From Poor Woman to People’s Representative

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jahanaraoxfamWomen Chapter: My involvement in agriculture was not appreciated by the people of our area. I found enough confidence to ignore people’s criticism when my husband encouraged me to go ahead. So I entirely involved myself in agriculture.

I am Jahan Ara Begum, 25 years ago I got married with Md. Azhar Ali Mridha from Shanuar Village under Bamrail Union of Uzirpur Upazila. After marriage, I had to fight with poverty. Need was a very common issue in my household. It was impossible to keep up the family with my husband’s income. Then I took the decision to help my husband in agriculture and started doing so. Observing my interest in agriculture the Upazila Agricultural Officer managed some agricultural training for me.

I received different sorts of training on compost fertilizer, green fertilizer, and other trainings about vegetable cultivation. After training I directly began to work in agricultural field and tried to apply different types of cultivation methods for a better outcome. I started cultivating different crops, like: corn, wheat, mung dal (lentil), masoor dal, mustard and other sorts of vegetables.

Seeing my interest and involvement in agriculture the Upazila Agricultural Officers conveyed their idea to open a ‘Farmer Field School’. In 2007, I was selected as a leader of this school. Under my leadership, I managed to make a team of 50 farmers consisting 25 male and 25 female.

Those members began to save BDT 10/- per month. I started giving loan without interest to the poor women farmers with those saved money. Then again the Upazila Agricultural Office provided us a small Urea Machine through this school.

My success in agriculture made other women of the community come to me and take advice. Jahan Ara is popular name in my community now. I took part in different gatherings and Salish (Social Arbitrary System). Later on with the support of the local people I took part in the Union Parishad Election and won by many votes. Finally, I have become the People’s Representative.

 

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