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Wednesday, November 11, 2015, Kartik 27, 1422 BS, Muharram 28, 1437 Hijri

Implementation of UP laws making locals self-reliant
Bagerhat changing for the better
Mahabub Alam back from Bagerhat
Published :Wednesday, 11 November, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 95

Not a single 'important developmental decision' is taken without the opinions of the general people, claimed some union council chairmen and members of Bagerhat.
The credit of this democratic practice, they say, goes to the Local Government (Union Parisad) Act-2009 that stipulates some 110 developmental activities for building up a sustainable local government system.
Many have already declared that they will not receive any fund from the government after 2017 as they are becoming affluent financially availing the law.
Some motivational training by the BRAC-The Hunger Project (THP) through 'Strengthening Local Governance (SLG)' project on Union Parisad Act-2009 have shown them the path of being self-reliant, they said.
"Earlier, I knew that providing of birth, death and citizenship certificates, settling of disputes among locals, distributing relief goods and developing infrastructures were major tasks of a chairman. But after receiving training from the government and the THP, I now know the union council has more than 100 different duties to perform," said a chairman of a union parisad at Fakirhat upazila.
"Now, we hardly take any important decision without the views of the locals," he said and added that he was teaching his people how to be self-employed by working in a body.  
The government generally trains chairmen and members of the union councils about the law.
Side by side BRAC-THP also provides a four-day initial training to them as well as the general public in Bagerhat.
 Later, the trainees are motivated every alternate month.
Samarpan Das and Bijoy Krishna Das of Bhobra village at Lokhpur union, told the daily Observer that they-villagers--could not grow crops in a vast area measuring about 300 bighas of land for the last  few years due to waterlogging even in winter.
Being motivated by such a training given by the THP, the villagers with the help of our union parisad Chairman, SM Abul Hossain, dug a 400-metre canal by linking it to Minidar Khal to solve the problem.
Ashiq Odhikary, Zahidul Islam Zahid, Damayantee Das, Tithi Odhikary, Marium, Aeysha Khatun, Joshna Begum and Rozina Khatun agreed with them.
They added that they had also been trained on the union parisad laws which encourage self-reliance through working together.
Marium said she is the seventh among her nine brothers and sisters. "My family looked me down upon as I did not get married. Being motivated by a training of the THP, I opened a grocery shop."
When asked the relation between training and her job, she explained that the training taught her to be self-employed by overcoming social obstacles and superstitions.
Ashiq started rearing pigeons on commercial basis after receiving relevant training. "I have already earned Tk 30,000 by selling some of my pigeons," he declared.
Tithi has 1,200 quails that she began to rear being motivated by the trainings, she claimed.
Khan Shamsuzzaman Shamim, Chairman of No 3 Pilganj Union Parisad, said that being trained, he has learned about the laws relating to union parisad.
We regularly hold ward-level meeting where everything regarding development and problem solving are discussed and decisions taken, he added.
Sawpan Das, Chairman of No 1 Betaga Union Parisad, who received national and international awards for his outstanding contributions to union council development, declared that he will not receive funds from the government from 2018 onwards.
"Our union is now becoming self-reliant financially, being trained by the government and the THP on union council laws," he said.   

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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