A large number of rural female are passing their busy time with shoe making and its finishing and packaging activities at Kaluhati village in Rajshahi ahead of Eid festival.
More than 2,600 women have become financially solvent through making shoes during the last couple of years in the village and its adjacent areas as the show-making venture has become boon for them.
The village under Charghat upazila is famous among businessmen from different parts of the country.
According to the sources concerned, the village has around 75 shoe factories employing around 7,500 people and around 2,600 of them are females who are involved in the shoe-making at present.
Along with working in shoe factories, many women have already become small entrepreneurs, manufacturing shoe-packets, bags, key-rings, purses and wallets.
Morjina Begum, 41, wife of Faraj Ali, has been working at Konika Shoes Factory for more than seven years. She earns Tk 350 to 400 every day. She also operates a factory named ‘Bhabna Bag and Box’ in her house, employing 22 other women.
She initiated the business with primary investment of Tk 20,000 around three years ago and now her capital investment stood at above Tk three lakh.
While visiting to the village, nearly 30-km away from the Rajshahi city, recently this reporter found that the villagers were running small footwear factories and shops almost everywhere.
The shoe factories are flourished in the village with financial and technical assistance of Small and Medium Enterprises Foundation.
Abdul Mannan, president of Kaluhati Shoe Industry Owners Cooperative Samity Limited, said most of the villagers made footwear from leather and synthetic fabrics using traditional method and the raw materials were procured from the capital Dhaka.
Some women had become successful entrepreneurs like Marzina Khatun who had been running her own business for the last three years, he said.
He added that the village witnessed a significant change in the last seven years for successful footwear business.
‘We are working here for boosting capability and efficiency of the entrepreneurs for successful business promotion,’ said Abu Monjoor Sayeef, assistant general manager of SMEF, adding that initial investment was Tk 46 crore and recovery rate was hundred percent.
All the prospective issues were taken into consideration so that the cherished goal was achieved within near future, he said.
Dhaka Bank Limited is working as stakeholder and it has distributed Taka 60 lakh among the potential entrepreneurs.
‘We have another investment proposal of Tk one crore in shoe making industry here,’ said Samiul Haque, assistant vice-president of DBL.
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