Puravi Majumdar and Selina Khatun are neighbors in Collegepara area in Khoksa Upazila of Kushtia. Both are in their thirties. Family with husband and children. Both were trained in ‘Beautification’ under the Upazila Level Women Income Enhancement (IGA) Training Scheme of the Directorate of Women Affairs.
Purvi trained for three months (60 working days) from December 2018 and Selina from October 2019. Purvi started a parlor in a room of his house after training. But Selina couldn’t do anything. He is now one of the regular customers of Purveer Parlor.
While talking to Selina recently, she came to Purveer’s parlor for a facial. He said, there was shortage of materials in their batch. Couldn’t learn well. And Puravi said that 20-25 people of the area are his regular consumers.
Not only Selina, most of the trainees here have failed. Due to lack of capital, lack of family support, and lack of self-interest, the drop-out process has increased.
According to the Directorate of Women Affairs, the scheme is being implemented to turn poor, backward women into self-reliant and skilled human resources by imparting training in income-generating jobs. The project aims to train 3 lakh 81 thousand 250 women.
3 lakh 9 thousand 430 women have been trained till July this year. Out of this only 35 thousand women are earning by using the training experience. As such, 11 percent of women have joined income-generating work after training. In other words, 89 percent cannot use the training.
IGA Project Director. Tariqul Alam considers it satisfactory that 35 thousand women are involved in income-generating activities. said,
100% do not become entrepreneurs after training in a project.
The duration of the IGA training project at the upazila level was from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2020. At that time, the expenditure was estimated at 283 crore 22 lakh 60 thousand taka. A target of training 2 lakh 17 thousand 440 women in 10 subjects was fixed. Later the project was amended and the period extended till December 2022. The cost of the project has increased to 591 crores. A new target of training 3 lakh 81 thousand 250 women was fixed.
Farida Parveen, director general of the Women’s Department, claims that the project has been successful. Tin Prothom Aloke said that women across the country are benefiting through this project. Someone is doing something about training.
Prior to April 2021, trainees were given an allowance of Rs 100 per day during training. Later it was increased to 200 rupees. However, due to the government’s austerity policy, the project was cut. Training has been temporarily stopped at the upazila level since last July. And the number of trainees at the district level has been halved.