SWAPNO Stories

Rising from the Ashes

Posted on 15 Nov, 2016

Jamila’s life was literally shattered by the strokes of poverty, river erosion and disease. After marriage she started her new life at the bank of the river Bramhaputra (son of the creator). She gave birth to a daughter but happiness did not last long. Her house was devoured by the river erosion. The turmoil of the gorging wave of the river Bramhaputra ruined her plans to craft a happy family and a good future for her daughter.

She and her family moved to her mother’s house who herself was a very poor woman. There was no space to build another shed and adequate food to eat. Continued starvation made her husband feeble and one day he was paralyzed. Jamila started working as a domestic aid to feed her family. But it is matter of luck to get work every day. They went without food for several days forcing her disabled husband to beg. Her daughter could not attend school. Multifaceted evils of poverty gripped the family.

In such a distressed time Jamila came to know the criterion for selection in SWAPNO project from a field staff last year which matched with her condition. She also heard announcement later and got selected through lottery in front of the Dharanibari Union Parishad. She started her public works employment repairing and maintaining local roads, school yards, embankments etc. She also got trained on her rights and entitlements and feels empowered. Finally she found a hope to survive and support her family. With the savings from public works wages she treated her ailing husband, repaired her house and her daughter has started schooling. Her husband does not beg and she does not have to work as domestic aid anymore. She has 8 goats and some fowls. She now has a sustainable livelihood. She plans to take vocational training on livestock rearing and develop a livestock farm.

“I have a job now and can spend money when needed. There are many hapless women like me, suffering immensely, who should be given an employment by SWAPNO’”, a compassionate Jamila expressed.