প্রকাশন তারিখ : July 21, 2020, 1:38 p.m.
Our Correspondent, Dumuria: Afroza Khanam is an enterprising woman who grew up in a hostile environment. She was born on November 20, 1980 in a small village in Kharnia union of Dumuria Upazila. Her childhood dream was to become a woman entrepreneur. However, due to lack of opportunity, the dream remained dormant in her mind. Due to her surroundings, after passing Secondary School Certificate from J.K.S Girls’ School in 1998 and Higher Secondary Certificate from Bangabandhu College in 2000, in pursuit of a livelihood she joined Mosabbatpur Primary School as a primary school teacher.
She got married in 2001.Her husband Robiul Alam is a Khulna City Corporation employee. This time she got a comrade to fulfill her dream. Inspired by her life partner, she quits her job and started a joint venture business with the intention of making her childhood dream come true. Afroza had two business partners. But due to differences of opinion, she started walking to the path of his dream alone.
She noticed that fish was being sold everywhere in the area and there was a great demand for ice in the area. Thinking of the future of the business, she set up a fish market and an ice factory in Kharnia Bazaar with her savings. Gradually her ice began to be sold in various places including Mothertala, Kathaltola, Sholagatiya and Natun Rasta. The demand for ice increased day by day but the production was less than the demand and could not supply enough ice because its ice mill had only one cooling coil and one crusher machine which also had low production capacity. Thus the production of ice was going on with deficit.
On the other hand, as the cooling coils and crusher machines of the ice mill become obsolete, with the cruel irony of fate, suddenly the whole machine broke down one day! The whole production process stopped completely. In this situation, it became urgent to change the compressor but the financial crisis stood in the way of this initiative.
Afroza become worried and thinks that this time her dream will come to an end. She was looking for a way out of this danger. Suddenly she remembered the local extension agent for fisheries, LEAF of her own union. When she contacted LEAF, he advised her to contact with Dumuria Upazila Fisheries Office.
Later, she want advice from senior upazila fisheries officer to re-activate the closed ice factory. Senior Upazila Fisheries Officer Md. Abubakar Siddique briefed her in detail about the grant of AIF-3 i.e. Agricultural Innovation Fund-3 under National Agricultural Technology Program Phase II Project, NATP-2. The senior upazila fisheries officer wanted to know what she needs to start her ice mill. Afroza said that the total cost will be BDT 11,55000 including building repairs, purchase of motor, power connection, purchase of compressor and accessories. Senior Upazila Fisheries Officer said, “you will not get all the money from AIF-3. 50% of the total cost will have to be spent from your own funds. The remaining 50% can be provided from the project, but you will be given the check on condition that you will complete the work.” The light of hope shone in Afroza’s eyes.
After hearing the details of AIF-3 fund, a new sun rose in Afroza’s heart. She thinks that the ice factory of her dream will start again. Following all the procedures, Afroza Khanam applied for AIF-3 grant, her proposal was approved by PIU, NATP-2. With the grant received from AIF-3, the ice factory was started again as before. This time she installed a machine with double power. Ice production began in full swing. The atmosphere became echoed by the sound of the machine, it seemed that the train of Afroza’s dream had started running towards the destination with double speed, Afroza doubled her dreams.
Now seven people work with Afroza Khanom in her ‘Khornia Ice Factory’ she herself looks after the factory. She wants to involve her village women in various development work.