June 2, 2021

The story of Resmi's Success

Posted By Shouhardo III,


Resmi Begum (32) is a resident of East Belka Middle, Belka, Sundarganj, Gaibandha. Her father, Khoka Mia, got married twice, and Resmi is the 2nd child from his first marriage. Khoka Mia abandoned his first family following his 2nd marriage which resulted in poverty for Resmi and her family. They struggled to meet the ends. Resmi had a dream to study and work. But she did not have the opportunity to do so due to poverty. Her school life ended at an early age. She studied up to Class 8, and was forced to get married in 2002 as a child.

After her marriage, she was not happy because her husband was unemployed. As she got married as a child, she was not mature enough to adjust with the added responsibilities and her mother-in-law. She was tortured badly by her mother-in-law as well as her husband as he tried to be on the good side of his mother. Amidst all these, she became a mother of a son after two years of her marriage. Having a small child to care for made Resmi pass her days with great difficulty. Five years into the marriage, her husband broke her leg while beating her one day. She went to the hospital and was taken to her parental house afterward. Her relatives decided not to send her back to her in-law’s house. Resmi wanted to help her mother at tailoring which was her mother’s income source. However, her in-laws made her come back with the help of local Member and Chairman who intervened and divided Resmi’s family from her husband’s parents. Resmi became more helpless after the birth of her 2nd child in 2012 and struggled even more to meet her family’s needs.

In 2016, a food survey was conducted at her village by the SHOUHARDO III program. Being poor, she was enlisted in the SHOUHARDO III program as a beneficiary. In 2017, she received a training on goat rearing from the program and she was given BDT 3,000 (USD 35) in cash to buy goats. With that money, she bought two goats. By requesting her elder brother, she managed a job for her husband in a timber cutting mill. After one year, she attended a tailoring training in her village through Village Development Committee (VDC). She already knew some sewing work from her mother, hence she learned tailoring very easily and quickly. After the tailoring training, she sold the two goats she previously bought and purchased a sewing machine.

A new chapter was added to her life. Initially, she charged less than the market value for sewing cloths. Gradually the quality of her work increased with the demand of work along with fees. The demand for her work became so high that she could no longer work with her broken leg. She shared the situation with her mother who gave her some money. By taking some amount from her savings, she bought an electric sewing machine to match the increasing demand for her work. This did not bode well with her mother-in-law as she quarreled again because Resmi used the electricity source of her father-in-law’s electric meter to use her electric sewing machine. This means electricity bills were being charged in her father-in-law’s name. So she had to pay the full electricity bill every month. After a few days, she had a separate electricity meter installed in her name which cost BDT 5,000 (USD 58.3) in total. Her current average daily income is around BDT 200 – 300 (USD 2.4- 3.5). She saves some of that money daily. With that saved money and a loan from a local loan providing association, she took a mortgage of land and started doing Adi/ Barga (sharecropping). She paid off the mortgage with the money gathered from selling the crops. At the end of every harvesting season, she takes another mortgage.

Resmi is busy at her sewing machine

At present, she has formed a team with local women who know and are working in tailoring. The objective of forming this group is to gain name and fame by distributing her extra work among the group members and creating an earning source for them. It is helping her as well as the group members in terms of income. She pays according to the production rate of each member’s capacity. Besides that, she provides tailoring training to the village women and adolescents at her village. This is also another income source for her. She is earning BDT 1,500- 2,000 (USD 17.7- 23.6) per month. Altogether, her monthly income is around BDT 10,000- 12,000 (USD 118- 141.6). Her husband does not work at a timber cutting mill anymore. He opened his own timber business. Their total monthly income is BDT 20,000- 25,000 (USD 236- 295). Her children are now going to school; her Elder son is in Class 10 and her younger daughter is in Class 3. She bought a cow in 2019 that she is rearing at home. She has also taken mortgage of another land with approximately BDT 350,000(USD 4,128.5) for sharecropping.

Resmi has struggled for many years and now she is comparatively solvent from where she started off. She is now free from the worry of buying food, cloth, or any daily necessary things. While telling her life story, Resmi became emotional and cried. She said: “I will always remember SHOUHARDO and I will never forget the advice I got from SHOUHARDO. There is no poverty in my family now. If this program lasts longer then more people like me will be benefitted. I am grateful to SHOUHARDO.”

Written in Bengali by: Md. Akhtarul Islam, Field Trainer- Economic Development, SHOUHARDO III, SKS (Samaj Kallyan Sangstha) FOUNDATION.
Translated by: Jannatul Ferdous, Senior Officer- Learning & Communication, SHOUHARDO III, CARE Bangladesh.