51,000 rural women jobless as RERMP project ends

Fifty-one thousand four hundred and seventy distressed women engaged
in a project related to rural economic growth and poverty reduction
across the country have turned jobless with completion of the project.
The five-year project under Rural Employment and Road Maintenance
Programe (RERMP) came to an end on June 30.
Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) launched the five-year
project under RERMP in 64 districts on July 1, 2008.
The distressed poverty-ridden women employed in the project had
attained self-sufficiency, said project sources.
LGED Chief Engineer Mohammad Wahidur Rahman hoped that the women could
lead a better life by engaging themselves in some income generating
works with Tk75,000 each of them deposited during the project period.
But the women under the project urged the government to extend the
project period.
Under the project, 10 women in each union and 30 in each monga
(famine-like situation) affected unions worked for five years.
In Bagerhat, 750 women were employed in 75 unions of nine upazilas of
the district.
Bithika Biswas of Roy village of Chitalmari upazila, a worker of the
project, told UNB that she had deposited some money from her income
from the project.
Now she is thinking of doing some business.
In 2008, she joined the project and used to do tree plantation and
road maintenance works.
She got per day wage of Tk90. She kept Tk54 of the amount for daily
expenditure while rest Tk36 was deposited in her bank account.
After completion of the project, she would get Tk75,000.
By this time, she received training on rearing of poultry and cattle,
fish cultivation and agriculture production.
Monira Begum of Fatepur village, Sakhina Khatun of Kondola village and
Kariman Begum of Rajapur village of Bagerhat Sadar upazila said they
had deposited Tk 75,000 each in the past five years but they would now
become jobless after the project.
They urged the government to extend the period of the project further.
The LGED chief engineer told UNB that 5,1470 women workers from 4,498
unions of all upazilas of the country were employed under the project
for five years.
The women workers in each union did maintenance work of 20 kilometre
roads on an average.
In total, they did maintenance work of 98,000 kilometre roads and
planted 22 lakh 50,000 trees across the country.
The chief engineer further said there was no scope for extending the
project time.
– UNB, Bagerhat

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