April 6, 2021

Milon Paul – From Housewife to Business Owner

Posted By Iffat Khan,


Written by Md. Abu Taleb Sarker, Upazila Coordinator, SHOUHARDO III, MJSKS

Milon Paul and her husband, Mohadeb Paul, with their four children, are among the extreme poor. Married in 2004, Mohadeb has been the sole earner of their family as a potter, selling his goods in their village.

Milon desired to improve her family’s financial condition and graduate from their impoverished life. Fortuitously, SHOUHARDO III selected Milon as an income generating activity (IGA) off-farm participant in 2016 and the rest, as they say, is history.

Through SHOUHARDO III, IGA off-farm participants, including Milon, received a two-day training to learn about IGAs, guidance on how to prepare a successful small business plan, and 3,000 BDT (USD 35) to start a business of her own. She was also selected as a ration recipient mother and received various trainings on livelihoods, health and women’s empowerment. Mohadeb shared his expertise and taught Milon how to make pottery, and encouraged her initiative to start a business.

Milon Paul making pottery items at home, Kumarpara village, Balleber Khas, Nageshwari, Kurigram
Milon used the cash support to buy soil, fuel, and other items to make pottery. She now earns approximately 400 BDT (USD 5) daily by selling pottery with her husband, and feels an improved sense of empowerment as a contributing member of the family. She reflects, “SHOUHARDO III program included me as a participant and I devoted myself in work to have some income. Our family is living comfortably now.’’

In 2019, Milon joined the 18+ female community group and Kumarpara village savings and loans association (VSLA) and took a loan of 3,000 BDT (USD 35) to support her business after having contributed 2,200 BDT over time. With significant savings from her business over the last two years, Milon was able to lease 11 decimal cultivable land at 35,000 BDT (USD 412). She invested her savings in this to expand her livelihood options in cultivating vegetables and other crops.

Today, Milon is an active decision maker in her family. She feels significant gratitude to the SHOUHARDO III program, but it was her diligence and hard work that has improved her family’s financial stability, allowing her children to continue to their studies and even affording her some personal spending money. Milon is living her dream – to educate her children and give them a good life.

Information collection: Most. Fedousy Begum, FT-HHN &WE, SHOUHARDO III, MJSKS

Reviewed by: Md. Zakaria Rayhan, Program Officer, SHOUHARDO III, MJSKS