RANGPUR: The social safety net programmes (SSNPs) of the government help poor people leading better life amid the coronavirus pandemic in Rangpur division.
Officials and development experts said poor families are leading a dignified life during the pandemic after getting more assistance from the SSNPs, one of the ten special initiatives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The SSNPs include employment generation, general and test reliefs, food for work and work for money, VGD, VGF, Amar Bari-Amar Khamar, Asrayan Prakalpa, various allowances, food friendly programmes and many other schemes.
"Since the beginning of the pandemic, the government has distributed huge quantities of rice with other foodstuffs and cash money as special assistance among the poor, helpless, destitute and marginal families in all eight districts of the division," he said.
Besides, thousands of homeless families rehabilitated in Asrayan Prakalpa and Cluster Villages are engaged in income generating activities (IGAs) and leading better life after getting necessary assistance from different government departments.
"Alongside massive SSNPs, the government is providing special assistance to the poor, including those living in Asrayan Prakalpa, Cluster Villages and erstwhile enclaves, to help them lead a better life during the pandemic," Bhuiyan added.
Chairman of Northbengal Institute of Development Studies Dr Syed Samsuzzaman, a development expert, said triumphant execution of SSNPs is playing a crucial role in helping the poor to tackle the pandemic situation.
Beneficiary of the ABAK project Alifa Begum of Kursha Balorampur village of Sadar upazila said she purchased heifers, goats and sheep after getting interest-free loans Taka 10,000, Taka 15,000 and Taka 30,000 in various phases since 2012.
"Currently, I have 10 cows, 18 goats and 25 sheep, three acres of cultivable land taken on lease along with other assets worth Taka 12 lakh. I am leading a better life with family members even during the pandemic situation," Begum said.
Rrehabilitated couple Ashraful Islam and his wife Sabina Yasmin at Osmanpur Khamarerdanga Asrayan Prakalpa in Badarganj upazila of Rangpur said they have become self-reliant through various IGAs.
They struggled a lot for survival a decade ago until their rehabilitation at the Asrayan Prakalpa.
"Properly utilising the microcredit loans received from the Asrayan Prakalpa, we have now 16 cattle-heads, furniture, television and solar panel," Islam said, adding that he has built a semi-pucca house and set up a dairy farm.
"Value of my total assets and properties may be around Taka 22 lakh," Ashraful added.
Rehabilitated couple Dulu Mian and Lovely Begum at Chengmari-2 Asrayan Prakalpa in Gangachara upazila of Rangpur said they got revolving microcredit loans several times from Upazila Cooperative Office after rehabilitation there since 2010.
Alongside repayment of loans, the couple expanded fish business, married off their daughters Dulali, Angura and Shahana with the money they earned from fish business.