Dhaka, 14 March 2021: Although it was a first such activity, Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) brought smiles and ushered a new hope by recently distributing £one million to some 15380 marginalized people in 35 districts.
Under the Excluded People’s Rights in Bangladesh (EPR) Programme, supported by the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), MJF’s livelihood cash support programme began on 25 January and ended on 28 February.
Although it was Taka 7000 to each beneficiary, the recipients welcomed MJF’s initiative saying, it made all the differences when their lives were badly affected by Covid-19. Kalam from Mymensingh, a transgender, said: “Your 7000/- is not only an additional support for my (small) business, but it is also a recognition to a TG (Hijra) that you people care for us!” Champa Chakma of Khagrachhari also praised the initiative saying: “Covid took away my petty business, but this 7000/- gives me a start. May God bless you.”
A third gender (Kalam) is doing fish business in Mymensing adding a little more
These beneficiaries are from MJF’s project locations, selected through a rigorous process involving its 42 partner NGOs. Some 931 citizens’ committees were involved in the distribution of cash support. Among the total recipients, 766 were male, 14462 female and 152 were from third gender.
The beneficiaries used the cash in 21-types income-generating activities, among which 30% used it for goat rearing, 20% poultry rearing, 10% sewing, 8% duck rearing, 7% vegetable gardening, 6.6% pig rearing and 5% in grocery.
The beneficiary list, verified by Union Parishads and endorsed by Upazila administration includes: women from poor and marginalised community, indigenous people of CHT and plain land, Dalit and Harijan including women with disabilities, Bede community, including transgender and fisher folk. Extreme poor women-headed households, widows, destitute women, and victims of violence are also included in the list.
Selina, the mother of a disabled child from Sylhet said: “I might be young enough (31) to marry again, but I shall never go for that. I shall rather devote myself to take care of my (disabled) child and try hard to get her cured and survive on earth. Thanks lot for your money.” Selina’s baby was one of 1696 disabled beneficiaries.
Club-foot Parul from Kishorganj used 7000/- for restating her bamboo work
Grievance redress committees (GRS) involving 354 people were formed to address issues relating to selection and distribution processes. Amazingly, there was not a single complaint filed so far. Endorsing MJF’s precision-management of the cash livelihood support initiative, Yasin Kabir, Sreepur Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Magura district said: “It’s undoubtedly a great job you are doing beside the government. We welcome your (livelihood) cash support programme.”
UNO Sreepur Upazila of Magura District is distributing livelihood cash support
MJF’s Executive Director Shaheen Anam said: “The support of the British Government is laudable which mostly empowered marginalized women to create sustainable livelihood opportunities to enhance family wellbeing.”
Notably, MJF successfully distributed Taka 57.5 million to 23,000 marginalised households in 38 priority districts in September 2020, supported by FCDO.