“The human capacity for burden is like bamboo – far more flexible than you’d ever believe at first glance” (Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper, 2004) seems true when I met and talked to Ms. Rabeya and Mr. Sekul in Chinni village under Itna Upazila of Kishoreganj district in Bangladesh.
Ms. Rabeya, a participant of CARE’s Strengthening Household Ability to Respond to Development Opportunities (SHOUHARDO) III program funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Government of Bangladesh (GoB), knows almost everyone living in her and adjacent villages. The villagers known her well too. Anyone visiting the village can find Rabeya without any hassle since everyone and even, a child can guide to Rabeya’s place. If anyone looks for an address or person s/he first meets Rabeya so that the destination can be found easily. Undoubtedly, Rabeya leads them to their desired location. She involves almost, with all the development activities being implemented by the Government and Non-governmental organizations in her locality. Day by day she has been increased her leadership quality, succeed to secure membership in Union Parishad through competitive election. She fights for Poor and Extremely Poor (PEP) people to get government social safety nets (including VGD, VGF, elderly allowance etc.). When, things come for providing assistances, she never steps back, she never thinks whether it is night or day, she comes out from home and walks aside the vulnerable and distressed people. She shoulders every plight of her locality and love to work for their well-being.
Another good soul I met is Mr. Shekul, a poor and differently-able person lives in the same village. He himself continues the fight for better future of his family members. Anyone can finds many people like him are begging in towns/cities. However, he doesn’t waste time in vain, rather, he overcome the adversities and utilizes all scopes and works hard around the year for better future. He runs a small shop in front of his house, does fishing in Haor during the rainy season and sells labor in other’s land. He bears all the expenses of his family of six members and tries to save regularly. He does not regret for the things he doesn’t have, rather, he works like other physically fit persons living around him.
There are many people living around us who dare to ignore all adversity and overcome challenges in life. All together are making history and prosperity. However, Rabeya and Sekul are those two of them who exceed the imagination and prove that “The human capacity for burden is like bamboo – far more flexible than you’d ever believe at first glance”.