Women Chapter: After the death of my husband I had to become a framer because that time my children were under aged and I took the whole responsibility of agricultural works seeing the economic condition of my family. That’s how my new life started.
I am Sahera Begum, age 52 years, I am the only person who manages the family of 9 members. I can only write my name, and the only source of my earning is agriculture. I used to help my husband in agriculture and after his death I involved myself completely in agriculture.
My husband left 40 decimal lands for me where I cultivate and I also work as a sharecropper in 60 decimal lands in the whole year. As my family was poor, so, I used to grow vegetables in the yards of my home and in the surrounding unused lands, that time my husband was alive. I kept some vegetables to fulfill the need of my family and then sold rest of the vegetables and earned money. My money was used in small needs of my family. When my husband was alive I used to stock seeds and crops at home.
The neighboring people (including women) of my locality could not take this initiative positively and started to criticize me. But I didn’t stop. I faced problems in selling the vegetables. There was no one in my family for doing this. And I knew that I can’t get proper price of the vegetables if I sell them to neighbors.
In those first days, I had to carry my crops on head to the market to sell them. Now the whole year I cultivate vegetables and work as a sharecropper to grow crops. I keep the whole money which I earn by selling the vegetables of my own lands. And I give half of the crops to the owner of the lands where I work as a sharecropper. Along with agricultural works, I rear domestic animals, like: cow, goats, ducks and hens. With my earning I defray the expenses of the education of my children and also manage other expenses of my family. At first I took loan from Grameen Bank thrice, but for these few years I have not taken any loan.
My elder son has got married, but unfortunately he has broken his waist falling from tree and now I have to maintain the expenses of my daughter-in-law and grandchildren. My elder daughter studied up to class eight and then she got married. My other son and daughter are studying in school and college. I feel sad that I couldn’t manage better education for my elder son, due to poverty.
After the death of my husband he used to help me in agriculture but unfortunately now he cannot work for a long time due to his waist fracture. But my daughter in law and other children try to help me in agriculture. I manage the production cost and my earning by myself. Now many wholesale buyers come to our home to buy crops, with the help of my second son, I used to carry the crops by rickshaw-van to the nearby wholesale markets to get better price.
I store the crops and vegetable seeds and sometimes I buy seeds and seedlings from market and make the seed beds by my own techniques. I took part in so many training arranged by the Union Agricultural Office, and so many times I have got better seeds of crops and vegetables.
The officers from Union Agricultural Office often visit my crop fields and give me guidance. If I find any problem in cultivation I directly talk with the representatives of Agricultural Office over mobile phone. But still I didn’t receive any agricultural tool, elements or any sorts of inspiring cooperation from the government.
Still now I have not faced any problem in dealing my property and land but I have faced many problems in cultivation, like: irrigation in dry season, inequality in getting government seeds and fertilizers as a woman and so on. I take all the decisions for my family.