Info-lady project makes women stronger in villages
D.Net, an information based NGO, has launched a special service named Info-lady. These ladies will get loan with easy terms. National Bank Ltd (NBL) is to provide finance at easy conditions to these ladies (Tathyakallani) so that they could smoothly serve and expand services for the rural people, using information technology. Equipped with modern technology, such as a net book, internet modem, headphone, web cam, digital camera, mobile phone, weight measurement machine, blood pressure machine, pregnancy and sugar test kit, an info-lady is providing about 20 services to the rural people, including health, medicine and education.
D.Net Info-lady is a modern self-depended profession for educated rural women folks.
In this context, a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed among D.Net, NBL and Fair Price International (Pvt.) Ltd.
On behalf of the respective organisations, Md Badiul Alam, additional managing director of NBL, Dr Ananya Raihan, chairman of D.Net, and Urmi Lohani, managing director of Fair Price International, signed the MoU.
Under the agreement, NBL with the support of Bangladesh Bank will provide finance to the info-lady.
The Info-lady financing ceremony was held at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in the city on Wednesday.
NBL chairman Parveen Haque Sikder presided over the singing ceremony while Dr Atiur Rahman, governor of Bangladesh Bank (BB), attended as the chief guest and Shaheen Anam, executive director of Manusher Jonno Foundation, was the special guest.
Among others, Mosharrof Hossain, deputy director of D.Net, Zainul Abedin, chairman of Fair Price International (Pvt) Ltd, Sukamal Sinha Choudhury, general manager of BB, NBL’s deputy managing directors A K M Shafiqur Rahman and Nazib Uddin Bhuiyan, and infolady Shathi Akhter spoke at the event.
“The country’s women are lagging behind while getting loans. It is necessary to bring them into the country’s main economic stream for sustainable economic development. That is why the central bank has given priority to the women entrepreneurs,” Atiur Rahman, the BB Governor said. To ensure easy credit for the women entrepreneurs, he said the BB has allocated at least 15 per cent of the SME re-financing schemes for them.
The country’s banks and financial institutions disbursed a total of Tk 1,805 crore credit to 13,831 women
entrepreneurs in 2010 and Tk 2048 crore credit to 16,697 women entrepreneurs in 2011, he said.
As of May 2012, the central bank Governor said about 5,008 women entrepreneurs received about Tk 381 crore worth of credits under the BB’s re-financing scheme.
D.Net chairman Dr Ananya Raihan said, “The Info-lady project will create self-employment opportunity for 15,000 educated rural women by 2016.”
To become self-depended, each info-lady have to invest Tk 1 to 1.5 lakh, he said and added that about Tk 275 crore would be needed for the Info-lady project.
Shaheen Anam, executive director of Manusher Jonno Foundation, said this project is a win-wing project as it is not only empowering the rural women but also changing the people’s mindsets towards the women.
While sharing her experiences an info-lady, Shathi Akhter from Gaibandha district said, “I grew up struggling with poverty. I had not enough money to carry out my studies. After passing my HSC examination, I started to work as an info-lady. Now, I am able to earn Tk 12,000 to Tk 18,000 a month.”
The Daily Independent/Bangladesh/ 4th July 2012