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Kusum Begum: A Change Maker

Kusum Begum (age 30), knew to make wicker stool (mora), but never get fair price before joining Unit Development Committee (UDC). Her only income source was to work as maid. Managing the regular family expenditure turns to an everyday tragedy for her. Having the discussion with neighbor, she learnt about NSA project and involved as UDC member. Different types of discussion in regular meeting made her analyses to change her living condition. Being involved in the committee, she found a way to assist her. Her knowledge built up through attending different meeting and interaction with service providers. She learned about the different services of different government offices and the way how to approach to claim. This learning made her capable to bring changes in own life and support other to get the services of government.The discussion on market linkage facilities and income generation brought out a hope for her product (cane made tool). UDC assisted her to manage the capital and to link up with Youth Development Training Centre of Gabuba. As a producer, she received a loan of 20000 tk to run the small business.
With the loan, she expanded production employing an assistant. By investing 6500 tk for raw materials, she made an income of 26000 tk. She made the tool following two size and sold in the local market with the price of 200 tk and 120 tk .By the new income, she started repaying the loan. At present, local trader collect the product from her place and her monthly income depends on the number of product she can make. Furthermore, Youth Development office enlisted her for IGA training. Being a potential participant she also developed her as trainer. As a trainer, she earns 2000 to 4000 tk per month. Her incomes also encouraged other community people to start income generating activities. The economic development also made her a position in the society. She is now confident to raise her voice in any development initiatives. At the same time, she assisted others five UDC members to take loan for small business. Having learnt about the opportunity Self employment initiated through the facilitation of UDC in her community. The changes have been reflected in every stages of her life. She can now afford to send two children for school. Even she has managed to deposit 50,000 taka. With the savings, she is planning to repair their house. “I never dreamt to make change my economic condition. But having involved in UDC, I am dreaming to go further and want to spread the dream to all.” she added.

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