A Journey Of A Dream
It’s a popular word in industrial society that it lessens feeling of human being and makes them more mechanical. Tongi is an industrial area. High pressure of industrialization converted this area into highly density populated zone. Hazardous nature of working condition mostly prevails in workplace where child labor have turned into more reasonable and reliable resource.It is unexpected but true that due to poverty many children get involved in work instead of playing and reading. Sonia is one of them.
Sonia is 14 and lives in GRP slum of Morkun west para. Her father’s named Mojid Mian and sells banana in the foot path. Mother Alia works in Azgor’s pin factory. She gets 10 tk per kg pin as her salary. Every month she makes 70 – 80 kgs of pin. So even combined all the income of her parents it is not enough to properly sustain her family. Sonia has also 2 brothers and 2 sisters brought up in this limited income. Poverty forced Mojid Mian to think that life is a matter of mock colored in grey instead of that “Life is colorful”, a well-known proverb. . So in his life it is tremendously unexpected that he considers education is a basic need. This believe he bring from his ancestor and the scarcity he faces every moment. So, Sonia had nothing to do other than getting engaged in income earning activity to support her family. She worked in the pin factory which is hazardous and risky for her age. Sonia had to realize this from the 2nd day of her work after getting injured by an unsterilized pin. But Sonia’s adolescent mind does not yet agree to work. She desired to go to school instead.
So, one day when she came to know about the L & R Center of Nabolok and she enrolled in Biddashagor L & R Centre (ward # 09) to fulfill her dreams alongside working in the pin factory as it is mandatory for her to work because her income contributes to meet the daily necessities in their family. In the mean time Sonia came to know that Nabolok EEWCC Project provide skill development training for those children who are engaged in hazardous work. Sonia recognized that it’s a golden chance for her to turn her life from the misery of child labor. She contracted with a field facilitator and received training on tailoring. Nabolok EEWCC team gave their utmost effort in this regard.
After completion of the training successfully she was given a paid-job also in his tailoring shop. she also gave thanks to Nabolok for this initiative. she also informs that her mother also engaged with shop.
Nabolok takes first step in her dream pathway that provides her sewing machine. Nabolok EEWCC Project instructed her to bring machine in the workplace. Daily Sonia goes to tailor shop and thus hve changed her identity from pin worker to readymade cloth maker. Her success surprised the trainer and he appointed her in production basis. Now she works in home along with the shop, which helps her to become an independent business woman. She earns 2500/3000 tk monthly. Now Sonia is on the way of journey towards fulfilling her dream where she will be the owner of a shop.
An Alternative to Regular Agricultural Practice
Success Stories & Our Achievements (unpublished case studies and other success
Dipika Pal & Anjali Pal had been living in Kashipur-Palpara, Rampal since their birth and took up farming as source of living like their ancestors. Fifteen year ago their chief and only source of income was cultivating betel nuts and coconuts in their 16 katha (168152 sq ft) inherited land. The earning was sufficient to meet the need of their family. Salinity was present, not as a menace but as a as blessing in the cultivation of coconut and betel nut. But it was around 2000, at which the whole scenario drastically changed. Their trees started getting affected by different diseases, the betel nut trees turned dry, coconut production began to decrease. Since then the productivity and cropping intensity of the land has been decreasing day by day. And right now, for the last five years, the production has almost bottomed at zero. With no crop production, there is neither certainty of food, income, education or health facilities. After recovering from the initial shock, five to six years later, they again started to cultivate, being encouraged by Nabolok. They tried different varieties of vegetables in a small piece of land in a comparatively higher land where salinity of soil is less than low lying land. Receiving success and with the assistance from Nabolok they are now not only being able to expand their cultivation, but are now using organic fertilizer instead of chemical fertilizer. They have also adopted a periodical cultivation technique so adjust with the seasonal change of salinity and other climatic imbalances. Recently they have also utilized some of their low lying saline land for crab fattening. These interventions have finally helped them to fight back the miserable situation and ensure enough living for their family.
Ashalota Dhali-Case Study
Ashalata Dhali: A Struggling Woman Leader
Ashalata Dhali is a fighting character of Khulna District Public Policy Forum (DPPF). After getting divorce she engaged herself in different social welfare and awareness related activities. DPPF helped her to enhance female leadership skill. Women Leadership Training and Advocacy Training has helped her to achieve skills in organizational management, advocacy issue identification, community mobilization for advocating on the issues and keep records and resolutions.
She is working since 2008 with Nari Bikas Kendro as president of union committee to bloom the female education, equity and leadership capacity among the deprived women of the society. She is involved withManobadhikar Bastobayon Prokolpo for almost 8 years. She stated that, “Illiterate and low income level people of rural area do not understand about their rights. They are not conscious about their rights which they can get from the state and local government. “My work is to aware them so that they can grasp their rights.” She is working in Legal Assistance Project through which many people claiming complains to the court. In the local level, Ashalata Dhali, is working with “Khal Nodi Rokkha Committee”. As a result of their movement Kharia river has been released from illegal possession and opened for all. She worked with Labon Pani Protirodh Committee and Upazila Vumi Bonton Kendro along with local people. As a female leader of DPPF, she conveyed different issues to the local MP. She recommended for reopening Batiaghata Khal from the encroachment of the local elites, redistribution of encroached khas land among the poor, preventing timber smuggling from the Sundarbans, controlling environment pollution by brick fields etc. As a female activist to enhance the female leadership skills further she has organized local women on various issues like facilitating courtyard meetings to prevent early marriage, raise awareness against dowry. She wants to work for Oppressed and deprived people so that they can aware about their own rights. She believes that educated women are blessing for the country and society so she desires work more on female education.She thinks that there is need for more people’s organization like DPPF because the experiences from DPPF have aided her to raise awareness on various issues in the community and raise voice against injustice, convey local issues to the MPs and ensure their concerns. She believes that DPPFs will be able to raise awareness and self dependence of the women and the marginalized, enhance female leadership quality and participation.
Journey Towards Light
Light of education makes every people enrich and capacitate them to take constructive decision in the life. Due to ignorance and poverty many people forced to think that money is maximum needs to live. How much you earn you are fulfill basic rights. Munna belongs to the cycle.
Munna was familiar in the society as waste picker in his age of 10 and filling shame to introduce himself in that profession. He is the elder son of his parents out of 3 siblings. His surrounding environment and availability of hazardous job intends him to engage. This project helps his and parents to take decision about his life. He admits L & R Center 2 month ago and continuous dedication and hardworking of teacher helps to prepare he to mainstream in registered school at class one. He is very happy to enter into new world and has not any frustration for previous one. Learning is also a job .How much you learn, you became gainer. Munna said “notun boi paisi and dress banamu , amar khub valo lagtese.” This project became satisfied when see that this child will be educated and motivate other children withdraw from hazardous job.
Education is the best weapon to withdraw children from hazardous work which has not any option. Because withdrawn children are not enrolled in school, they have greater risk to turn out previous one. Education also another basic rights of human being. Nabolok worked for ensuring this right for disadvantaged children those are involved in job consciously or unconsciously. Also taken preventive measure such as those children at risk being entering into labor market are included here. Prevention is better than cure. To achieve target Nabolok established 5 L & R Center in 5 ward and children prepared themselves in that way so that enroll themselves in formal school at the end of the year. In the first year, Nabolok enrolled 333 children in different formal school which indicates achievement rate is 95.14% (333 out of 350).
Nabolok targeted to enroll 200 vulnerable children in formal school where 198 children enrolled from 5 L & R Center. Achievement is 99% (198 out of 200). All the children aged belong to 6-9 just after crossing the age to enroll in school. But they could not admit any school before because their parents think that this age are early for going school or they cannot get proper direction. Most of the parents are working. They are not aware about their children. On the other hand many children from this area engaged in small workshop,Tempo helper, Jhut segregation, waste picker, printing factory, metal works etc. Besides this many children’s siblings / friends engaged in job in low paid. Above all their socio-economic condition enforced them to appoint in that sector. Nabolok identify those children and their parents. Motivation session is done with parents regarding advantage of education and adverse impact of child labor. It is noticeable that if do not enroll them in school they have greater risk to engage job with their siblings/friends.
Nabolok also taken one another challenging job to withdraw children from hazardous work and enroll in formal school. It’s extremely joyful news that Nabolok enroll 135 children whereas target is 150 (90% achievement). Nabolok passes first step on success. It’s very difficult to return someone from the way where they earn cash money. Greed of cash money tied them in that cycle where they think it’s only aim of life. Poverty also another reason to engaged in job in early age. All the difficulties become overcome with dedication work of Nabolok project team, LWF forum and SMC member. They motivating parents to send their children in school and understand them that now child are their responsibility. Parents are also responsible for preparing future of children. Strong motivation become work parents send their children in school instead of job. All mainstream children now regularly go to school. Nabolok staff always follows up them and formal school also gave extra care of them.
Nabolok all initiative became successful when all children continue their education. Major challenge is to drop out children from school because they cannot adapt themselves with education system. Many students found lesson difficult and in their house has not any one to solve their home work. Nabolok also started tutorial support to 5 L & R Center for mainstream children and now 150 children receive tutorial. Those children are financially solvent advice to appoint private tutor and also referred some students to locally private teacher with minimum fee.
Representative of Local Elected Body or influential person encouraged Nabolok initiative. Counselor of ward # 57, provided school dress for 31 children and Shahid Smiriti School selected 10 children for providing dress. We hope all mainstream children get any facilities. Now in 5 L & R Center, 470 children receive education and prepare themselves to enroll formal school in next year. We hope dedicated work and willingness of innocent children help us to achieve our target.
Safe Drinking Water Option Brings A Peachful & Pleasant Life
The scarcity of safe and adequate drinking water is one of the big problems of Paikgacha Pourashava . The root causes of the water problem are salinity, iron and arsenic contamination. As per recent survey of a NGO in Paikgacha pourashava there are 1423 nos. shallow tube-wells of which 1349 nos. are functioning and 74 nos. are not functioning. Among those most of the tube-wells are contaminated by iron and 83 nos. tube-wells are contaminated by arsenic out of tested 813 nos and some are contaminated by saline. Thus, the shortage of quality water from tube-wells and lack of alternative source sometimes community peoples enforced to use the water from unsafe sources. In this situation it was very essential to address the water issue through alternative way and in an effective & sustainable manner.
Bearing this critical situation in mind Nabolok SEHI project took initiative to install/construct rain water harvesting system considering applied technologies & covering the various categories of people. In this regard WLCC and community working group/people helped to select appropriate site/family/school. In FY ’12-‘13 with the support of SEHI project and involvement of Paurashava, WLCC and community working group, 45 HH based, 1 community based & 2 school level rain water harvesting system (RWHS) constructed by covering 573 community people & 761 students where about 15% people of total population covered. Also previously another 2 community based and 2 school level RWHS installed where about another 10% people of total population covered. It is mentioned here that regarding RWHS SEHI project considered separated area/community, poor/hardcore poor and vulnerable school to install RWHS. The access to safe drinking water increased of respective community peoples & students and the users of those water sources are very satisfied & feeling harmony in their life. They are very grateful to Nabolok & Water Aid, Bangladesh for their kind support in this regard.
Struggle to become free
Popi, a cute girl age 11 and lived in Pagar Alerteq (Ward # 44) with her parents. Her parents work in garments. Popi stay houses to rearing her little sister. She has very fond of playing. But her parents enroll her in a Madrasha but their inhuman and strict rules did not bind innocent girls. She wanted to become free from them. But her family member did not understand her feelings; they enforce her to go to madrasha. Popoi flee from the madrasha with her friends and work in cutlery factory. She got minimum wages which she thinks are more. By this money she bought unhygienic pickle which makes her most of the time sick. Money makes popi more practical like other working children. Her parents did not able to return her from this path. They regret that they are responsible for that but poverty always push them to engage in job. Popi unconsciously belong to this cycle. But popi’s innocent eye always searches new hope to fulfill her dream. But she cannot get proper direction.
One day when she goes to workshop, meet with teacher of Begum Sufia Kamal School (Ward # 44) and conversation with her. Enroll her in Nabolok School and recreation teaching system of Nabolok School nfluenced Popi to come every day. Regularly Popi came to school and she left her job. In January, 2014 Popi mainstream into Shahid Smiriti School at class Two and now she regulalrly came Nabolok School to receive tutorial support. Her parents are now very happy. Popi always wanted to read in school but she did not get any proper direction and monotonous learning system inspired her to engage in job.
English Case study compilation by: Umme Sauda, M & D Officer, Nabolok PRHCL Project.
Bangla case study written and picture taken by: Meharunnessa Sheema, Field Facilitator, Nabolok PRHCL Project.