MPs visit CARE Bangladesh SETU Project
Honorable Members of Parliament from the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on extreme poverty visited CARE Bangladesh SETU Project during the period of 8-9th April, 2012. The six MPs who attended the visit included the Hon. Israfil Alam MP, Chair of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Labor and Employment and Chair of APPG (Nowgaon-6), Hon. Col (Retd.) A. A. Maruf Saklain MP, Member of APPG (Nilphamari-4), Hon. Mustaque Ahmed Ruhi MP, Vice-Chair of APPG (Netrokona-1), Hon. Shafiqual Azam Khan MP, Vice-Chair of APPG (Zhiniadha-3), Hon. Azizul Hoque Chowdhury MP, Vice-Chair of APPG (Dinajpur-6), Hon. Zafar Iqbal Siddique MP, Member of APPG (Nilphamari-1) and Mr. Shishir Shil, Secretary General of APPG. Joining the MPs were staff from our partner SHIREE.
Siadur Rahman, UP Chairman of Botlagari, explained the 'Participatory Inclusive Governance' model (facilitated by CARE-Bangladesh) implemented by Botlagari union, to the visiting team. He explained how SETU beneficiaries are benefiting from different income generating activities supported by SETU and also explained how extreme poor households are engaged in different safety-net programs. Ms. Anarkoli Mahbub, Upzila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Saidpur also participated in the discussion.
Highlighting the engagement of SETU beneficiaries in different livelihood options, the team visited the RUG ('floor-mat' production) unit of Botlagari union. They talked with RUG workers and heard about their monthly income (on an average 3,500 Taka/month) from this initiative. Some RUG workers highlighted the lack of electricity supply and interestingly local PM, Mr. Col (Ret.) A. A. Maruf Saklain, then advised the respective UNO to arrange the electricity connection through communicating with Power Development Board of Saidpur.
In Danga Para under Botlagari Union, community people explained the SETU process of addressing the underlying causes of poverty and talked about the tangible changes to their livelihoods. The visiting team thanked community people for their extra ordinary works particularly their achievement of 'Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS)'.
Finally the visiting team were excited to see the outstanding work done by extremely poor households through their hand-stitching combining natural indigo dyeing and Japanese SHIBORI technique in the Nijera Cottage and Village Industries project. They also observed the raw honey processing work. Some instantly bought two kanthas and 4 kg of honey. After the successful visit, the Deputy Commissioner of Rangpur, Mr. A. B. M Enamul Haq met with the visiting team and showed interests to visit SETU activities.