With the financial assistance by PKSF BASA is implementing an educational project namely Shamridhi (Enrich) atKapashia Upazilla of Gazipur district. Under this project organization setup 50 learning centers. Through these learning centers BASA provides education assistance such as coaching, counseling and parenting for 5+ age group up to class II. There are 50 teachers,1 Education Supervisor, 18 Health Volunteers,2 Health Assistants,I Family Entrepreneurship Development Assistant,1 Social Development Organizer,1 MIS Assistant,2 Credit Organizers,1 Credit Manager and 1 Coordinator.The above officers are giving their best to run the project smoothly.
Three types of loans are given under Enriched program. They are as
Bangladesh has come a long way since it inherited a war-ravaged economy. It is now acclaimed as a star performer in relation to poverty reduction, child mortality reduction, infant mortality reduction, achieving gender parity in primary and secondary education, and meeting certain other targets under different MDGs, while remaining on course for several others. Foreign remittance and foreign exchange reserve have reached record levels, respectively close to US$15 billion annually and US$31.16 billion in August 2016. Bangladesh is now the second largest exporter of readymade garments; and ICT has already penetrated notably throughout the country. The country has been identified as one of the next eleven (which include, among others, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Turkey, South Korea, and Vietnam), poised for development miracle after BRICS (Brazil, India, China, and South Africa). Despite persisting political unrest, Bangladesh has achieved enviable socio-economic progress.
Indeed, over the past seven or eight years, Bangladesh has been able to achieve an average annual GDP growth rate of over 6% and topped 7% in 2015-16, despite a global financial meltdown followed by a global recession starting in 2008. The country now produces enough foodgrains to meet the requirements of all citizens. Moreover, recently, Bangladesh has joined the ranks of rice exporting countries, albeit initially in a small way.
These results have been achieved under a conducive macro policy and institutional framework provided by the Government. This has been particularly so over the past several years. Hard work of the farmers, agricultural workers, garment workers, other workers, entrepreneurs and business people, Bangladeshis working abroad and sending back remittances, and all others in different fields of work has contributed towards the highly acclaimed socio-economic successes achieved. One of the important aspects of Bangladesh’s recent economic progress and strength is a flourishing rural economy, covering both agricultural and non-agricultural activities including enterprise development.
As of 2015-16, both poverty and extreme poverty ratios are significantly down to 20.3% and 11.4% respectively, as estimated by the General Economics Division (GED) of the Planning Commission, Ministry of Planning, Government of Bangladesh. But, still, in terms of numbers of people, poverty afflicts about 36 million and extreme poverty over 18 million. In terms of multidimensional poverty, both the figures will be substantially higher. Multidimensionality has to do with various aspects of human living and, hence, of poverty such as income, education, health services, housing condition, access to drinking water, access to electricity, access to skill training, and access to employment.
Also, malnutrition and under-nutrition are widespread and so is unemployment among the youth in particular, especially among the educated youth. Human capability development through education, skill training, and health services, particularly among the people at large, remains a major challenge. Another major challenge is the impact of natural disasters which are increasing in terms of both frequency and devastation in the wake of intensifying global climate change.
The Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) is helping address these and other challenges faced by people at large and consolidate the gains and further accelerate poverty reduction, leading to sustained beyond-poverty development, particularly through a programme initiated in 2010: ‘Enhancing Resources and Increasing Capacities of the Poor Households Towards Elimination of their Poverty’ (ENRICH). Poverty reduction under the ENRICH is not only with reference to the cost of basic needs-based poverty line. It takes into account multiple dimensions of poverty, including a wide range of economic, social, and environmental indicators; and addresses them in an integrated fashion. The concept, the key components, and methods of implementation of the ENRICH are briefly discussed in this paper.
The ENRICH health component is designed to provide comprehensive primary healthcare services to all the households in the selected unions. Each household is visited at least once a month by a health visitor to collect health related information about all its members. The collected information and data are recorded in the household health-card and also entered into a computer database established for the purpose. The field work is supervised by health assistants. The health assistants conduct static clinics in the ENRICH office every day to attend to patients, usually advised by health visitors to go there. For patients needing further treatment are advised to visit the satellite clinics held once a week in each ward, with MBBS doctors attending to patients there. There is also referral arrangement with both public and private hospitals and clinics for the patients who need specialized medical services. Costs are substantially subsidized; and for the very poor, services are provided free of cost.
A Health Volunteer is checking blood pressure of a woman during Home-Visit
Under the ENRICH, the health component is being implemented in all 150 unions covering all the households therein. The following data relate to all 150 unions. There are now 258 health assistants and 1,842 health visitors. A total of 6,24,436 households have acquired health cards up to December 2016. Also, up to December-2016, 12,50,940 and 10,41,763 patients have been treated in static and satellite clinics respectively, and 1,623 health camps have been conducted treating 3,12,549 patients and performing cataract operation on 15,818 persons.
A sanitation component to ensure 100 percent safe sanitation has been initiated under the ENRICH. So far, sanitary latrines have been installed in all homes in 11 unions. The same will be ensured in other ENRICH unions in phases. Other aspects of sanitation are also being promoted in all the ENRICH unions.
Health camps (vision, dental, heart, diabetes, etc) are also organized under the ENRICH as and when required, with specialist doctors attending. In these camps, patients with serious ailments are referred to different public and private hospitals and clinics where their treatment is arranged free of cost or at a nominal cost. The ENRICH has also launched a deworming campaign, giving away free medicine to 100% of its registered households, covering all household members above 5 years of age.
Cooking Stoves and Solar Power, Which Have Positive Health Impacts
Distribution of a health and environment-friendly improved cooking stove, commonly known as bandhu chula, is another distinctive initiative under the ENRICH. The households are encouraged and facilitated to replace conventional cooking methods with bandhu chula. It substantially reduces the risk of smoke-related health hazards and exposure to fire for women who cook for the family. Under this initiative, cooking stoves are supplied to the households at substantially reduced prices. As of December 2016, a total of 29,562 bandhu chulas have been distributed in various ENRICH unions.
Solar lanterns are being distributed to ENRICH households, particularly for children to use while studying at night. Solar home systems are being installed in households in those areas of the ENRICH unions where grid power supply is not available. This reduces the risk of smoke-related health hazards and fire related accidents and facilitates access of households to light at night. Under this initiative, the POs collect solar home systems from different manufacturers and distribute them to the households at reduced prices. A total of 52,388 solar home systems have been distributed up to December 2016 in various ENRICH unions.
A child is studying using a Solar Lantern, provided under the ENRICH. Her household does not have electricity supply from the national grid