Seasonal ‘monga’ does not exist in Rangpur region

Publish: 5:34 PM, November 12, 2019 | Update: 5:34:PM, November 12, 2019

RANGPUR, – The seasonal joblessness-like poverty situation of ‘monga’ does not exist anymore for the eleventh consecutive year this time in Rangpur region where the poor are leading a normal life.

According to officials, academics and development experts, implementation of wide-ranging steps of the government has effectively eradicated ‘monga’, relieving the poor from the vicious cycle of poverty.

Talking to BSS, Chairman of Rangpur-based research organisation Northbengal Institute of Development Studies Dr Syed Samsuzzaman said living
standard of the poor has improved following their engagements with various income generating activities (IGAs).

The government’s massive social safety net programs (SSNPs), skill enhancing training for youths, microcredit and various allowances and other
assistance and cooperation of donor agencies and development partners helped eradicating ‘monga’.

“The word ‘monga’ has literally become a historical term with its permanent departure following the decisive political will of the present government and taking effective steps for eradicating the seasonal curse in last eleven years,” Samsuzzaman said.

Availing assistance of the government, the poor are achieving self- reliance through small-scale enterprises, cottage industries, sewing garments, waving, homestead farming, pisciculture, rearing poultry birds, animals and many other ventures.

“Though the poorer section people had to live amid untold miseries for lack of farm activities on crop lands during the months of ‘Aswin’ and
‘Kartik’, over a decade ago, they are now leading a normal life,” Samsuzzaman added.

Associate Professor of Begum Rokeya University Dr Tuhin Wadud said implementation of massive SSNPs has created huge opportunities for IGAs
relieving the poor from the clutches of illegal money lenders and generational seasonal poverty.

The most effective SSNPs include Test Relief, Food for Work, Works for Taka, Vulnerable Group Development, Vulnerable Group Feeding, employment generations, Asrayan and Cluster Village projects, various other assistance and allowances.

“Following successful implementation of various steps by the present government, ‘monga’ socio-economic condition of the poor has improved in
Rangpur region,” Tuhin added.

Additional Deputy Commissioner (General) of Rangpur Syed Enamul Kabir said ‘Asrayan Prakalpa’ alone has ended sufferings of over 4,500 homeless families by providing shelters and assistance to rebuild their life in Rangpur alone.

“After getting training and assistance, rehabilitated families at ‘Asrayan Prakalpa’ are earning well through IGAs and they have small-scale enterprises, cows, goats, poultry birds, homestead garden, kitchen, sanitary latrine and hygiene facilities,” he said.

District Coordinator of ‘Amar Bari- Amar Khamar (ABAK) Project and Palli Sanchoy Bank (PSB) Jahadul Islam said around one-lakh poor families have improved livelihoods and living standard with ABAK and PSB assistance in Rangpur alone.

“The beneficiary families are continuously changing fortune through IGAs, enterprises, businesses, animal husbandry, poultry, fisheries, homestead gardening and other activities with the project assistance,” Islam added.

Dr Md Abdul Mazid, who got the Independence Award (food security category), last year, highly appreciated the present government for continuing massive SSNPs to resist reappearance of extreme poverty anymore in the future.

“After assuming power in 2009, the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina put stress on expanded farming of short duration Aman rice for
early harvest late ‘Aswin’ to ‘Kartik’ months to create jobs for the poor for eliminating ‘monga’,” he said.

Expanded cultivation of short duration T-Aman rice has already become popular and its early harvest from late ‘Aswin’ to ‘Kartik’ months are
creating huge jobs helping the poor farm-labourers to earn better livelihoods in overcoming poverty.

“Mitigation of seasonal ‘monga’ is one of the biggest successes of the present government,” Dr Mazid said also lauding the government for
continuation of the massive SSNPs to resist reappearance of the seasonal curse of ‘monga’ in the future.

Additional Divisional Commissioner (General) Zakir Hossain said the poor are leading a normal life during the current seasonal lean periods of ‘Aswin’ and ‘Kartik’ months for the 11th consecutive times this year in Rangpur region.