Sabura, a 40-year-old, had to pass days with various miseries since her marriage. Then an incident like lightning without cloud happened in her life as her husband married again abandoning them.
Sabura, who hails from Char Jangalia village in Kamalnagar upazila in Lakkhipur district, was compelled later to work as a domestic help in others’ houses taking her two children on the lap.
But after going through much hardship, happiness started returning to her life as she set up a farm of Black Bengal goat.
“I’ve no plight now and am living with happiness as I’m earning money through my goat farm,” said Sabura.
She continued: “I don’t need to depend on others, rather I’m now self-reliant which has been possible due to my goat farm.”
Alongside providing education to her children, Sabura also married off her daughter to a respected family.
While talking to this reporter about her struggling life, Sabura said her husband Md Taslim had gone to other place 20 years back abandoning his three-year-old son and two-year-old daughter. He was no trace for a long time. “Later, I came to know that my husband married again,” she recalled.
Narrating her struggling life after that incident, Sabura said she managed her family by working as a domestic help in different houses. “I barely managed food for my children for two times and I had to spend most of the time of my life in this way,” she said. About changing her fortune, Sabura said she bought two goats at Taka 7,000 four years ago and the number of goats has increased to 29 now.
“I had to spend 18 years of my life in hardship and four years back, I purchased two local species of goats through the deposited money. The number of goats has now raised to 29 and I sold 20 of them,” she said.
Sabura said her daughter passed SSC and was married off at a respected family. “My son is studying at a local college and there is no want in our family and I don’t need to work in others’ house … we’re leading a happy life,” she said.
While visiting Sabura’s goat farm, it was seen that she is rearing goat at a room of her house and look after the goats with love and affection like her children.
Like Sabura, many women of the village have become self-reliant by rearing world famous ‘Black Bengal’ species of goats.
Rahima Begum, wife of Hafizul Islam of Uttar Para at the same village, is such a woman who changed her fortune by goat rearing for consecutive six years.
While talking to this reporter, Rahima said she was married off at only 14 years of age. “My husband was jobless when I was given marriage. He often used to send me to my father’s house to bring money and if I failed to do so, I had to hear rebuke from him,” she recalled.
“After being irritated, the people of my father’s house brought us including my husband in Char Jangalia village and constructed a hay-made house beside my father’s house,” she recalled.
“Then we thought about launching goat rearing with some money, and at first we purchased two goats at Tk 2500,” she added.
Rahima said she earned over Tk two lakh by selling goats and deposited Tk one lakh by meeting family expenses. “There are now 16 goats in our farm,” she said.
Rahima’s husband Hafizul Islam said: “My wife removed hardship of our family by rearing goat … we’re now much happy,” he said.
Union Parishad Chairman Nizam Uddin, who lives at the same village, said the women of some low income families of the village have established themselves as small entrepreneurs after doing hard struggle. “They are the examples of rural small entrepreneurs,” he said.The public representative said at first one or two women embarked on goat rearing at the village. After seeing their success, he said, many housewives of the village set up goat farms in their own initiatives.
According to the Department of Livestock, nearly 1.25 lakh metric tons of meat are available in Bangladesh every year from ‘Black Bengal’ goats. “This goat meat fulfils 27 percent of total demand, while 2.32 million square meter of leather come from goats,” it said.
The feature story has been jointly produced by BSS and UNICEF