নির্বাচিত নারী প্রতিনিধির তালিকা

Case study : Empowered Elachi

Name: Elachi Begum
Father’s name: Late Hatem Mondol
Mother’s name: Late Amena Begum
Husband’s name: Late Binod Ali Mondol
Born: in 1958
Married: In 1966
Educational qualification: up to class 10
Address: village- Dhaka Jhalupara, Jogoty, Kustia.
Designation: Potential woman leader.


Life is not any Crises are acute here. There is no achievement here without risk, no simple path to success. Someone will surely succeed in her work if she is future oriented and determined to implement her desire. Elachi begum is the name of this kind. However, the scenario was not the same 20 years ago. She was a tortured and ignored person then, left her home after being immensely tortured by her husband and in-laws. After leaving her home she took shelter in her father’s house and started working on her dream to create a new life


It was a chilly winter morning 60 years ago, when Elachi Begum born in a poor Muslim family. She spent her childhood with parents and siblings’ affection. When Elachi was 7 years old, her father admitted her in Jogoty Govt. primary school, which were situated 2 km away from her home. She started her student life from first grade and continued her study with merit. In the time of finishing her primary education her family compelled her to get married. She was only 12 then and wanted to study at least up tp higher secondary level. But she had to agree for wedding and came to live with her husband in her in-laws house. Everyone in that house was against her study. She worked against all odds and continued her study as well she had done all household chores. Elachi was studying in 10th grade then she gave birth to her first daughter and had to stop her study. The second child was also another daughter so her husband was very offended with her. Her started torturing her, accusing her not being able to give birth a son. Her husband got married again. By losing her position in husband’s house she started to do social works. That made her husband angrier and he tortured her mentally and physically. Elachi tolerated everything for the sake of her youngest daughter’s happiness. They did not stopped torturing her and her husband’s second wife conspired to throw her out of the house. They threatened to kill her daughter when she refused to leave her husband’s home. She was not legally separated but she was forced to leave. Elachi along with her underage daughter passed her life with poverty and starvation in her father’s house.

Frustration caught her up after losing her own domestic life. In that time her cousin advised her to keep herself busy in social work. He told her to find happiness through helping other people in the society. Work makes life meaningful; one should try to utilize the inner power within. Inspired by those advices, Elachi founded an organization for women named “Paribar Kalyan Kendra” (Family Development Center) in 1986. she works for health, education, nutrition and for development of women. Lot of people came forward to help them and donated 2,10,000 tk. Elachi played am important role to prevent child marriage, polygamy, corruption, discrimination, violence against women, disorders and etc in her area. She is always strident against male dominance in the society. She is struggling consistently to set up women in their righteous self honor.

Enclosed with Aparajita

Elachi Begum was working for social development and felt she is lacking something somehow. During year 2011 she enclosed with the project Aparajita. This is a Switzerland funded project initiate by Khan Foundation. Being the beneficiaries of this project she received training to improve her leadership and communication skills. These brought tremendous changes to her personal and professional life. She took initiatives to provise training for tailoring, fish cultivation etc to make people self dependent. A school for children has also started by her organization. They are playing important role in preventing child marriage, dowry and violence against women. 50 families have got hygienic sanitary latrine and 15 tube wells have been distributed in local area for safe water. With hard work, dedication and confidence, Elachi Begum has fought with difficulties and succeeds in life from grass root level. She is inspiring to the women in society to win the battle of life.

Helping an Unaided Through Providing Leadership

Rabeya Begum lives in Dhaka Jhalupara village. Her husband Kuddus Ali was the sole earner in their family. So they were suffering acute poverty. Rebeya went to Elachi Begum for help. After knowing her sufferings ahe was very upset and agreed to help her. Elachi shared Rabeya’s story with other members of her organization and they all agreed to take steps to help. Local MP granted some building materials to build her home.

Khan foundation helped Elachi begum to develop skills. She is grateful to KF for advices, training, and networking and communication skills. She said if these activities continues, women can be empowered through achieving leadership quality and can be self dependent. She has produced thousands of success stories after enclosing with Aparajita project. Elachi not only changed her position in society but also helped hundreds of tortured, ignored and discriminated women to restore their place. The Family Development Center, directed by Elachi Begum is continuously serving on following eight issues. Tailoring training
  • Handicrafts and cottage industry
  • Yard meeting for violence against women and children
  • Yard meeting for preventive activities against child marriage and dowry
  • Maternal and child health
  • Fider school
  • Education foe elderly person
  • Prevent divorce and polygamy.


Elachi Begum is the sign of patience, courage and strength of Bangladeshi women. Due to getting married in early age, she could not study long but she has natural leadership talent since her childhood. She has made her position in the society by utilizing her skills. She has won the battle of life. She is a successful women, an Aparajita (unbeaten). Elachi Begum inspired by the notion that she has to do something better tomorrow than today.

Fahmida Begum Munni (EWR) raised her voice after APARAJITA intervention

Ms. Fahmida Begum Munni, elected representative from Shapleja Union (4, 5 and 6) has taken so many positive initiatives to ensure women’s advancement at her constituency. As she was a victim of early marriage, she knows the sorrow and ill effect of early marriages. Her dream was to be a doctor and serve people, but she couldn’t continue her study due to her marriage. She didn’t lose her faith that she could serve the people in a different way. As she was very obliging she dreamt to be an elected representative, she convinced her family and her family helped her to compete in the election in 2011. She started her journey with Steps Towards Development as a “Sufia Kamal Fellow” from early 2011 and was involved with “Aparajita” program from the beginning. Aparajita have added a new horizon to her activities. Ms. Fahmida was proactive in her constituency; she participated in Salish, Village Court and other activities. Now a day Ms. Fahmida is involved with implementation of LGSP-II project in her area, she is also involved in various committees of Union Parished and Nari Nirjaton Protirodh Committee. Recently in Mothbaria Upazilla, the local Member of the Parliament has formed a forum with Elected Women Representatives from Union Parished, where Ms. Fahmida holds the position of organizing secretary of the forum. Ms. Fahmida is now a role model not only at her area but also in the whole Upazilla.

Increased wages of female worker by the initiative of P-EWRs

P-EWR Monoara Begum,Sonali Begum and Anufa Begum of Ramnagar union in Nilphamari Sadar have been working for their community since inception of APARAJITA. They have been trying to ensure proper wages for female workers. They organized a mass gathering in the locality regarding the mentioned issues. Numbers of women workers, Job providing people (Land owners, Solvent Farmer, Local Institutional Chief) and UP members were present in the meeting. In the meeting women workers raised their voice with the support of P-EWRs and demanded the wage of female workers should be taka 180 instead of taka 100. In favor of their demand the citizen of Ramnagar union along with different organization, land owners and others supported them and took a decision that from now onwards the women worker will gate @Taka180 per day instead of Taka.100.

EWRs initiative helps rebuild damaged schoolhouse

Rubina Khatun’s initiative helps rebuild damaged schoolhouse

EWRs are gradually emerging as local leaders and are being approached for solving community problems. Ms Rubina Khatun is UP member of Durganagar Union under Sirajganj district (Ullapara). She is also the chairman of the standing committee of education, health and family planning. In one meeting the members of this standing committee planned to visit the primary school to monitor the quality of services. During her visit of the Parsontala School the headmaster reported about the damaged school building caused by cyclone in 2012. The school used to accommodate 700 students but due to accommodation problem a large number of students seemed to be dropped out.

Rubina khatun along with the standing committee members standing in front of damaged shed.

The standing committee members led by Ms Rubina Khatun visited again in the school on 25th August, 2010.They prepared report which was presented in UP monthly meeting. She proposed to allocate fund from UP budget to reconstruct the schoolhouse. After a long discussion the council allocated taka 1 lac from its own budget.

Working to rebuild the school house

Rubina with her committee members supervised repair of the damage school building .They also received community support and appreciation. Mr Rezaul Kabir, the headmaster, says, “Everything was shattered after the disaster. But we are happy that those days have gone. And it was made possible due to proactive and timely support of Ms. Rubina and other members of standing committee our representative Ms Rubina.”

Now the condition of this school is gradually improved .The attendance of students getting increased. Previously it was difficult to take class in the open air or under the tree but students are now comfortable to seat in the classroom and take part of study properly. Also teachers will enjoy teaching the students.

Working to rebuild the school house

People’s Friendly Initiative of EWR

Farida Yesmin Member of Purnimagati Union Parishad(Ward40), Ullahpara Upazila, Sirajgang. After receiving training on public entitlements she informed that as a member she can ensure the services for the community given by the Govt, through monitoring. So once she visited the Goaljani Community Clinic and found the clinic closed. Talking with the community people she came to know that nobody knows when the clinic is open and close. Some villagers told her the clinic opens for 2-3 hour once or twice a month and they even don’t know which medicine and services they can get from this clinic. The environment of the clinic both inside and outside is not clean and hygienic. In front of the clinic there is no citizen charter. She sat with the community people and discussed with them for getting better services. After this discussion she filed complain to upazila medical officer regarding the service for taking necessary action. The concern authority of community clinic made a discussion with her and gave assurance to take initiatives for ensuring better services. Just after few days the scenario of the clinic is changing. Now there is one CHCP and Health Assistant for the service of community people and they work from 9 am to 3 pm. Last 2 Months near about 1200 women and children get medical services from the clinic. A citizen charter also has been displayed there. The community people appreciated Farida Yesmin’s initiative for getting the better service for them.


Tafura Muzumder, UP Member, Vatra , Chouddogram, Comilla :

Dream keeps human alive. People become creative where confidence added to dream. Tofura Akter is the name of a successful person, who traveled a long slippery path of life with strong mental strength and confidence.

Chouddogram Union is currently an important Upazila of Comilla district which consists of 14 villages. Sripur is an Union of that Chouddogram Upazila. It takes 25 minutes on a rickshaw to go to the village Vatra from Sripur Union Parishad. There can be found a village medical center called "Palli Shastha Seba Kendra" beside the village school and that is related to the name of Tafura Akter Majumder. There is a history of travelling a long tough path behind this 34 years old woman's becoming the village doctor.

Tofura Akter Majumder was born in a middle class family in February 1978 at Vatra village. She is the youngest of her 3 brothers and 3 sisters. Her father Ayub Ali Majumder was a Ayurvedic doctor and mother Masuma Begum was a housewife. The pressure of a 13 members family had to be beared by her father. For this they were familiar with the word scarcity for a long ago. Poverty in the family and so called male dominated notions of society were the obstacle to Tafura's path. People from society and family were desperate to stop her budding potentials. It became a challenge to Tafura, as she born in superstitious environment as a girl. In her life the darkness and light were playing hide and seek like sun shaded behind cloud.

This started after she completed her primary education. Her family was not attentive to her study then. However she was dreaming to complete higher studies and wanted to present herself as a established women in the society. She loved to see dreams. According to her ' Dream are keeping me alive.' Desire and confidence help to find solution to fulfill their dreams. That happened in Tafura's life. She started to continue her education with the support of her brother and the money she earned by giving tuitions. All the wanted to complete her secondary education. However destiny was not in her favor despite of her hard work and desire. Tafura started being anxious as the time to fill secondary examination form approaches. Besides, she eared little money through tuition and it all spent in her education expenses. She could not save any thing and had no money to fill up her secondary examination form. Even her family was unable to give her that money but at last she made away.

Her eagerness for study and hard work impressed her teachers of school. They collected money to help her filling form . She successfully completed her secondary examination in 1993. But the joy of passing the exam faded away when her father got sick. She had to take care of her father. For this, her study hampered as well the poverty of her family increased. Everything seemed dark to her. Her mind was desperate for a little light of hope.

According to her “There is no sign of reducing my security. I wish I could find the address of wealth.” She was gathering experiences to survive in tough situation . Then started the preparation of next step . With the recommendation of professor M.A Matin of chaddagram Degree College she admitted in the college but because of different family crisis’s she failed to complete higher secondary . Then she had to stop her study because of family pressure . The situation become worse .She felt depressed as there were no synchronization between her reality and dream but she did not stop tuition . In that situation , both her parents become sick and Tofura had to take their responsibility. And few years passed in that way .

Tofura believed, a person who has self dependence can not stay poor. This belief gave her confidence She was determined to appear in higher secondary examination .Through working with some development organization, she managed to save some money .She filled up her examination form with that money. At the same time she continued her tuition. In the year 1999, she passed the higher secondary examination with second divition . Then she admitted to the Lalmai college o Laksham in the graduateclass with the dream to higher study. She planed a self dependent life and future for herself . For these, she sold some of her gold jewelry and bought a cow.

Tofura started participating in different social activities as well as doing her study, tuition and family works. She was directing different campaign about child marriage, dowry system, illiteracy ,family planning and vaccination to raise awareness about these issues among poor village people . As a result the number of dowry and child marriage reduced as well as the primary school health knowledge increased . In her word , social responsibility encouraged her to do these works .

Her Father died after suffering a along time and that time there were no doctor in the village who can properly give injection to her father as per the prescription . Besides , one day her mother had a stroke and Tofura suffered with doctor , medicine and injection . Tofura was very upset about it . Because of that, she wanted to study medicine . In 2001 she went to comilla , she started living her aunt and giving tuition . Through her tuition she met Dr. Halida Hanum. She expressed her desire to Halida Hanum. . She became very touched by this . Later she got admitted to Maternity Practitioner Course in health promotion Ltd medical institute with the help of Dr. Halida Hanum and her savings . She completed that course successfully and earned her pocket money through tuition . Her will power and strong mentality transformed her into a successful person .

After successfully complete the course she came back to her village in 2003and with the support of Dr. Halida Hanum. Established a village health center at Vatra union. Duding the inauguration of this health complex, Dr.Halida Hanum gave around 10,000/= (Ten thousand taka).

Tofura is providing medical services in Village Health Care Center Tofura involved herself in social works through organizing free medical camp, free medicine, vaccination and giving advises. Being as a nurse at upazila health complex, Tofura could get free medicine. Village health center’s with a little cost. She earned 5000/= (Five thousand taka) by involving herself in this noble profession. This money developed her financial condition.

In 2005 Tofura married Sayed Anisur Rahman according to her brother’s wish. Anisur Rahman was a paramedic doctor by profession. After one month of their marriage he fall in to a terrible road accident. Because of serious injury in his right leg he became partially paralyzed. After treating sometimes in Bangladesh he went to Madras for better treatment in 2009 and in 2012 there in under treatment. Tofura is now the mother of a 8 years old daughter.

Tofura did not stop after ensuring her financial development and medical facilities of village people. She includes educated employed youth together and established a coaching center. This coaching centre have been playing an important role to students who could not complete their task at school or have other constrains. This is ensuring education for children as well as creating opportunities for unemployed youth .

In 2011, she participated in union council election in demand of local people . According to the people of her union – “Tafura has to contest in education, our responsibility to elect her”. With the support of her union –Tafura Muzumder elected as a member in reserved women seat with the direct vote of no.4 Sreepur union’s 1, 2 and 3 wards at 15th June 2011 .

Tofura is providing medical services in Village Health Care Center

Since 2011 she is in the position of elected women representative in Khan Foundation’s project Aparajita –the project working for political empowerment of women and as the organization secretary of Choddagram Upazila Forum .With the knowledge gained from Aparajita project and objective to bring positive changes to the standard of living of poor population of country specially women through poverty reduction and political empowerment of women Tofura is working with beneficiary and service providers .

Tofura Muzumder working with collaboration of other members of Upazila Forum to ensure health care facilities in community clinic, promote education for girls as well as improving and monitor there quality of primary education . People contact to Tofura if the face any problem receiving any service and as a member of forum she works according to advice of consultants.

Visiting Government Primary school to increase health consciousness among students

Visiting Government Primary school to increase health consciousness among students She is playing an important role in providing social securities through taking gender sensitive budget , providing training to run poultry and tailoring works as well proving allowance to widows , elderly people, freedom fighter and VGD/VGF card and this is bringing an positive changes to women’s standard of life as well as reducing poverty .

Leadership role of Tofura in Upazila Forum Meeting

She is working properly as a secretary in project implementation, organizing monthly and ward meeting. Village court is taking right decision and this information is being documented. As a result Tofura’s acceptance is increasing in union council and in her working area and her skills are developing by working in different social activities. She is visiting service provider’s organizations and impacting their quality and creating a transparent environment.

Inspire of many obstructs and constraints Tafura’s path didn’t stopped. Hard work and patience showed her the way to success. In this continuation Tafura won “Joyita Onnesone Bangladesh” Award under the category of economically successful women in 9 December, 2013.

Tafura won “Joyita” Award under the category of economically successful This Joyita Award will encourage every woman including Tafura by removing all confusion and anxiety existing in society of women. In Tofura's word "I got the chance to be appeared as a light in this society because of the APARAJITA project of Khan Foundation. Foe this I can take new challenge, express myself and succeed in social activities.

Village people of Vatra are now proud of Tafura. They talk to her about their problems and expected activities. 1 no ward member of that Union, Md. Mosafaf Hosen said about her that "As Tafura became a doctor we are very benefited for that. We don't have to seek doctor any more. Tafura's popularity and working with people made other people confident and build a strong bonding, which we failed inspite of trying so.

With the help of confidence, Tafura succeeded to fulfill her dreams. Her desire and active participation in society made her a successful woman leader. Now her name is in every one's mind. People from other village also come to her for their help also feel the importance of someone like Tafura in their village. Tafura is not only a successful person; she is also an idol and example of happy and prosperous Bangladesh resolution to all women in Vatra village and all over the country.

Major Challenges

One major obstacle encountered was getting the support of the men at the initial stage of the project. EWRs did not get co-operation from their male colleagues. They faced difficulty in serving on various development committees at the community level. However, due to the trainings given to the elected male representatives and the continuous engagement with the community and the local administration, these were overcome.


This project has demonstrated that giving opportunities to women in leadership positions is not only beneficial for the female gender but for the community as a whole. Women's dedication, perseverance and understanding of sensitive issues make them an important tool in combating poverty and achieving development. By challenging the traditional gender roles, it is possible to respond effectively to the needs of marginalized communities.

EWRs initiatives for promoting women’s economic empowerment

In Bangladesh last two decades Government and NGO parallel took many initiatives for ensuring the empowerment of women. Not doing only household work women are also interested to involve with any other social activities. From 2011 Aparajita project works for political empowerment of women especially elected women representative and potential women leaders. It is a common sinario that about 50/60 Lac taka has been allocated in every UP for yearly budget implementation. But especially for the empowerment of women there is no specific allocation. To indentify this Aparajita team arranged some advocacy meeting in 11 UPs along with chairmen and other members to make this issue understand. As a result for the first time 3 no Gharinda UP of Tangail Sadar Upzilla allocated 10000 taka in 2013-2014 fiscal years for the development of women. In 17 April, 2014 the chairman brought a swing mechine and handover to the women representatives. EWRs took some initiative to give training on sewing for poor, disadvantage, abundant, and widow women. Those who got training but didn’t have any access to earn, EWRs gave them scope to earn by using this mechine .At present 4 women are using this mechine and trying to live independently. They are- 1. Ruma Akter,village- Suruj, Sadar, Tangail 2. Shoma Akter , Village- Suruj, Sadar, Tangail 3. Nilufa Akter , Village- North Tarutia, Sadar, Tangail 4. Rehana Akter, village Tarutia, Sadar, Tangail Gharinda UP also continues their allocation for the second year and this year (2014-2015) it is 20000 taka. This is happened only for the initiative of EWR of Gharinda UP.

Stop Early Marriage by EWR, Hasina Begum

Hasina Begum, an elected women representative of 1, 2, and 3 no. ward of Goyeshpur union. While visiting her niece three months ago in Loskorpur, municipality area of Pabna, she heard that beside her niece’s house, early marriage of a girl was carried over. After getting information, she came to know that the name of the girl is Ms. Kolpona Khatun, daughter of Mr. Jafar Hossain who was a small entrepreneur. Kolpona was a student of class nine. Hasina Begum forbade the parents of Kolpona to marry her off at this very early age and also describe the bad effects of early marriage. The parents were influenced by the words of Hasina but later on, being pressurized by the bridegroom party, they couldn’t resist the marriage. Subsequently, Hasina called upon the Kazi/registrar of the marriage and intimidated him that if he proceeded the marriage, he would have to face the law. Becoming paranoid, the Kazi refused to continue the marriage process. Eventually, Hasina Begum became successful to stop this early marriage and by this way, she continued doing services for the people.

A successful woman (Joyita): who has started a new life after eliminating all inhuman torture

Srimati Sudebi Mohotto, EWR, ward # 1, 2 & 3 of Poliproyagpur Union Parishad, Birampur Upazila, Dinajpur, Srimati Sudebi Mohotto was born in a simple hindu family. In her childhood, she lost her parents. Then her struggling life started. When she was 14, her relatives married her off to a man of Vogbotipur village in Birampur Upazilla. Helpless Sudebi became also helpless in her husband’s family. She did not have any place in her in-laws house. Giving divorce, her husband married another woman for second time. Later on, Sudebi started living with her maternal uncle’s family in a tiny house. Sudebi has been living her remaining life with the vermillion given by her husband. In the meantime, her husband’s leaving her escalated her miseries as society started to blaming her saying that she was a curse and due to her curse, her husband left her. She was working hard for earning her livelihood. Local people advised her to take part in UP election. She stood in the election and won with numerous votes without any cost. She was elected 3 times continually. She has established herself as a successful woman representative who was infant, who was helpless. She has taken her duty towards the people as the duty to her family. In the future, she wants to live among her people.

Community Clinic Reformed by EWR, Jahanara Parvin

Jahanara Parvin, Reserved seat 1, 2, 3. Khokshabari Union Parishad, Nilphamari. There was no delivery room in the Majhadanga Community Clinic of 3 no. Ward. With lots of hazards, normal deliveries were carried out in a small room which was not hygienic and wholesome. Knowing this, I introduced this problem again and again in the standing committee meeting and also in ward shova. With the allotment of LGSP, I started working for the development of the clinic. Later on, other basic tasks such as land filling, distributing tiner chala etc. were performed. While working on all these projects, I faced resistance from male members since if I get the allotment for these projects, their portion will be reduced. However, when I was elected by the votes of people, I promised them that I would make a delivery room in the community clinic. Now, I can say that I’ve made my promise.

Shefali’s initiative for Establishing Community Clinic

Ms. Shefali Khatun was living in Mongolpur village, Khanpur union, Birampur upazilla. Her family consisted of 3 sisters, onebrother and her parents. Her fatherwas a farmer andher mother was a homemaker.In spite of having eagerness, due to poverty, she could not complete her education fully and had completed till medium level. Then suddenly one day, her marriage was fixed with Md. Mossaraf Hossain, son of Md. Mojahar Ali of the same village. Md. Mossarof Hossain was a simple Assistant teacher at a Regi. Primary School. After some months of marriage,physical and mental torture was started upon Shefali by her husband. In the meantime, a baby girl was born. Before dying; Shefali’s grandfather gave 3 decimal lands to her. Shefali’s in laws demanded to write down that land in the name of Shefali’s elder brother in-law. Shefali did not agree on this and therefore, her in-laws threatened her to dismiss her marriage. Later on, they forced her husband to give her divorce. Shefali’s dream to live with her husband and offspring got destroyed. Helpless Shefali did not get any proper judgment even after taking help of the Law. The value of lives of mother and her child was determined through the money of mohrana which was 28, 900 Tk. Shefali’s hard days started. She got the opportunity to work for societal development activities with various NGOs initiatives. She worked there for seven years and during this time, she worked so hard that she was very famous. Due to mass fame, she stood in the UP election in 2011. Her competitors were 4 other people. After being elected as the women representative in Union Parishad, her life turned. People Services can’t be accomplished through coordinating with male members. But Shefali was elected to work for the people. 6800 people live in her village but even after that there was no community clinic. The Chairman was informed for this but he did not take any action. Subsequently, she submitted application to past chairman and took advice from him. When she was submitting application to the THO of Birampur Upazilla, the current chairman resisted her. Being transferred after 6 months, Dr. Poritosh Chandra Roy directly invigilated the place and made a committee and sent to the Civil Surgeon of Dinajpur. After getting approval from the Engineer, Shefali collected approval from MP and later on submitted to the Minister by herself on April 26, 2014. On April 29, 2014, engr. visited the place and measured. On May 10, the registration of land was done. On May 29, 2014, the foundation was laid.

Fahmida Begum Munni (EWR) raised her voice after APARAJITA intervention

Ms. Fahmida Begum Munni, elected representative from Shapleja Union (4, 5 and 6) has taken so many positive initiatives to ensure women’s advancement at her constituency. As she was a victim of early marriage, she knows the sorrow and ill effect of early marriages. Her dream was to be a doctor and serve people, but she couldn’t continue her study due to her marriage. She didn’t lose her faith that she could serve the people in a different way. As she was very obliging she dreamt to be an elected representative, she convinced her family and her family helped her to compete in the election in 2011. She started her journey with Steps Towards Development as a “Sufia Kamal Fellow” from early 2011 and was involved with “Aparajita” program from the beginning. Aparajita have added a new horizon to her activities. Ms. Fahmida was proactive in her constituency; she participated in Salish, Village Court and other activities. Now a day Ms. Fahmida is involved with implementation of LGSP-II project in her area, she is also involved in various committees of Union Parished and Nari Nirjaton Protirodh Committee. Recently in Mothbaria Upazilla, the local Member of the Parliament has formed a forum with Elected Women Representatives from Union Parished, where Ms. Fahmida holds the position of organizing secretary of the forum. Ms. Fahmida is now a role model not only at her area but also in the whole Upazilla.

Ms Mina Bagchi, a Union Parishad Member of Sadullahpur Union of Kotalipar Upazila under Gopalgonj District: An icon of Empowered Elected Women Representatives (EWRs)

Ms. Mina Bagchi, a very popular name in the Constituency, is an Elected Woman Representative in the Reserved seat of Wards No. 7, 8 and 9 of the 2 No. Sadullapur Union Parishad of Kotalipara Upazila under Gopalgonj District. She is the only Elected Women Representative (EWR) in the Kotalipara Upazila who has accomplished graduate degree.She contested in last Union Parishad (UP) election for the reserved seat with a dream to work for the poor and disadvantaged people in that Union. People of Sadullapur Union elected her with great expectation, and returned with huge number of votes. But her spirit and dream disappeared instantly when she saw corruption in the system, illiteracy and ignorance of the community people, non-cooperation from Male Members in Union Parishad. Despite this, she was completely new to UP and knew nothing about UP functionaries and activities, roles and responsibilities of UP Members, also inexperienced in implementing Projects. All these issues made her extremely concerned. However, she took these as a challenge and moved forward for overcoming all barriers, for working as an effective elected UP Members to meet the expectation of the people in her constituency. At that time, PRIP Trust started APARAJITA Project in the Upazila and it was great news for her what she was desperately searching for. She actively participated in all activities of the project including training. She also joined regularly the coaching, mentoring program and networking program. This process helped her to build confidence, knowledge and skills within the short time and she became aware about roles and responsibilities of EWR. Besides this, she projected her deep interest to get involved in the Project Implementation Committee (PIC), Village Court, Salish along with Service Providers and demonstrated her effective engagement with capacities in these areas. At present, she is an integral part for conducting Salish in the Village Court where she contributed to resolve different types of disputes in the community. Chairman of the Union Parishad nominated her as Chair of Union Parishad in the Law and Order Standing Committee due to illness of the Chairman. Presently, her hard work is recognized by the community people. As a result, she started to preside over Village Court regularly. After resuming this responsibility, she conducted 15 Shalish in the Village Courts (Civil and Criminal). Mina Bagchi informed that she was conducting Shalish in the Village Court with judiciously sincerity and with honesty. She stated that PRIP contributed to increase her communication and negotiation skills. She bargains with the Chairman and demands jointly for exercising rights of other women representatives. At present, she is the Member in Community Clinic (CC), Govt. Primary School (SMC), Panel Chairman, Upazila Law and Order Committee. She acknowledged that APARAJITA (PRIP Trust) has changed her life, by empowering her with knowledge transfer. Without the direct support she could not transform her to a full functioning Elected Woman Representative of Sadullahpur Union Parishad of Kotalipara Upazila

A Torch bearer for “Prevention of Early Marriage”

Nasrin Akter is an Elected Women Representative of Gobratola Union of Chapainawabgonj Sadar Upazila under Chapainawabgonj District. When she was in the Class-X, she got married to a folk singer, Shah Jamal. Since then, the neighbors and the community people on regular basis came to her for discussing their problems for receiving suggestions for solution. She developed good relationship with the community people. Once she expressed her intention to participate in the Local UP Election and participated accordingly with the permission from her husband. She won the Election in the Wards No. 7, 8 and 9 of the Reserved Seat of Gobratola Union. She actually knew nothing about the roles and functions of an UP Member of Union Parishad, she also noticed that the roles of Female Representatives were not recognized by Male Representatives of Union Parishads. As a result, she became confused and started to share with other Female UP Members of her for resolving problems and also learn from their experiences. Within the given context, she got an opportunity to participate in a Training session organized by PRIP Trust under the APARAJITA Project, from there she became fully aware about the roles and responsibilities of an UP Member for performing in a more effective way. She also got opportunities to get involved in other activities of the APARAJITA Program in her constituency. Immediately after receiving training from PRIP Trust, she disseminated knowledge and information which she acquired about the roles and responsibilities of an UP Member and functions of an UP as a Female Representative to the community people. While working with the disadvantaged community people, she identified that “early marriage” is one of the serious problems faced by the community and she promised that she will try to stop incidents of “early marriage” at any cost. Besides her other social and political activities, she took instant measures for prevention of “early marriage” whenever she came to know. Till today, she prevented 18 Nos. of “early marriage” cases with her own initiative. For her social activities, she got immense popularity among the community people and also in the Upazila Administration. At present, other female representatives of the Upazila and the entire community people accepted her leadership and her other female colleagues frequently discussed their problems with her for solutions. For her popularity and effective leadership, she was unanimously elected as the Chairperson of the Upazila Nari Unnayan Forum (UNUF). She firmly believes that the APARAJITA Project has opened her eyes and built confidence to work for the community people in a more effective manner. It is noted that the she did not only stop incidents of “early marriage”, she also formally declared “Early Marriage Free Zone” in the Wards No. 7,8 and 9. She extended her support to the entire UP for prevention of “early marriage”. Everyone in the Union Parishad admired for her initiatives. She is now ready to dedicate her life for betterment of the disadvantaged community people, particularly girls and women.