Samities, the EBEK beneficiary developed small businesses, enterprises, farms including fisheries, livestock, poultry, nursery and vegetables to increase their incomes,” Sabur said.
Deputy Director Dilgir Alam of the Department of Youth Development said more than 3,000 unemployed male and female youths were provided with training on 11 vocational and other trades in recent years to make them self-reliant in Rangpur
“The easy-term and interest-free loans, training for unemployed girls and women on various trades for self-employment, assistance of the government, NGOs, donor agencies, development partners largely assisted rural women in eradicating poverty,” he added.
Director (Development Programme) of RDRS Bangladesh Monjushree Saha said massive SSNPs have improved livelihoods of the poor who are leading normal life though they lived in utter miseries in the pasts.
“The Asrayan Prokalpo, training for income generations, micro-credits, allowances for divorcees, poor pregnant women, lactating mothers, elderly citizens and disabled people, education assistance and other programmes are playing vital role,” she said.
Talking to BSS, EBEK beneficiary Alifa Begum of Kursha Balorampur village under Rangpur sadar upazila said she took Taka 10,000 and Taka 15,000 loans since 2012, purchased heifers, goats and sheep.
“Now, I have six cows, eight goats, 14 sheep and 1.50 acres arable land taken on lease along with other assets worth Taka seven lakh,” she said, adding that she did not face any bite of ‘monga’ in recent years.
Chilmari upazila chairman Shawkat Ali Sarker, Bir Bikram, said the government has improved socioeconomic condition of the poor during the past nine years relieving them from ‘monga’ permanently.