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Model of Unique Development

After walking on over flowing dirty water of drain when one reaches at the Chairman colony s/he can feel odor and when the dusk comes down then anyone can hear sound of teasing from here and there. Overcrowded and unhygienic area where people were totally unconscious about it. It‟s the back image of mirror of Chairman Colony of Ward no. 8 in Panchlaish of Chittagong since two and half years ago which has been changed unconditionally due to the heartfelt effort of each members of Unit Development Committee (UDC) of this ward. At the initial stage, before the formation of UDC, people of the ward were called in a meeting by BITA to discuss and map the social economic condition of the area and identify the obstacles to obtaining services. Information regarding various services and service providers was also discussed. These new learning made them able to understand about their poor condition and find the way to recover it. Enthusiastically they formed Unit Development committee (UDC), consisting of 43 marginalized people and NSA members, ones with social acceptability and popularity for helping the ones in need, under NSA project. The committee started gathering every month and at first tried to trace the main problems of their colony, upon so made an action plan to get the fruit and also with whom they will communicate. Scenarios began to change when they started to implement their action plan. UDC chairman Minu Islam said , “We never knew about our rights and access, even didn‟t have idea where can get proper information.” “But now we are concern about so, as well as establish and claim firmly”, she explained about their changes. NSA Saima Hoque helped them to accomplish the works. At the time the members participated in different interactive events with the service providers and attended various trainings, which made them more confident to assist community people.

For the implementation of their action plan they collectively lobbied with ward commissioner and first achievement of them was establishment of 100 meters drain which removed their sufferings in rainy days. To keep their community clean and hygienic they demanded for a dustbin and assessing their demand ward commissioner established a dustbin in the area. UDC also managed 20 lights of lamp post in their area, on impact now eve teasing is a rare phenomenon here. To tell about changes in her life UDC member Shumi Chowdhury said, “My income has been increased from taka 20 thousand to 40 thousand and employed 4 women to assist me since my working area has broadened now.” “It‟s basically possible only for UDC which makes me able to understand market chain”-,she added. The changes also influence her social life. As her, “Now we have access to ward commissioner even he calls us, take our advice and seek help in case of social problem. Community people also come to seek help.” UDC member, Asma said that at past her husband didn‟t permit her to go out of home, at times assaulted her; also an addicted one. The situation is changed for the help of UDC members; who tried to make him understand and provide knowledge time to time. UDC also assisted community people to get legal aid. As 60 above aged Romiza Khatun said, “I recovered my son‟s money from a loaner, taking the legal help whereas I never think about it but it was possible to do for the assistance of UDC-NSA member.”

Besides, up to this year they arranged health campaign for two times which provided free health services, medicine only by 20tk as registration fees. With the help of BITA they arranged street drama on four social issues, women right, human trafficking, dower and child marriage which brought huge changes in their community. They also arranged „Pala‟ on safe maternity and family planning. Apart from developing list of the poor and hardcore poor people of the area, they ensured VGF card for several persons and helped 20 old people to receive old allowance. Also took initiative in other social activities, like, to readmit dropped out children, solved conjugal problems and so on. UDC members want to change their society by changing their life. They said – „There is no power to stop their social working force.‟ Their most wanted plan of them is to make each and every people of their society to be self-reliant & independent and then to get permanent and proper health service.

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