Bancharampur, April 17: “I have got a new lease of life and am now passing days with happiness after getting interest-free loans from Bashundhara Foundation,” Rano Begum of Banchharampur in Brahmanbaria told daily sun Tuesday.
Rano, who received loans four times, expressed her gratitude to the foundation for its steps to eliminate extreme poverty in the neighborhood.
“We used to suffer from starvation,” the hapless woman lamented and said: “We bought cows, hens and ducks with the money and earned livelihood by rearing the domestic animals and poultry birds.”
Bashundhara Foundation, a charity organization of the country’s largest conglomerate Bashundhara Group, is disbursing interest-free loans among poor women in the upazila to make them self-reliant.
Like others, downtrodden Rano, mother of two children of Durgarampur village, had taken Tk 5,000 as credit from the foundation about four years back to help her land on her feet.
She further said, “I had bought hens and ducks with some of the money while the rest was invested in timber trading.”
“I borrowed Tk 500 from one of my neighbors on condition of paying Tk 800 within a month, but I failed to repay the money in time, as my injured husband, Mazibur Rahman, often failed to eke out a living,” Rano went on.
Fatema Begum, another woman, said, “I have become self-reliant after taking loan from Bashundhara Foundation. I opened a shop involving Tk 50,000.”
On Tuesday, the foundation disbursed Tk 5,005,000 among 765 poor women of 25 villages of Banchharampur and its nearby area with a view to making them self-sufficient.
During a visit to the area the same day, it was found that over 7,000 women lined up in disciplined manner on the Palli Khudra Loan Project premises to receive the money.
Maimun Kabir, assistant general manager of Bashundhara Group, hoped that all credit-takers would properly use the interest-free loans to help them fight abject poverty.
“We are now thinking about increasing the service across the country,” said Kabir.