EBEK benefits over 1.65 crore poor

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DHAKA, March 24, 2018 (BSS) – Over 1.65 crore poor and extreme-poor people
across the country are being benefitted from the present government’s One
House One Farm known as “Ektee Bari, Ektee Khamar (EBEK)” project, one of the
10 priority initiatives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

“The government has undertaken the project to alleviate poverty and achieve
the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through fund mobilization and
farming. In line with the key objectives of the project, it has been playing
a vital role to make the poor people self-reliant,”,” EBEK Project Director
Akber Hossain told BSS here today.

Under the project, a total of 67,757 ‘Village Development Associations’
(VDAs) have been formed across the country from which about 32.70 lakh
families are getting benefits. The beneficiaries have deposited over Taka
1,221.58 crore till December 2017 and the government has provided Taka
1,025.56 crore as grant under the project, he said.

Through the project, Hossain said, the government is assisting capital
formation of the poor families, sharpening their skills through training and
motivation, allowing them to sit together at courtyard meetings, enabling
them to take decisions independently and develop the need based small family
farms along with ensuring marketing facilities for their products.

Hossain said, by now, members of the VDAs have become self-reliant and
capable of running their businesses independently. In the project areas, the
low income families have come down to 3 percent now from the previous 15
percent while the comparatively solvent households got up to 31 percent from
23 percent, he added.

Deputy Commissioner of Gazipur Dr Dewan M Humayun Kabir said the project
has been playing a vital role to empower the rural folks and alleviate
poverty in the country. He said a total of 431 VDAs has been formed across
the district, from which 21,868 families are getting benefits and the
beneficiaries have already deposited Taka 10 crore.

Though these associations, about Taka 43 crore as micro credit has already
been disbursed among the members and the rate of recovery is 65 percent, he
added.

Chauddagram Upazila Nirbahi Officer Mohammad Main Uddin said a total of 203
associations have been formed in 13 unions of the upazila from which about
6,958 families are getting benefits.

In a remote village in Kishorganj district, Rupali Begum has been running a
duck raising farm for the last two years by taking a loan of taka 15,000 from
her association under the EBEK project. “In this short span of time, I have
become self reliant and am contributing in the family from the sale of my
raised ducks and their eggs,” she said.

Through the project, she said all members of the association have been
consolidation their ties among the 60 member-families through extending
cooperation to one another.

Under the project, each member of VDA saves Taka 200 per month and the
government gives the equal amount to them as bonus. All the money has been
deposited to the bank account of VDA.

After getting fund from the respective VDA, a male or female member of each
poor family develops small farms like fishery, livestock, poultry, nursery
and vegetable gardening. Thus every inch of land of the low income person is
used efficiently for agro production.

After making an income from their farms, the members of each VDA make
repayment of their loans in installment to the account of the VDA. Thus the
fund is being revolved and utilized for poverty alleviation by these poor
permanently.

That is how, Hossein said, it stands out as a sustainable poverty
alleviation cycle to stave off poverty eventually.