Thursday, May 28, 2009

Nari Jibon Students' Success Stories

There is a proverb in our country “Va-te Ma-re, Buddhi-a Bachay-” it means ‘providing some food for death, providing knowledge for survives’. There are many NGOs that spending huge amount of money for women empowerment, strengthening, increasing awareness, rights and proving loan. Many donor/orgs are spending money for reducing harassment/violence, making them aware about type of harassments and supporting legal support. Everything is welfare for women luck. But none of them think, if a woman files a case for judgment, where those women take shelter for ever? To her parent’s family? Does she would be honored there? Obviously she will go to another purush/man as wife and he will be worse than first one.

It is proved in our society (and our research output) that women who can earn money and able to support family financially get honor in the family and society. They can also be decision maker in the family. Other members of their family respect them and as a result they face less harassment in the family.

Nari Jibon Development Foundation is providing effective skill training program to the women besides its awareness program through discussion and writing articles. Due to scarcity of outreach activities we can not know how much students get but sometime some students informed us about their job and sweetened their teachers.

Sakura Noor

I am Sakura Noor, aged about 34. I have completed Masters in History from Dhaka University. I am married and I have a child. I was working as a housewife. One day I heard about Nari Jibon from one of friend and I took admission to learn English and Computer Office Program.

After completing my course I was offered to work as an Executive Officer in an established developer company named ARTISAN DEVELOPMENT LTD. I joined there April 2009 and my starting salary is held 5000 taka per month.

I am very happy getting this job and this was possible to learn Computer and English from Nari Jibon as they (Company) wanted Computer and English expert woman.

Sufia Khatun

My name is Sufia Khatun and I am about 20 years old. I passed H.S.C. (class-12) and then I took admission in class-13 (Degree) but I could not continue my study due to sickness and poverty. My father leaved us (my mother with two elder sisters and one elder brother) getting married another woman. After passing class-12, I came to Dhaka to one of my maternal aunt for study and treatment. My elder brother was working in a garment factory and he was supporting our family financially. It was difficult to continue my study and then I thought that I need to involve in income generating activities. I heard about Nari Jibon to one of my neighboring as it was very cheap I took admission to learn English and Computer Ms Office program. During the course duration I received blog maintaining training from Nari Jibon and then I started blogging. I was rewarded some money from Nari Jibon. I also received scholarship (free class & cyber pass). Really these made me eager to take more skilled in English and Computer. Due to my accommodation problem I had to leave Dhaka to Narayangonja soon. But I am able to use my skills that I learned from Nari Jibon getting a job as office Executive to a Garments Buying House at Narayangonja. I am very happy that I can provide some financial support to family. I am very thankful to Dr. Kathryn B Ward and Nari Jibon staff who encouraged me to take skill.

Asma Akter Choity

I am Asma Akter Choity. I am about 20 years old. I am reading in honors (2nd year) at Begum Bodrunnesa Girls’ college, Dhaka. I live in Lalbagh in Dhaka with my parents.

I have learned Computer Ms. Office Program, Photography and English Course from Nari Jibon.

In last December 2008 I joined in a private company named Asian Sky Shop (Green Road, Dhaka) as Office Executive. It is happy news to me and my family.

Sharmin Akter

My name is Sharmin Akter and I am approximately 14 years old. I went to the primary school about 4 years. I could not continue study due to extreme poverty. After giving up study I was helping my mother doing some household works. One day I heard about Nari Jibon from one of my neighboring woman. I informed my mother about Nari Jibon and willing to learn tailoring course. Then I visit and took admission dated 11th March 2008. Within 3 months I learned 34 tailoring items and one month I got chance for more practicing. Later I received very few money from this tailoring shop. At the end of my course I worked in a tailoring shop but I did not receive money but many customers used to like my works. But September 2008 I got an offer from an established Tailoring Shop, situated at Rampura Banasree named Parveen Tailors as Sewing and Cutting master. They give me 2000 taka per month where I work 10 hours everyday. Really I am very thankful to Nari Jibon and my teacher Salma madam.

We are thankful to Lee Goldman & AISD

Nari Jibon Development Foundation depends on private donation as it is providing skill trainings (Computer, English, Tailoring and Non formal Adult Education) to the underprivileged women & girls from the March 2005. Students pay very nominal fee for these courses. Due to world economic crisis and health problem of main donor (Dr. Kathryn B Ward, Professor, Department of Sociology, SIU at Carbondale) and some other reasons Nari Jibon is facing serious financial crisis. While it was near to close the volunteer English Teacher of Nari Jibon Lee Goldman and some of her colleagues/students donated to continue Nari Jibon activities as they think that the skill training programs of Nari Jibon are more effective to the Bangladeshi women.
On March 27 the American International School of Dhaka (AISD) hosted a running event called the Step-Up Relays in which teams of four people ran a series of laps around Baridhara. Teams consisted of students, parents, school staff, and other community members. Each team paid a registration fee, and all proceeds from the event were donated to Nari Jibon.

Lee Goldman & some AISD students with Nari Jibon staff

At an earlier event on Dec.13, 2008, AISD held another athletic event called the Splash-n-Dash, a duathalon in which participants swam 400m and ran 4km. In some cases a swimmer and runner joined together to form a team to complete the duathalon. Again, the participants paid a registration fee and all proceeds went to Nari Jibon.

Lee Goldman and some AISD students teach English Spoken to Nari Jibon students in every Friday.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Nari Jibon Development Foundation has set up Volunteer Peer Educators group to promote awareness on HIV/AIDS, Domestic Violence, Early Marriage etc

Nari Jibon Development Foundation is providing skill training programs and awareness activities from March 2005. Nari Jibon offers Bengali, English, Tailoring and Computer Micro Soft Office program, Photography and Graphic design classes to the young underprivileged women & girls in Bangladesh. Students pay very nominal registration fee for these courses. Nari Jibon also generated two blog sites (English and Bangla) by the students and staff and in this medium students can also increase their knowledge, English and computer skills. At Nari Jibon cyber café (women only) students can receive cyber services in a safe environment. Students from different communities come to Nari Jibon classes for receiving these courses such as different educational institutes, house holds, dropout garment workers, residence based sex workers spots, different beauty parlors and NGOs etc. Nari Jibon development Foundation used to provide awareness activities through workshop/seminars, discussion meeting, counseling and writing competition/blogging articles and outreach on the necessity of job skill training, HIV/AIDS, Domestic Violence and End violence against women, Early Marriage and Dowry Demand etc. Some staff of NJDF motivated students trained and established a group of students who are supposed to work as Volunteer Peer Educators to their respective communities on the above issues especially HIV/AIDS and Domestic Violence as Nari Jibon students and staffs think that younger women are more vulnerable to these issues and adolescents can act a great role to prevent these issues. On the other hand these are the major and vital problem in Bangladesh. The following students received training and working as Peer Educators (with their voice):

Farzana Akter Tuli

My name is Farzana Akter Tuli and I am 24 years old. I am studying in Master’s first year in Begum Badrunnesa College. Besides I am also taking courses on English and Computer Ms Office Program from Nari Jibon Development Foundation.
I want to establish myself as a self reliant woman in our society. Being motivated from NJDF I am working as volunteer peer educator as we know HIV/AIDS is global problem and it has no treatment. I think we (young people) can reduce the problem if we are aware. Almost same way we can stop domestic violence, early marriage, dowry system from our society as we create this problem and this is possible only increasing awareness amongst us. I think we everyone should work to remove this from our socie

Jannatul Ferdouse Nargish

I am Jannatul Ferdose Nargish and I am 18 years old. Now I am reading honors 1st year in Govt. Titumir College in management. I completed Ms. Office Program course and English Course from Nari Jibon and now I am learning on Graphic Design Course.
In future I want to work in a Bank. AIDS is a dangerous and fatal disease in the world. Though Bangladesh is low prevalence but we are in great risk. I think we everyone should be aware about this dangerous disease and thus we can prevent it. I have already started to work as a volunteer peer educator and I think all the young people should start to work against spreading HIV/AIDS. We also should work together to stop violence against women, Child Marriage and Dowry system. I think younger people can keep great role to solve

Feroza Begum Poly

I am Feroza Akter Poly and I am 24 years old. Now I am reading in class HSC under Open University.
I have completed English, Computer Ms Office Program, Hardware and Business Management from Nari Jibon Development Foundation.
Now I am founder of Mukto Behango Cooperative Society and I am working there as joint Secretary. Many women are engaged with this co-operative Society and we are running business of spicy, candle and some other handmade goods.
Still now I come to NJDF office to use cyber café as I am a blogger too. Being motivated by NJDF staff I have started to work as volunteer Peer Educator as think if young people can organized we can solve many difficulties. Due to scarcity of prevention awareness many people affecting HIV/AIDS. We should to care everyone just now and stop spreading out. I also agreed that if we can organize we can stop domestic violence, early child marriage and dowry system from Bangladesh.

Rahima Akter Hira

I am Rahima Akter Hira and I am 23 years old. I am studying at Eden Mohila College in second year in Bachelor of Arts.
I am learning English and Computer Ms Office Program, Graphic Design and Photography. In future I want to be a Photographer.
I have started to increase awareness in Domestic Violence, prevention information on HIV/AIDS as we can prevent this only increasing awareness. I think younger people can contribute more to prevent these from our country and every people should work for promoting awareness on these serious harmful issues.

Jannat ara Amzad,

My name is Jannat ara Amzad. I am 19 years old. I am reading at Begum Badrunnesa Sarkari Mohila College honors first year in Bengali.
I have learned English and Computer Ms Office Program and now I am learning photography at Nari Jibon Development Foundation.
I have started to increase awareness on HIV/AIDS and Domestic Violence to my classmate friends and young relatives as a volunteer peer educator. I think every awareness young people should work to promote awareness on these issues and thus we can prevent dangerous issues.

Nawshin Tarannum Tushil

My name is Nawshin Tarannum Tushil and I am 21 years old. I am reading at Shiddeshary Degree College second year in Bachelor of Arts.
I have completed learning English and Computer Ms Office Program in Nari Jibon Development Foundation. Now I am learning Graphic Design Course at NJDF. My future plan is to be a teacher.
I would like to work as volunteer peer educator to promote awareness on HIV/AIDS and Domestic Violence to the younger students of my college and friend circles. I think we all (young people) should work to stop HIV/AIDS epidemic, Domestic Violence, Early Marriage and Dowry system. And thus we can stop these harmful issues from our society.

Surma Akter

My name is Surma Akter and I am 22 years old. Now I am studying second year in Bachelor of Arts at Shiddeshary Degree College.
I have completed learning English and Ms Office Program Course from Nari Jibon Development Foundation. Now I am taking Graphic Design course from there.
My future plan is to be a lawyer.
Being motivated I have started to work as a volunteer Peer Educator to promote awareness knowledge on HIV/AIDS, Domestic Violence and to stop Early marriage. I think only awareness activities can reduce this epidemic from our society and we (young people) have responsibilities to prevent these. Hadiya Akter
My name is Hadiya Akter and I am about 20 years old. At present I am studying in honors second year in Bengali at Shahid Shohrawardi College. My aim in life is to work as a teacher.
Besides I am also learning English and Computer Ms Office Program at Nari Jibon Development Foundation.
Being motivated I am working as a volunteer peer educator to increase awareness to my classmate friend circles on HIV/AIDS, Domestic Violence and Child marriage. I think if we can make aware young people in our society we’ll be able to reduce these harmful issues from our society.

Tamanna Dilshad

I am Tamanna Dilshad and I am 18 years 7 months year old. Now I am studying in honors first year in Management at Govt. Eden Mohila College. I want to take a job in the Bank.
I am learning English and Computer Ms Office Program course from Nari Jibon Development Foundation.
I have started to work as a volunteer peer educator to promote awareness on HIV/AIDS, Domestic Violence and stopping Child marriage from our society. I think if we can create awareness to the young people in our society we’ll be able to reduce these dangerous issues from our country. We also need to work together to promote awareness to the every community in our country.

Sharban Tahura

My name is Sharban Tahura and I am 20 years old. I am reading in honors first year in Accounting at Shahid Shohrawardi College. In future I want to work in any Bank.
I am also learning English and Computer Ms Office Program at Nari Jibon Development Foundation.
I am very appreciated to work as volunteer educator to increase awareness on some vulnerable issues in our society. As HIV/AIDS is global problem and it is incurable, we should work together to prevent this to promote awareness amongst younger people. I think we can also reduce Early Marriage and Dowry system from society to create awareness on these issues from our society.

Ferdouse ara Uzma

My name is Ferdouse ara Uzma and I am 18 years old. Now I am reading at intermediate first year at Sheddeshary Girls College. My future plan is to be Computer Engineer.
Now I am learning English and Computer Ms Office Program at Nari Jibon Development Foundation. Being motivated I have started to work as volunteer peer educator at my college campus. I want to promote awareness on HIV/AIDS, Domestic Violence and Early Marriage as I think we can prevent these issues to increase awareness. I also think young people can contribute more to reduce these harmful issues from our society.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

“Child rights” what is your responsibly?

“Compulsory Primary Education” is great program of Bangladesh govt. Besides many organizations are also working on it and children’s rights. Many donors are also spending lot of money to implement this program. But what we can see everyday!! We become very sad when we can see street children are being addiction, children are begging, searching something in the dustbin. But what you can do when a child works for supporting his family. Is there anybody who thinks “why a family sends her child for earning”? There are many children are working in the car garages and small restaurants, huge number of children are working as tokai. We also found huge number of children is working as koli in the rail stations, chicken markets. Some children run small business like tea, vegetable as vendor. We can see a good number of children use as customer caller in the rich market before EID and other occasion. Many people use these children for their own business development. Most of the solvent families in have a small baby for working as maidservant. Do we think what they need in this age?

These children work in the car garages just to learn. They don't get any salary but they work from 9.00 am to 9.00 pm. Some of them get some money for lunch only. Some of these children went to school and studied one year to three years. They replied that their parents sent there to learn car repairing.

These boys work as local bus helpers and they can earn 50 taka 100 taka per day. They can sopport to their family. This is very risky job. I talk with two boys and they told me that they went to the NGO's schools and they studied three years. Liton, aged 12 told me that he lived with her mother and he had two younger sisters. Her mother was working as a house maid and his father did not live with them and his father also did not give them money. He did not tell me why his father did not live them and where his father was living. I asked him that what you would do after 5 to 10 years. He could not tell me. I also can not say whatt he'll do in future?

These boys don't work under any organization but they give free service to bear dusts to the dustbin what city corporation people do. They give free labor because they can collect old papers, plastics, bottle etc from the dustbin. As there are many children to collect these things (working as tokai) city corporation people are using them.
All of these children are 8-12 years old when they will go to school. What is the future of these children? At best they can be a labor. We can see in the papers that some of them take intoxication. Some of them are used to sell drug/intoxication like phensidil, gaja, heroin etc. Sometimes police arrest them but main sellers are not arrested. We can see these children become hijacker, rober and engaged in other illegal activities.

But in this age children need more care and then we can expect better things from them. They need security of food, residence, education health support beside love of everyone. They need an environment where they will not face any distrace, fear. They need only love, affection etc from everyone.

Regarding to "Blog action day 2008 --- Poverty" and "World Child Right Day" I want to propose every people to take reponsibility for one poor child or family. I'll not propose to give some money or food or dress. I propose to give support for a child or a family for self-reliant. If it is difficult for a person, he can make a group to help a child or a family.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Nari Jibon is an appropriate place for your Jakat or any other contribution/donation

Cross Post from Nari Jibon Blog

There are many organizations that are committed to develop women or vulnerable women in the world. Some of these organizations provide money to women in the hopes of making them self-reliant. These organizations also report that those women are running business or being self reliant using their money. But we can see that often, their money is used by their husband or other male persons. But Nari Jibon does not give them current money. Nari Jibon gives skill training and makes them able to be self reliant or sometimes helps them for being self reliant. As an example Nari Jibon provides tailoring skills including business knowledge. Nari Jibon provides cloth and students make most of the items during class and internship. Students also visit some tailoring business centers. Then sometimes Nari Jibon provides some money for sewing machine and some business set up cost. Nari Jibon authority also follows up on their progress. Similarly, the other section provides computer knowledge. Students in this section will also learn how to write a standard cover letter and resume, as well as create a portfolio. She will use cyber café for practicing and visiting various web pages and blogs from where she will increase her computer and English knowledge. Every student will open an e-mail account and also students will write blogs. By the reading and writing blogs, students can increase their knowledge and skill more in English and computer programs. Thus students become fit for job.

About Nari Jibon:

Nari Jibon is a non-profit charitable service organization. It is working in South-Dhaka, Bangladesh since 2005. Nari Jibon provides services and support to the women students and workers of low and mid-level families. Nari Jibon provides basic educational and technical skills for employment, income-generation, empower and business development. Nari Jibon provides Bangla primary education to the illiterate women, tailoring cutting and sewing master course, English-1 and English-2 (spoken) and computers (MS Office Programs, graphics and webpage design, photography, and hardware trouble shooting and program maintenance).

Nari Jibon computer lab

Nari Jibon cyber café

David Sasaki, Director of Rising Voice teaching students about blogging

Nari Jibon English class

English volunteer teachers (Stella and Lee Goldman) are taking English-2 (Spoken English)

Difference of Nari Jibon skill training programs

1. Nari Jibon is safe place for the women

2. Nari Jibon takes only nominal registration fee for all the courses.

3. Computer students have to have English knowledge or have to learn English at Nari Jibon as it is most essential for related job.

4. Students must use Nari Jibon’s cyber café to have more practice, visiting more web sites, reading and writing blogs and learning other online activities.

5. Nari Jibon motivates students to read and write posts for blogs as it improves students’ knowledge in English and computer. If students want to continue blogging they can open individual blog sites.

6. Often students are trained by some foreigner experts besides Nari Jibon internal expert instructors.

7. All the students will write their own portfolios by themselves.

8. Scholarship students will communicate with individual donors writing thank you letters and monthly progress reports.

Why you should donate for women only.

After being married women are excluded from their parents’ wealth. If any woman becomes a widow at her young age, she is bereft from her husband’s wealth. There are many divorced women who are neglected by her parents’ family. Some male persons take more wives and so that those women are neglected by these husbands. We can see some husbands leaving their wives and hiding them. Some husbands demand dowry after marriage and torture their wives. Some husbands try to pressure their wives into the informal sector. Some low and mid-level families are not interested in spending money for their female members/daughters. And there are fewer job opportunities for the women in our country. So women need more skill training/ education scope to protect themselves and compete against male students as we know that sons get more scope for education than the daughters.So Nari Jibon can be your appropriate place for donation or Jakat. If you donate to Nari Jibon, you will be informed how your donation is spent. As an example if you donate above $10 dollars, you will get thank you letter, picture of students and progress report and successful history.

How and how much money you donate-

You can donate students’ registration course fees, Microsoft Office Program- $17 including 4 cyber passes, Graphics and Web design course $24 including 6 cyber pass cards, photography course $13, Bangla course fee-$1.50, tailoring, cutting and sewing Master Course fee-$5. (These amounts cover only the admission fees that we charge. It costs us much more to actually provide the services, so any extra amount that you can give is much appreciated.)You can provide some money as conveyance with registration fee or you can donate a sewing machine to a poor or vulnerable woman. Nari Jibon has a special scholarship program named LPC (work-study-women) program. Some women need to earn money to survive and they also need to learn skill to change their career or profession. As an example one housemaid or sex worker or poor (dropped out) student who is strong determined to change her profession but she needs to earn money to survive. If she gets LPC scholarship, she will be free to learn skills. She will learn skills and she will also take practical work experience at office. Thus LPC students will make her more fit for jobs and she will also communicate with the employers during course duration. LPC students get $ 50 dollars per month so totally she will get (50 X 4 = $200) Or you can also donate some money to continue Nari Jibon activities such as you can donate a computer or UPS (uninterrupted power supply) or one month electricity bill or rent.
Unrestricted-open ended donations of any amount also towards general costs also welcomed!
Tax deductible donation- make check out to Give2Asia, donation form (must use credit card via website and/or mail in)
For more info on gift list, please visit Nari Jibon USA web site and check the link “possible gift list Nari Jibon” or communicate with Dr. Kathryn B Ward
Donors should also email Dr. Kathy Ward for gift specifics-purchase and also so that we have donor’s contact-email info.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

How Nari Jibon students/new bloggers are trying to go ahead

To develop Nari Jibon new bloggers, Nari Jibon arranged a photo session in last Friday (22 August 08). Four student bloggers (Jesmin ara Amzad, Jannat ara Amzad, Hira and Sufia), Nari Jibon staff blogger & Trainer Taslima Akter and Golam Rabbany Sujan went to visit Ahsan Manzil. They also visited and took pictures some of adjacent areas of Ahsan Manzil like Jagannath University and banks of Buriganga River, Victoria Park etc. Some of Nari Jibon students who receive skill training on English and Computers open blog addresses. Nari Jibon students also receive training on writing feature on different things in their classes, blog training, and digital camera operating etc. Some of them also open flickr accounts. As all the students bloggers have no own digital camera Nari Jibon authority arrange outside photo session for the students & regular bloggers. We think it will improve students’ knowledge and they will be motivated to keep more blogs.

Ahsan Manzil and (second) its display centre.

Ahsan Manzil was named by Nawab Khwaja Abdul Ghani after his son Nawab Khwaja Alimullah during the time of Mughals. It was built up during the time of Mugahls and it was used by Dhaka Nawab family. It is situated on the bank of the Buriganga River. Now it is using as a museum.

Nari Jibon bloggers are taking photos of Ahsan Manzil

Nari Jibon bloggers are introducing themselves with other visitors (foreigners) and inviting them to visit Nari Jibon. Jesmin and Jannath are talking in English with two Japanese and other people are listening to their conversation. Jesmin and Jannath are learning English at Nari Jibon.

We became sad when we saw the water of our Buriganga River is being polluted by the people and businessmen of this area and nobody care of this.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Two more success history of Nari Jibon students

Sweety started home based tailoring business at the end of her course duration of Nari Jibon. Last July’08 she earned 800 taka from her home based tailoring business. Sweety completed ‘Tailoring Cutting and Sewing Master Course’ from Nari Jibon recently. She learned there 34 tailoring items successfully. Now she can make various kinds of Children and women’ dresses, pillow covers, curtains, fotuya, panjabi, maxi, shorts and shirts, veil etc.Sweety is about 18 years old and unmarried. She studied up to class-8. After passing class-8, her parents were unable to prosecute her study as then they faced serious financial crisis. Then she quitted her study and started to work in the garment factory. But her parents and relative did not like her working in the garment factory. After working one year in the garment factory, she gave up continue her job. After that she was passing her time at their house. Being informed about Nari Jibon from her younger sister she took admission at Nari Jibon to learn tailoring items.She took admission at Nari Jibon dated 1st March 2008. She used to take class regularly and she was attentive to learn tailoring items. She got tailoring scholarship from Nari Jibon. That’s why she used to get chance practice more time and as a result she became very expert to make dresses. She started to work in the home based tailoring business from last June.
Sweety is making dress at her house

Sweety is thinking that she will set up a tailoring shop in a village market near her village with her younger sister who is working in a tailoring shop and she is also a graduate student of Nari Jibon. She already talked with her parents and they are also agreed with her plan. Her parents will also leave Dhaka.

Papia akter is about 23 years old. She could not read or write though she went to the school about one year at her childhood. She worked in the garment factories more than ten years. Due to being pregnant she gave up working in the garment factory at the beginning of 2005. Papia and her husband were not agreed to start working in the garment factory again due to their small baby. Papia heard about Nari Jibon from one of her neighboring girl who was also a student of Nari Jibon. Then she took admission to learn Bangla as she was interested to learn tailoring items. She took admission dated 15th February 2008 in Bangla section and Tailoring section.Now Papia can read and write Bangla and also she has learned English alphabets and some small words. She also can read and write numbers (English, Bangla), addition, subtraction and multiplication etc. Still now she is coming to Nari Jibon for more study. Papia also completed Tailoring Cutting and Sewing Master Course from Nari Jibon successfully. She learned 32 tailoring items. She practices long time at Nari Jibon and she also completed her internship. After being admitted at Nari Jibon Papia applied for scholarship. Then she was facing financial problem as she had to spend a good number of money during her delivery period. As she was regular, attentive and poor student Nari Jibon provide her scholarship to learn tailoring items well. She used to get long time to learn and practice at Nari Jibon that helped her being expert tailoring master.

Papia is making dress at her house

Now, she can make all kinds of child dresses, Pillow cover, curtain, Salower, kamiz, various designs of three pieces, Panjabi, Fotua and other women’ dresses. Last August’08 she bought a sewing machine as she wanted to run home based tailoring business. Last July’08 Papia earned more than 700 taka making dresses of her neighboring people. Now Papia does not want to take job to any garment factory or any tailoring shop as she is to look after her small daughter. But she wants to run her home based tailoring business. In future she will try to expand her business like as she will keep some assistant tailoring workers and she will circulate her business and collect more dress making order etc.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Biggest celebration in my community

We have many religious and cultural festivals in our society that are celebrated from the ancient period. We have two EID festivals, Sob-e-borat, Sob-e-kodor, Pohela Boishak (First day of Bengal New Year), First day of spring, Akushe February (Language Day), 16th December (Independence day), Nobanno utsab (festival of eating newly grown autumnal rice in the month of Agrahayan), etc
I think EID festival (EID UL FITRE and EID UL AJHA) and Pohela Boishak (First day of Bengali New Year) and Akushe February are our biggest celebrations in our community.
How we celebrate these festivals-
EID festivals:We (Family members and nearest relatives) get together during EID festivals as all the service holders have EID vacation. Our family members may live different places in the country but most of them come to our birth family. All the family members try to buy gift (new dress) for his/her and for other family members. Every family cooks rich food of different items. Married daughters are invited with their husband and children. Young children receive salami (tips). Many people fix their marriage date or other parties during these vacations.All the people of the society pray their EID namaj in an open place and greet (each other) warmly. Every people in our society become happy and stay in pleasure during EID days. There are some religious values that make our society happier like as we provide some money as Fitra, Jakat to the poor people in our society. We (who have ability) also try to provide new dresses or some money to the poor people in our society. People in our society also try to get the good wishes of Allah by the helping of others.

(Villagers are working together and sharing the korbani with everyone)

Some people provide immolation of a beast (Korbani) in the EID-ul Ajha and all the families in a community share these (meat) among themselves. Only poor people also get the skin or price of the skins of these beasts. All of these activities make all the people happy, unity and peace to live together in our society.
Pohela Boishak (First day of Bengali New Year)People in our society also celebrate Pohela Boishak (First day of Bengali New Year). It is also an enjoyable day in our society. Women and girls wear red and white colored sharee with soil-ornaments. Almost every child and other people wear cotton, colored, new or clean dress. They visit boishaki fair. There is an ancient landlord’s house in our locality including several large open fields where boishaki fair take place every year. We heard that landlord used to arrange boishaki fair after taking tax and to declare new tax rule. Now we have no landlord to take tax but we have the culture. People sing local and ancient folks, also enjoy horse race, different games like ha-du-du, kapadi, football etc. Young people get salami (tip) from the seniors. There are many games for young people and they can also buy various toys, various items of first food etc.
Akushe February (21st February)
Ekushe February (21st February) is our mother language day. Now it is International mother language day. Pakistani ruler wanted to set up Urdi as national language in east Bengal (Present Bangladesh). Students, factory workers, businessmen, farmers and people of every sector started to protest against this declaration and on 21 February 1952 students and political activities were killed by the Pakistani police who were protesting and demanding Bengali as their mother language. This agitation encouraged Bengali to be independent. So we celebrate this day from our heart every year. This day we awake up from the sleep very early in the morning. We go to the Shahid Minar (martyrs monument) on foot and we give flowers to the Shaheed Minar before sunrise. This day we don’t wear shoes. Young people make Shaheed Minar in lane to lane and area to area though every school, college and university has one Shaheed Minar. Highest amount of flowers are sold in this day. Every cultural and other organization arranges various programs in this day like Moncho natok (stage play), song ceremony etc. Schools and Colleges arrange their Yearly Play and Price ceremony in this day.Thus we enjoy whole day with our friends and family members.

This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Still they are at margins of society

Many national and international organizations/donors work with disadvantage people and provide facilities, assist them for being self-employed. But there are very few organizations that work with Hijras on HIV/AIDS, STDs awareness program etc. Hijras are deprived of many facilities in our so-called society. They are obstructed from their birth. One hijra (Joya) informed that hijras don’t get proper right, love and affection as like as other children in their family and society. Family members and relatives don’t want to keep good relation with them. People laugh at them. So once they leave their family and started to live with other hijras. Hijras like to live in group. They beg door to door, shop to shop, office to office etc. They live from hand to mouth. They can not go to the school like other children. They are insulted everywhere. They can not go on with other same aged people. They have few proper opportunities to take skill. But if they get proper education and technical skill they will able to work like other people.

Two hijras are in the market

Some NGOs have awareness program on HIV/AIDS, STDs and they provide condoms, lubricant and medicine. But they need education, technical skill, honor & rights like other people in our society. They need working opportunities. Govt. and foreign donors are spending money to develop disadvantage people, why they are not held as disadvantage people and supporting.

“Joya” organizer Badhon hijra organization

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Lunch of garment workers

Large industrial units/ offices/ organizations or factories have opportunities for lunch like canteen system from where workers get scope to take foods in cheap prices or easily. They also get scope to take tea, snacks, pure water etc. There is also a good numbers workers work in the garment factories in Dhaka city. Do you know the facilities of lunch for these poor garment workers? I have talked with some garments workers (especially with Masuma, Mafia who worked long days (10 years) in the garments factories) and find out this information. Masuma worked in 6 garment factories. She did not found any places for taking lunch in four garment factories and two factories had eating place/dinning place on the roofs where had not any furniture.

Masuma looks slim and also looks suffering from insufficient nutrition!!!
Same–same every garment workers----

Masuma told “Garment workers receive one hour to take lunch. Garment workers who live in long distance from their factories bring their lunch from their houses by lunch box or plastic pots. But garment workers who can go (on foot) to their houses within 15 minutes don’t want to curry their lunch. Because garment workers can take any poor dishes at their house like rice/stale rice with any vegetable mash or curry or stale food or anything what they have. But if they want to take they need something fresh or better items or they become shameful for poor foods to their colleagues.Garment workers walk very fast and they can go 1 kilo within 15 minutes. So, many garment workers can not take any rest for a while after taking lunch besides their speedy lunch. Garment workers who take lunch to the garment factories has to take lunch sitting on the stairs, balcony or standing on the moving places. They can not take lunch in their working spots.” She also told “garment workers don’t get supply of pure water. Garment workers collect water for drinking from the bathroom and some factories have basin. But is this water pure? But senior level officers have pure water facilities.” Masuma also told “garment workers often become sick. Usually they are affected by diarrhea, dysentery, jaundice, gastric and other stomach problems etc. If garment workers suffer more days from sick, their salary has been cut and if they may be discharge from their job.” Masuma became sick three times in last few months and she mainly suffered from stomach problem. Mafia became sick two times in last two months and she had to take rest 20 days for being recovered from sick

Rain cannot stop their walking when garment workers go to their house to take lunch as their lunch period is very short. We can often see that garment workers are going to take lunch while raining.
Garments industry players are being billionaires by the help of these poor, industry workers. Will it be very difficult to supply pure water for these garment workers while they are being sick often taking direct supply water? Will it be more expensive to arrange canteen/mass system for taking in the garment factories? Garments authorities can discharge the garment workers easily and they also can collect garment workers easily because there are available unemployed workers in Bangladesh. Are they taking this scope? These garment workers are also keeping a great role on our national economy. So, why government can not take a role to save them while they are demanding ration card of daily necessary things as they can go on with their little income?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A life with dowry problem

First Published
Video edited by Tarun Falia

My name is Laizu and I am about 20 years old. I was born in Dhaka and my parents came to Dhaka before my birth from Gopalgonj village under Faridpur district. I am the eldest child of my parents. My father is a Rickshaw mechanic and mother is a housewife. We have only a house and homestead in the village. I have two younger sisters and one younger brother. My younger sister Mousumi (17) studied up to class-7 and recently she started to work in a garment factory. Another younger sister Rumee (13) is reading in class-7 and younger brother is reading in class-2.

The financial condition of our family is not good. My father somehow maintains our family. After studying up to class-9 I had to stop my study due to poverty. My father is only one earning member of our family. My father rented a room in a tin-shed building where we (six members) live in very congested.

Laizu with her child

I got married with a young boy named Manik aged 25. Manik used to work in a car garage. Their family was known to our family for last long years in Dhaka. Their home district is Comilla. His mother used to call my father as her elder brother. Both of our guardians were discussing about our marriage. But none of them took any final decision/step. In the meantime we made good relation. One day (January 2007) Manik told me that his father became very sick and he wanted to see me. Then Manik took me to one of his relative’s house and got married. Few days later we returned to our family. But Manik’s family did not take it easily. Her parents demanded 1, 20,000 taka as they were trying to send Manik abroad. Then Manik started to live with their family. In the meantime became pregnant. After being pregnant Manik started to behave with me very rough. We heard that Manik would go abroad but he did not tell me or us anything. One day he was not returning from his workplace. Later we heard that he left Bangladesh and went Saudi Arab. He did not communicate with me or us. My parents communicated with Manik’s family and started to solve the problem. After a long discussion Manik parents agreed to take her as their son’s wife instead of 70,000 taka as dowry. My father paid 40000 taka and in the time I gave birth to a female child and I became sick. My father had to spend about 25000 taka due to my sickness but none of my law’s family member came to see me or my daughter. Later they inform that they would not take me to their house before returning their son from abroad.

But my father gave them money selling our color television and freeze. They also took some loan from a local co-operative society. Still now they are paying installment to this co-operative society. My younger sister gave up her study and took a job in a garment factory due to poverty.

Laizu’s also said “My parents are very poor and they live in hand to mouth in very difficulties. I am living with my daughter and my baby also needs some extra expenditure that is increasing day by day. At present I am an extra burden to my parents. I can not want to my parents anything for child as they became poorer for my good luck. So I felt to earn some money. So when my baby was only two months I started to learn tailoring from Nari Jibon. Now I can make all kinds of baby’s dresses, various kinds of woman’s dresses and some kinds of male dresses. But I failed to buy a sewing machine. Sometimes I collect dress making order from my neighboring people and I make these dresses going to a neighboring woman who has a sewing machine and sometimes I make these dresses going to Nari Jibon office but everyone knows that this is my own dress. Thus I am earning some money but I get this scope for a while. I am trying to lend some money to buy a sewing machine and so I am going to some of relatives/known persons but I am failure.”

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Increasing child labors in Dhaka city/Bangladesh

Almost every month I go to wholesale fish market one or two times in a month that is situated Merul Badda. This wholesale fish market is 10 minutes walking distance from my residence. There are several reasons why I go to buy fish from this market. I can buy fresh fish in cheap prices than the retail kitchen market and I can not go to kitchen market everyday or every week. It also helps me to walk early in the morning. So I like to buy fish from this market.
Two years ago I saw few children used to come to this market. Some of them used to collect wasted fish or small fish that are fallen from the shop or dish. And that’s why they are called “Mas Chur” (thief of fish). Some of them used to help whole seller or retail fish businessmen and earned some money. But recently I am observing that more children are coming to work in this market and day by day their number is increasing.
One wholesale fish businessman informed that they number will be more than 100 hundred and rapidly their number is increasing.
I had also asked him why this number is increasing rapidly and he replied that you know that the living cost of Dhaka increasing rapidly day by day and recent high prices of food items make poor people more vulnerable. So every member of a poor family is trying hard to earn some money.

These children come to this market at about 5.00 am (one hour ago before sunrise) because business starts from 5.30 am to 8.00 am in the morning. During these periods they remain so busy that they have no scope to talk with me. One boy named Khokon about seven years informed that he comes before sunrise in this market. He helps wholesaler and retailer who come to buy fish. Retailer gives him 2 to 5 taka for bearing one basket fish (10 to 20 kg fish). He bears from wholesale shop to retailer spot that is out side of wholesale market near roadside and receive money. Thus he can earn 30 to 60 taka per day. He returns home at about 9.00 am in the morning. He went to school two years in a NGO school but at present he does not go to any school. He has been coming in this market for about last six months.

They are very busy to collect one trip. Two children were waiting to take this trip but one slight aged and (shishu mastan) muscle child took that trip avoiding other two children. They need one basket that's made of bamboo.

After slight raining and at the end of market time I have taken this picture. “Mama (maternal uncle) everyone call us ‘mas chur’(thief of fish) but we don’t steal any fish” said they children. Only three children studied two years to the school but now none of them go to school.

These three girls are searching small or wasted fish beside shops. They informed me that at the end of market time and collecting fish they would sell their collecting fish. Thus they can earn 10 taka to 20 taka per day. But often they are scolded by the fish businessmen and sometimes slight beaten.

There is also heavy competition among the tokai (street children). They also get up early in the morning (at the time of sunrise) and go out to collect wasted papers, packets, plastic bottles and other trashes from the street and dustbin. They can earn 100 to 200 taka per week collecting these. I saw these children in the street at about 6.30 when they were going to collect their goods.

This child is also trying to help her mothers to add slight more earning.

We can also observing that children are working as at railway station as Kuli (labor), small car workshops, factories and small tea shops. These numbers are also increasing but in this age they need to study. But they are struggling to live.