Dhobaura Phulpur Rural Development Service

This project is based in three subdistricts of Mymensingh district. Operating for 14 years, the service works with former refugees of the Indo-Pakistan war who have settled there, as well as peole of a tribal ethnic background.

  • Opportunities: Tree planting, fish culture, cow and goat raising.
  • Challenges: A very underdeveloped area of Bangladesh where only in the last 20 years have the sand tracks begun to be upgraded into roads. A general air of fatalism within the villages because of the political instability over the last 50 years and the isolation of the area. Arsenic is an issue in the ground water so the three clay pot filter system has been introduced.
  • Achievements: 86 groups with 1,560 members. Local government officials pleased that Symbiosis has started Functional Education classes to improve educational levels and social awareness in the area.


Shahera's Story 

DPRDSShaheraShahera and her husband Ayar lived in a bamboo and grass house in Ranipur village in Dhobaura, near the border with India. They have three daughters, 14, 11 and 8, and one son, 5. While Ayar would like all his children to go to school, his income as a day labourer does not stretch far enough to cover the school fees, and his children risked losing their place at school.

One day a Project staff member met Shahera and told her about the project activities and the income generation training that was available. Shahera decided to join a local savings group and received income generation training through the savings group. She took an 8,000/- taka ($110) loan from the savings group and bought a cow. After one year she sold her cow and its calf for 44,000/- taka ($600). She and her husband then decided to rent 0.50 decimal (3.3 x 6m) land to farm and after one year they received good crops.

From that income Shahera and her husband built a new house from corrugated iron sheets that does not require re-building after the rains each year. They are a very happy family. A born entrepreneur, Shahera is communicating regularly with DPDS staff and planning how she can increase her cow business. She dreams of living peacefully in the society and she has shared her experiences with the other group members and suggested they participate in the income generation training. She feels very proud of her accomplishments and thankful to Symbiosis.