Osman, 45, is a day laborer who lives in a remote village in the Batazzore union of Jamalpur district. Osman has two children – a son and a daughter. Although Osman worked from dawn to dusk, his meager earnings was not enough for him to support his two children and he felt compelled to marry off his daughter at an early age so she could have a better life. Hunger was not a novel experience for Osman’s household. The depths of their poverty meant that his son had to forego attempts at being educated so he could join his father in the workforce; nothing appeared to improve their lot in life.
In 2013, members of SAJIDA Foundation’s SAMRIDDHI program motivated Osman to cultivate Bashok leaves next to the road. Taking this advice into account, Osman planted 700 saplings of said leaves. After 6 months, he was able to harvest 12 kgs of leaves and sold them for BDT 480. Osman now harvests around 150 kgs of leaves each month and sells them to ACME Pharmaceuticals. ACME pays a sum of BDT 40 for every kilogram of these leaves. This allows Osman to earn an average of BDT 4,000-5,000 each month.
Going hungry for days now feels like a bad dream for the family. Osman has been able to save some money to finance his dream of owning a Bashok nursery in the future.