Islami Bank’s RDS: Empowering Women in Rural Bangladesh
Published: May 21, 2015 1:57 pm
21 May 2015, Nirapad News: Hasnara Begum, a rural housewife, nourished a dream to be a self reliant, a solvent one by pursuing education. No sooner had completed education; she came to Khash Hawla Village on the Bank of Bharhmaputra in Norshindhi district as housewife. Her husband was a poor peasant. Their family was passing amid twilight of sorrow and happiness. Hasnara has never been frustrated. She tried to move the wheels of her fate, started poultry farming at her house yard with her little savings. She employed her dedication and hard working to get solvency. She intends to do something wider. She heard about Islami Bank to her neighbors. Hasnara became a member of Rural Development Scheme (RDS) of the Bank. Her fate was getting change. She bought cows, trolley and a piece of land for business purpose. She is now solvent and enjoying a happy family life with her two sons and a daughter. Days passing, her income is also increasing. Hasnara is grateful to Islami Bank for gearing up her wife towards success.
Islami Bank’s Rural Development Scheme, started in 1995, has brought change in the living standard of more than nine lac people of more than 18 thousand villages in 64 districts like Hasnara Begum through extending micro finance facility. A few years back, poverty was the regular associate of the rural people. Women and children were the hapless victims of the unemployment. Children used to help in agricultural works and remained busy in household activities. The women had no opportunity to participate in income generating activities. This dire situation has been getting change with the recent Government and Non-government endeavors. Role of RDS in empowering women is being reflected everywhere. Islami Bank has been paving the way of financial inclusion in Bangladesh by canopying thousand of unbanked people in the banking services as the associate in bringing change in their work less lives. The bank’s RDS investment stood Tk. 18,197 million upto April 2015.
This scheme, aims at improving living standard of the rural population through poverty alleviation, rural employment generation and income maximization by extending investment facilities in agro and agro based sectors resulting in minimizing rural-urban gaps. RDS members are encouraged to build savings, shown to the way of self independency. The bank starts investing from Tk. 5 thousand in this scheme. They use investment money in the agriculture, poultry, small business, cottage, and other industries. Bank officials advise them for development. They coordinate between their enterprises and small investment program of the Bank. They encourase the RDS clients in cleanliness, primary health care, importance of children’s education, savings habits and to build a relationship of mutual social life.
The RDS of Islami bank has emerged as a friend of vulnerable rural people in the way of development. This scheme help the RDS members to become self-reliant and providing them with sanitary latrines, tube-wells, free medical care, assistance in children’s wedding ceremony and providing vocational training to unemployed youths. The Bank organizes tree plantation program to protect environment and distributed sapling of forestry, fruit and medicinal plants. This scheme not only provides the investment but train the customers in developing entrepreneurship. Their children are provided with scholarships and pre-primary education facilities.
Many RDS clients have taken investment of more than one lac in continuation of their success. Many investment clients have been upgraded from small to SME clients and many have become self-reliant. Unemployed people overcome the employment crisis. Thus, the dark aspects of the village started to change. Now everyone in the family are seen busy for many purposes. The children go to school. Vegetable or flower gardening is seen at the courtyard of the houses. Doctors and engineers have started to come out from that family with the cooperation of the Islami Bank. Many of them have changed their broken houses with the modern building.