Seminar on ‘SDG 5: Gender Equality’
Speakers call for empowering women for sustainable development
With a call for ensuring gender equality to steer the country toward sustainable development, a seminar titled ‘SDG 5: Gender Equality’ was organized at PKSF Bhaban on December 23, 2018 by the ‘People’s Voice: Strengthening Implementation of SDGs in Bangladesh’ platform. Ms Nasima Begum, NDC, Secretary of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs was the Chief Guest and Additional Secretary Ms Sultana Afroz of the Economic Relations Division
(ERD), Ministry of Finance was the Special Guest at the event presided over by PKSF Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad. PKSF Managing Director Mr Md Abdul Karim gave the welcome speech while Executive Director of Bangladesh Unnayan Parishad Dr Nilufar Banu gave the keynote presentation styled ‘Achieve Gender Equality and Empower all Women and Girls’. Professor Salma Akter, Department of Social Science, University of Dhaka spoke as a panelist. PKSF’s Deputy Managing Director-2 Dr Md Jashim Uddin gave the vote of thanks.
Highlighting various pro-women steps of the government, the Women and Children Affairs Secretary said proper coordination between government and non-governmental initiatives is a must for eliminating discrimination against women and girl children. Ms Nasima Begum also said stringent legal measures are on the cards to more effectively combat the curses of child marriage, violence against and harassment of women, and other social ills.
Ms Sultana Afroz, the Special Guest, said, Bangladesh is considered as a role model in successfully realizing the Millennium Development Goals and is all set to repeat the success in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Stating that discrimination against women has still been a major concern for Bangladesh, the ERD Additional Secretary said people are being made aware of this and they are playing increasingly pro-active roles in protecting the rights of women and girl children, thereby paving the way for their robust contribution to sustainable development.
PKSF Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad said the country is experiencing commendable economic growth “but this growth, this pace of development has to be human-centered”. He emphasized on the need for appropriate coordination as well as proper supervision and skill enhancement of people to achieve the SDGs.
Mr Md Abdul Karim, the PKSF Managing Director, highlighted various initiatives taken by PKSF to ensure empowerment of women. PKSF believes, he said, that gender equity is a pre-requisite to sustainable development and all PKSF interventions are designed and implemented keeping this in mind.
Also in the seminar, two Bangla publications titled ‘Tekshoi Unnayan O PKSF’ and ‘Haorer Chalchitra’ were unveiled.
Representatives of government and non-government organizations, and high-ups of PKSF and its Partner Organizations took part in the open discussion session of the seminar.
Inclusive development: MoU signed for new project PPEPP to help 0.5 million HHs to graduate from extreme poverty
Inclusive development: MoU signed for new project
PPEPP to help 0.5 million HHs to graduate from extreme poverty
PKSF is set to launch a new project, titled ‘Pathways to Prosperity for Extremely Poor People (PPEPP)’, with a view to ensuring inclusive development of the disadvantaged and ultra-poor communities. In this regard, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Economic Relations Division (ERD), Ministry of Finance, Government of Bangladesh, and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) Bangladesh on 17 December 2018. ERD Secretary Mr Monwar Ahmed and Mr Jim McAlpine, Country Representative, DFID Bangladesh signed the MoU.
PKSF – an apex development agency founded by the GoB – will be the lead implementing partner of PPEPP, to be jointly financed by DFID and the European Union. The project will be implemented in two phases. The budget for the first phase amounting to 109.6 million Pound Sterling (GBP), of which 63.5 million Pound Sterling is earmarked for PKSF as grant. Upon evaluation of the first phase’s outcomes, the project can be extended for another five years in the second phase.
The project aims to enable over two million people to graduate from extreme poverty and to place them on sustained pathway to prosperity. To achieve this, PKSF will implement three major components, i.e. Livelihood (including value chain development), Nutrition and Community Mobilization. The issues disaster and climate resilience, disability, and women’s empowerment leading to gender equality cut across PKSF’s components of PPEPP. The other components, to be implemented by other entities, are Market Development, Policy Advocacy and Life Cycle Grant Pilot.
The project will contribute to the eradication of extreme poverty by addressing multidimensional poverty and building capacities to ensure inclusive financial development of the target communities. The services to be delivered encompass training, financial and technical assistance, technology transfer and market linkage activities. Nutrition interventions for pregnant and lactating mothers, babies and adolescent girls, and social development services will also be in place. The project, the interventions of which will cut across various Sustainable Development Goals, will be implemented in poverty-stricken and climate-vulnerable northwestern region, the southern coastal region, Chittagong Hill Tracts and the haor basin of Bangladesh.
The MoU between PKSF and DFID Bangladesh is likely to be signed by March 2019 and PKSF is expected to start the full-on implementation of the PPEPP project via its Partner Organizations in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
ERD Press Release:
Online complaint box added to PKSF’s Website
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) is committed to maintaining good governance practices in its operations. As part of this, a window for submitting complaints has recently been added on its official website (pksf-bd.org). The addition of the button entitled “Complain Box” is part of PKSF’s relentless efforts to ensure transparency and accountability in its activities.
Anyone can visit the official website and submit their complaints, if any, through this box. The PKSF Management will take cognizance of the issue and take appropriate actions.
The following link will lead you to the “Complain Box”:
EDs of PKSF POs Meet, Interact and Share Views in a Strategic Meeting LivelyMoments, Smiling Faces, Vows to Achieve
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) organized a meeting titled ‘Strategic Meeting with Partner Organizations of PKSF’. This was the first of its kind that took place to exchange views with all who realize at the field-level what the Board and Management of PKSF conceive at the decision-making level. The meeting was held on 29 November 2018 at PKSF Bhaban. PKSF Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad presided over the meeting while PKSF Managing Director Mr Md Abdul Karim delivered the welcome remarks.
Highlighting the rapid expansion of the activities of PKSF and its POs, PKSF Chairman Dr QK Ahmad focused on efficient program management including finance to ensure sustainable development of the poor. He also emphasized on adopting new programs to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this regard, he referred to the ENRICH program of PKSF that seeks to ensure human dignity for all through inclusive and sustainable development. He hoped that PKSF and its POs will work more diligently in future.
Mr Md Abdul Karim, MD of PKSF, in his welcome speech, said that the responsibilities of the POs are increasing with the expansion of their activities. He also made a presentation on ‘Three Decades of PKSF’s Journey: The Paradigm Shift’. In the presentation, Mr Karim demonstrated the diversification of the activities of PKSF. Moreover, he also referred to PKSF’s journey from a microfinance organization to a human-centered development organization.
In the meeting, the three PKSF Deputy Managing Directors gave three presentations — Mr Md Fazlul Kader on ‘Scaling up Economic Activities’, Dr Md Jashim Uddin on ‘Good Governance’, and Mr Golam Touhid on ‘Capacity Building’.
Different issues were discussed in the meeting to make the development programs of PKSF more dynamic and effective to ensure sustainable development human dignity for all. Representatives of the POs of PKSF also gave important feedback on PKSF activities and the challenges ways out to implement them in the field.
Issue Based Meeting with General Body Members Discussed “One District One Product” Concept
A discussion meeting with honorable members of the General Body of PKSF was held on 28th November, 2018 at PKSF as per the decision of 7th Annual General Meeting of PKSF. The topic of the 1st meeting of its kind was the concept note of “One District One Product” a new initiative of PKSF to develop geographical branding of different potential farm and non-farm products of the country.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, the Honorable Chairman of PKSF presided over the meeting.
Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF attended the meeting and delivered his welcome speech. Dr. Pratima Paul-Majumder, Mr. C.M. Shafi Sami, Professor Shafi Ahmed, Dr. Ramanimohon Debnath, Dr. Toufic Ahmad Choudhury,Ms. Nazneen Sultana were present at the meeting. Professor M.A. Baqui Khalily, Dr. Momtaz Uddin Ahmed, Dr. Jahangir Alam Khan also attended the meeting as invited guest. Other higher officials of PKSF were also present on the occasion and took part in the discussion. Besides, Senior Officials of PKSF also attended the meeting.
Deputy Managing Director-1 of PKSF Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader presented the concept note on “One District One product”. In his presentation, Mr. Kader mentioned that a good number of business clusters have been grown in the country naturally based on the comparative advantages of different geographical regions. He emphasized on developing umbrella branding of these business clusters so that the products of these clusters can reach wider national and international markets. Although each district of Bangladesh has more than one potential product, the most promising one can be chosen as an iconic product from each district to promote geographical branding. PKSF may continue to provide its assistance to all business clusters that have growth potentials in terms of upscaling of economic activities and generation of sustainable productive employment. However, special focus will be given to the iconic ones for their branding.
The participants welcomed the “One District One product” concept and provided their valuable suggestions regarding this innovative idea. The participants stressed the need for market assessment, market linkage, use of e-commerce service and adequate financial services to materialize the concept.
Honorable Chairman of PKSF, Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad in his closing remarks informed that the financial services provided by PKSF, is no longer called microcredit, rather it is inclusive financing that includes people ranging from ultra-poor to micro entrepreneurs. The credit ceiling is now BDT 1.0 million which may be increased further. He also informed that PKSF has already introduced an e-commerce service exclusively for microenterprises. He advised that the most promising product can be chosen as an iconic product from each district while other business clusters will also get assistance from PKSF in accordance with their growth potential and ability to generate sustainable employment. He also gave instruction for focusing on export oriented microenterprise sector. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad expressed his commitment to initiate different innovative programs to expedite the economic progress of the country. He thanked all the participants for attending the meeting.
Training on Nutrition for the Health Officers of ENRICH
Organized by PKSF, a 5-day training session took place from 14 to 18 November 2018 at Padakhep Institute of Development Management (PIDM), in Dhaka. The program, titled ‘Training on Nutrition’ was facilitated by Ms Pham Thi Hong, Executive Director, Center for Education and Community Development (CECD), Vietnam. The training program was designed and arranged to equip the Health Officers of ENRICH Program with better knowledge and skills on nutrition.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman of PKSF inaugurated the training program as the Chief Guest on 14 November 2018. The Managing Director of PKSF Mr Md. Abdul Karim presided over the inaugural session while Dr. Md. Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director-2 of PKSF spoke as the Special Guest. Senior General Manager of PKSF Mr Mashiar Rahman and the Executive Director of Padakhep Manabik Unnayan Kendra were also present at the inauguration. The chairman of PKSF, in his speech highlighted the importance of nutrition for good health and well-being.
‘Health and Nutrition’ is one of the major components of the ENRICH program. All Partner Organizations (POs) are relentlessly working to maintain good health of population in the 201 ENIRCH unions of 64 districts. Under ENRICH, total of 374 health officers, having 4-year diploma degree, work closely with the members of ENRICH program to better facilitate their access to medical and healthcare services.
The training program was divided into 10 different sessions focusing on different areas of health and nutrition. Ms Hong discussed on the importance, sources and value of sundry nutrients in different sessions. She also made the participants aware of some techniques of preparing balanced food for people of different age groups.
32 female participants from 32 POs took part in the training program. The participants will share their learnings and experiences with the health visitors working closely with them.
The training concluded with a formal ceremony on 18 November at the same venue. It started with the welcome speech by Mr Md. Mashiar Rahman, Sr. General Manager (Program). Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF spoke as the Chief Guest and handed over certificates to the participants. Mr Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director-1 and Dr. Md. Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director-2, PKSF also attended the session as special guests while Mr Iqbal Ahmed, Executive Director, Padakkhep Manobik Unnoyon Kendra presided over. Ms Pham Thi Hong presented on her evaluation regarding the training program.
PKSF organized International Conference titled “Pathways to a Sustainable Economy: Vision 2041 Agenda for Bangladesh”
PKSF organized International Conference titled “Pathways to a Sustainable Economy: Vision 2041 Agenda for Bangladesh”
“Bangladesh needs to ensure a society which will be free from corruption and inequality to achieve the vision 2041″, Speakers urged at the International Conference titled “Pathways to a Sustainable Economy: Vision 2041- Agenda for Bangladesh” held at Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), Dhaka on 30-31 October 2018.
In addition to the opening and closing sessions of the two-day International Conference, six breakout sessions were held where papers on different emerging development issues of Bangladesh, relevant to the ‘Vision 2041′, had been presented & discussed.
Chairman of PKSF Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad chaired the inaugural session of the conference, while University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairman Professor Abdul Mannan Delivered a speech as the Chief Guest. Managing Director of PKSF Mr. Md. Abdul Karim also delivered the welcome speech.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad said that Bangladesh has already had a good number of economic and social attainments. All difficulties, including those with manpower, terrorism, corruption and political stability, need to be addressed properly to consolidate these achievements. In order to overcome obstacles, everyone should be included in development process. He also added that no-one would be left behind and the spirit of the Liberation War of Bangladesh would get prioritized to achieve SDGs.
Professor Abdul Mannan said that Bangladesh made a significant progress in economic development. But the biggest challenge is sustainability. To achieve sustainability, we need political stability and the government needs to concentrate various potential areas for further development. If corruption is ceased, then it is possible to increase the current GDP by 2%.
In the welcome speech the PKSF Managing Director Mr. Md. Abdul Karim highlighted the comparative picture of the economic growth of Bangladesh, saying that 4% growth of 1990 has reached at 7.86 in the year 2018. Referring to the expectation and achievement of the people of Bangladesh, he focused on ensuring sustainable economy, minimizing the gap between region-based unequal developments and eventually the development of the financial institutions.
Local and foreign experts presented a total of 15 papers on a few policy directive topics such as industrialization, agriculture, food security, public health, nutrition, and climate change at the conference which ended on 31 October 2018. The conference was organized jointly by the Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), Dhaka School of Economics, Jagannath University, Griffith University of Australia, University of Bath, UK, and Bremen University, Germany.
Bangladesh Adolescents’ Conference 2018 Held
‘Bangladesh Kishore-Kishori (adolescents) Shommelon 2018’, a national conference of adolescents, was held at Bangabandhu International Conference Center on 21 October 2018. Finance Minister Mr Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, MP, was the Chief Guest at the inaugural session of the conference organised by Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF). Presided over by PKSF Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, the inaugural session was graced by Ms Naznin Sultana, a member of the PKSF Governing Body, as the Guest of Honour. Mr Md Abdul Karim, Managing Director of PKSF gave the vote of thanks while Deputy Managing Director (Program) of PKSF Mr Md Fazlul Kader spoke on the future plan on developing the cultural values of the youths of the country.
The Finance Minister, in his speech, said though the poverty rate in Bangladesh has decreased significantly, there are still 30 million people in the country living below the poverty line and 10 million of them are ultra-poor. To ensure the development of these people and to bring down the poverty rate below 10 percent, the Government should continue with its development activities for the next 7 to 10 years, stated Mr Muhith. He also said that the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman emphasized on proper utilization of the human resources of the country to rebuild a war-torn country. The adolescents of today will uphold the spirit of Bangabandhu to help Bangladesh continue the development march and emerge as a developed nation by 2041, the Finance Minister added.
Terming inclusiveness as a pre-requisite to sustainable development, PKSF Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad said PKSF programs and projects are designed and implemented in such a way that no one is left out of the development purview. ‘Dignity for all’ is the overarching objective of the PKSF interventions. ‘Bangladesh Kishore-Kishori Shommelon 2018’ has been arranged as part of its inclusive development programs, he said, adding that this particular program will help to build a nation enriched in its own traditions and cultural values.
Mr Md Abdul Karim, Managing Director of PKSF, said that PKSF has taken up various programs to address the life-cycle-based needs of people. As part of inclusive development program for sustainable poverty alleviation, PKSF is implementing ‘Cultural and Sports Program’, designed in light of the grand initiative of Bangabandhu to build future leadership through formulating the Children Act. The PKSF Managing Director hoped that today’s adolescents will take forward the unprecedented achievements of Bangladesh in economic, social and human development indices
Mr Md Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director (Program) of PKSF said that there is no alternative to developing cultural values for sustainable socio-economic development of the country. He shared the future plans of PKSF’s ‘Cultural and Sports Program’ to equip the adolescents with necessary values to cope with the challenges of the days ahead. Mr Md Fazlul Kader also highlighted the tremendous responses the program received at the grassroots level within just two years of inception, and said that this program will create a strong foundation to materialize the dream of Bangabandhu’s Sonar Bangla, a prosperous Bangladesh.
A total of 710 adolescents — selected from 100,000 participants from 11,000 educational institutions across the country — participated in the conference. They took an oath to work for the welfare of the country as well as for humanity. PKSF Chairman Dr QK Ahmad administered the oath. An adolescent girl, a boy and a teacher also spoke in the program. A workshop on leadership skills and ethics was held in the second session of the daylong conference.
Mr Md Ashadul Islam, Secretary, Financial Institutions Division, Ministry of Finance, was present as the Chief Guest at the closing ceremony of the conference while eminent litterateur Selina Hossain was as the Special Guest.
The conference ended with a cultural program in the presence of, among others, Hon’ble Cultural Affairs Minister Mr Asaduzzaman Noor, MP. Adolescents from different regions of the country performed in the cultural evening.
Signing Ceremony of Record of Discussions (R/D) between PKSF and JICA
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) has signed Record of Discussions (R/D) with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for “The Project for Developing Inclusive Risk Mitigation Program for Sustainable Poverty Reduction” in Bangladesh on September 26, 2018. The main objective of the project is to provide financial & non-financial services to the poor households of Bangladesh to mitigate financial risk and increase resilience against irregular behavior in climatic environment including natural and personal disasters.
Mr. Yasuhiro Kawazoe, Senior Representative of JICA Bangladesh Office and Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director, PKSF signed the R/D on behalf of their respective organizations. Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF was present on the ceremony. Mr. Keisuke Sawada, Project Formulation Advisor, JICA Bangladesh Office, Ms. Syeda Sadia Hasan, Deputy Program Manager from JICA and Mr. Md. Hasan Khaled, General Manager and other officials of PKSF were also present during the signing of the R/D.
Postponement of Skills for Employment Investment Program (SEIP) and Sustainable Enterprise Project (SEP) project e-recruitment process
All the e-recruitment process under Skills for Employment Investment Program (SEIP) and Sustainable Enterprise Project (SEP) of PKSF have been postponed due to some technical difficulties. PKSF will re-advertise for the recruitment of Skills for Employment Investment Program (SEIP) and Sustainable Enterprise Project (SEP) through daily newspapers soon.
PKSF Observes National Mourning Day
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) observed the National Mourning Day on 15 August 2018 with due reverence and solemnity. On this fateful day in 1975, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, along with most of his family members, was brutally assassinated in his residence by a group of wayward military men.
A discussion meeting chaired by PKSF Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad was held and special prayers were offered during the observance program at PKSF Auditorium. PKSF Board members Dr Pratima Paul Majumder, Ms Nazneen Sultana and Ambassador Munshi Faiz Ahmad, and Managing Director Mr Md Abdul Karim spoke during the discussion attended by all the employees of PKSF.
Mr Md Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director (Program), Dr Md Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director (Administration) and Mr Golam Touhid, Deputy Managing Director (Finance) also spoke at the event.
At the beginning of the program, all participants stood in solemn silence for one minute, displaying respect to the great leader and prayed for the peace of departed souls. Later, food was distributed among children in two orphanages.
From a speech
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad
High Cost High Profile Seminars/Workshops on Poverty Eradication Vs Poverty Action on the Ground:
“For poverty eradication, there is no need to waste resources by arranging seminars/workshops at 5-Star hotels or travel long distances to attend high profile conferences at huge costs.
What is necessary is political and institutional commitment and action at the household level. But it is crucially important first to understand the true circumstances of the households and then stand by them with a package of services including education, training, health services, social capital formation and other specific services needed by the particular households. Trained and motivated change agents deployed by dedicated institutions are needed to implement such a package.
The cost incurred in one seminar with about 100 participants at a 5-Star hotel in Dhaka can support at least five extremely poor households to move up above the poverty line.
It is known what to do and how to do it to remove poverty in Bangladesh. Further learnings should emerge as action progresses. Sensible thing to do is to avoid fancy and expensive talk shops and promote action.
Anyone interested to see the efficacy of this approach on the ground may visit one of the 200 unions under the ENRICH programme of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF).”
Workshop on Implementation Strategies of Uplifting the Quality of the Lives of the Elderly People Programme
Workshop on Implementation Strategies of Uplifting the Quality of the Lives of the Elderly People Programme
A workshop on Implementing Strategies of Uplifting the Quality of the Lives of the Elderly People Programme was held on August 12, 2018 at PKSF Bhaban. A total of 260 Focal Person and Programme Officers from 98 Partner Organisations were present in the day-long workshop. From July 1, 2018, the Elderly People Programme has been extended to 234 Unions from 100 Unions.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, the honorable Chairman of Palli Karma- Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) inaugurated the workshop. Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, honorable Managing Director of PKSF gave speech as special guest. Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director (Programme) was present at the inaugural session of the workshop.
In his speech Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad said that in old age, people become incapable in many ways. “These neglected, destitute elderly people should not rehabilitate in old home rather they should be served at their own homes”.
Mr. Md. Abdul Karim in his speech emphasised the importance of inclusive development in sustainable poverty reduction process. Referring to the necessity of the workshop he asked the participants to contribute the workshop effectively. Mr. Karim urged the programme officers to ensure transparency and accountability while implanting the programme in field level. Mr. Abdul Karim said that the elderly programme empowered the local elderly people since all the elderly committees are given the authority to select the beneficiaries of receiving special assistances from the programme.
Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader discussed the background and perspective of the Elderly People Programme. He welcomed the workshop participants and gave necessary guidance to them. Mr. Abul Hasan Md. Abdul Qaiyum, Deputy General Manager (Program), PKSF gave a presentation and discussed on under taken strategies for Uplifting the quality of the Lives of Elderly People Programme at field level. In the workshop, the respective officials gave chapter wise presentation on the Guideline to Implement the Elderly People Programme. There was also a separate session from PKSF Audit Division, where the participants were briefed about budget and re-imbursement procedure.
Subsidiary Loan and Grant Agreement (SLGA) Signing Ceremony of “Sustainable Enterprise Project (SEP)”
Subsidiary Loan and Grant Agreement (SLGA) Signing Ceremony of “Sustainable Enterprise Project (SEP)”
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) is going to implement ‘‘Sustainable Enterprise Project (SEP)” supported by the World Bank. The World Bank has approved to finance USD 110.0 million from its International Development Association (IDA) window to implement the project. The main objective of the project is to promote environmentally sustainable microenterprises of Bangladesh.
Subsidiary Loan and Grant Agreement (SLGA) of SEP has been signed between ‘Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF)’ and Finance Division, Ministry of Finance, on August 02, 2018. Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director of PKSF and Mr. Shirajun Noor Chowdhury, Deputy Secretary, Finance Division (FD), Ministry of Finance signed the SLGA on behalf of their respective side. Dr. Akond Md. Rafiqul Islam, General Manager of PKSF and Mr. Zahir Uddin Ahmed, Project Coordinator, SEP, PKSF were present in the contract signing ceremony.
With the completion of SLGA signing, Sustainable Enterprise Project (SEP) is going to be effective officially. This project will be implemented within next 05 years through the designated Partner Organizations of PKSF in selected business clusters of the microenterprises.
Training Completion Ceremony Held under SEIP
Start-up capital, appointment letters, certificates handed over
Bangla-German Sampriti (BGS), a training institute working with the SEIP project of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), organized a training completion ceremony at its Vocational Training Centre (VTC) in Tangail on 16 July 2018.
Eminent economist Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, also the Chairman of PKSF, was the Chief Guest at the ceremony. Mr Muhammad Nesar Uddin Jewel, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Tangail, Mr Md Abul Kashem, Deputy General Manager of PKSF, and Mr Md Abdul Hamid, Deputy Director at the Tangail office of the Department of Social Welfare, were present there as Special Guests at the event chaired by Mr Md Jahurul Islam, Executive Director of BGS.
Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad handed over cheques of start-up capital, amounting to BDT 3,00,000, among four female and one male program participants who successfully completed the training and now wish to start their own enterprises.
A total of 75 youths participated in the training on different trades in three batches and 56 of them received recruitment letters from various business entities — including Pran-RFL, Energypac, MyOne-Minister, and Standard Group — during the ceremony. Besides, all the participants received training completion certificates.
Also during his BGS visit, Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad inspected the training classes at the VTC and talked to the trainees, who expressed their gratitude to the PKSF Chairman and said this visit was very inspirational for them.
Visit of field level operations of PKSF by Ms. Aparna Subramani, Executive Director (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal), The World Bank
Visit of field level operations of PKSF by Ms. Aparna Subramani, Executive Director (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal), The World Bank
Ms. Aparna Subramani, Executive Director (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal), The World Bank visited field level activities of PKSF on July 02, 2018. Ms. Aparna Subramani along with the officials of PKSF and Economic Relations Division (ERD), visited Brass product cluster, Safe Vegetable production, Vermi compost production and OBA Sanitation Project of ‘Society for Development Initiatives (SDI)’, a Partner Organization of PKSF, at Dhamrai upazila, Dhaka.
After visiting the field level activities, Ms. Aparna Subramani met eminent economist Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF, Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director (Ex Principal Secretary) and Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director (Programme) of PKSF in its office. Other officials of PKSF and ERD were also present there. During the meeting, Ms. Aparna Subramani praised the human centric activities of PKSF.
MoU signed to implement Skills for Employment Investment Program (SEIP)
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) and the Finance Division, Ministry of Finance, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh signed a renewal of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today, June 26, 2018, to implement the 2nd phase of the Skills for Employment Investment Program (SEIP) project. In the presence of Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director of PKSF (Former Principal Secretary) and Mr. Jalal Ahmend, Additional Secretary and Executive Project Director (SEIP), Finance Division; Mr. Abdur Rouf Talukdar, Additional Secretary and National Project Director (SEIP), Finance Division, and Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director (Program) of PKSF signed the MoU in PKSF.
The goal of the project is to develop demand-driven workforce through skills training and thereby placing at least 60% of the participants in more productive self and wage employment at home and abroad, which eventually will help improve their livelihood. The project is financed jointly by the Government of Bangladesh, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The totalprojected budget of PKSF for this phase is BDT 62.84 crore. PKSF will receive the total amount as grant through the government. Under this agreement, PKSF will provide skills training to 12,000 new entrants by 2020. Participants, after completion of their training will also be offered job placement services. The project will be implemented across the country through recognized training institutions. PKSF will select program participants from the disadvantaged youths under its microfinance programs through its Partner Organizations. The 2nd phase of the project will be completed within three years. In the 1st phase of the project implemented from 2015 to 2017, 10,000 participants received skills training in different trades and 71% of them secured jobs already. Out of this job recipients, 34% are self-employed.
Mr. Md. Kamal Hossain, DPED (Public), Mr. Md. Rafiqul Islam, DPED (Fund Management) and Mr. Md. Fazlul Bari, DPED (Private) of SEIP project, Ministry of Finance and Mr. Md. Abul Kashem, Project Coordinator of SEIP, PKSF among others, were present in the MoU signing ceremony.
Seminar on ‘Sustainable Livelihood and Inclusive Development of the Bedey Community in Savar Upazila’
Seminar on ‘Sustainable Livelihood and Inclusive Development of the Bedey Community in Savar Upazila’
PKSF on 05 June 2018, arranged a seminar over a baseline study titled ‘Sustainable Livelihood and Inclusive Development of the Bedey Community in Savar Upazila‘ chaired by Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF. A presentation was made on the study by Dr. Tapash Kumar Biswas, Director (Research), PKSF. On the occasion, a total of 37 personnel from different Partner Organizations (POs) of PKSF and other related institutions attended the seminar along with 26 of the PKSF’s senior officials.
At the beginning of the Seminar, Dr. Md. Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director (Admin), PKSF made a brief on the background of the study. Dr. Jashim said that the Bedeys are mostly concentrated in Savar, Dhaka region and are a special group of population stricken with severe poverty. PKSF conducted a comprehensive study through its Research Division to assess the Bedey people’s occupational pattern, status of education, socio-cultural status and vulnerabilities with a view to finding the way out of poverty for them.
Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director (Program) put emphasis on capturing the anthropological perspective of the Bedey community. Other participants also provided valuable opinions and made propositions. Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF acknowledged the study highly and conveyed his thanks towards the Director (Research) and the Research Division of PKSF for conducting such study. Hon’ble Chairman of the PKSF Dr. Ahmad remarked that it is necessary to know about the Bedeys since they are left behind and are left off from the mainstream development activities. Dr. Ahmad opined that the findings of the study would be applicable for other Bedey concentrated areas of Bangladesh. He hoped that this study would be useful for initiating development activities for mainstreaming the Bedey communities. He also appreciated the study to be very timely and stated that it can be published.
National Anti-Tobacco Platform awarded “Tobacco Control Award-2018’’
An award giving ceremony; “Tobacco Control Award-2018” was organized by National Anti-Tobacco Platform (NATP) on 24th May 2018.
The program was presided over by Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, chairman, PKSF and convener, NATP. He mentioned that NATP has been working mainly in three areas; discouraging the use of tobacco in any form, raising consciousness among people and doing advocacy at policy level. He mentioned that many anti-tobacco organizations have taken different interventions, but due to lack of proper coordination expected outcomes have not been achieved. He expected NATP will act as a coordinator for tobacco free Bangladesh.
Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF, in his welcome speech, mentioned that Tobacco control is very essential to attain the 3rd goal of SDG where healthy lives for all can be ensured. He said that NATP has been working for a healthy nation to substantiate the development process in Bangladesh. Moreover, he emphasized that social awareness and all-out efforts are necessary for tobacco control.
Mr. Zahid Malik, State Minister for the Health and Family Welfare attended the program as the Chief Guest. He praised PKSF’s interventions of alternative profitable cultivation replacing existing tobacco cultivation. He indicated it as one of the best ways to reduce tobacco production. He also suggested NATP to carry out campaigning programs throughout the country to eliminate the risk of tobacco and drug addiction especially among the youth.
National Professor Brig. (Retd.) Abdul Malik attended the program as the Special Guest. He appreciated the role taken by PKSF in alternative cultivation where former Tobacco cultivators transformed their lives. He urged that anti-tobacco movement should be duly sensitized and made into a social movement for a safe public health.
NATP has given awards to two categories in this year for outstanding contribution in tobacco control activities. ‘Dhaka Ahsania Mission’ has been awarded in Organization category for the quality, expansion and impact of their tobacco control activities.
On the other hand, Dr. M Mostafa Zaman, has been awarded for ‘Publication/ Research’ category for his contribution in non-communicable diseases and quality of publication in national and international journals that contributed in anti-tobacco movement.
Agreement Signing Ceremony of ‘‘Sustainable Enterprise Project (SEP)”
The World Bank has approved to finance US$110.0 million from its International Development Association (IDA) window to implement ‘‘Sustainable Enterprise Project (SEP)” by Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF). The main objective of the project is to promote environmentally sustainable microenterprises of Bangladesh.
The Financing Agreement and Project Agreement of SEP have been signed in NEC-2 Conference room of Economic Relations Division (ERD), Dhaka on 16th May, 2018. Mr. Kazi Shofiqul Azam, Secretary, Economic Relations Division (ERD) and Mr. Qimiao Fan, Country Director of the World Bank Dhaka Office signed the Financing Agreement on behalf of their respective side. While Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director of PKSF and Mr. Qimiao Fan, Country Director of the World Bank Dhaka Office signed the Project Agreement.
Ms. Mahmuda Begum, Additional Secretary of ERD; Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director of PKSF; Dr. Akond Md. Rafiqul Islam, General Manager of PKSF; Ms. Nadia Sharmin, Task Team Leader of SEP of the World Bank; Mr. Mirza Ashfaqur Rahman, Deputy Secretary of ERD; Mr. Nazrul Islam from Financial Institutions Division (FID)and other senior officials from ERD, FID, and PKSF were also present at the signing ceremony.
Project Coordinator of SEP Mr. Zahir Uddin Ahmed made a short presentation on this project at the beginning of the ceremony.
Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director of PKSF mentioned that SEP is one of the fastest negotiated projects of the World Bank. He thanked the ERD, FID, the World Bank and the PKSF officials for completing the project formalities within such a very short period of time. He also mentioned that like other projects, PKSF will maintain high quality of implementation of this project. He said Chairman of PKSF Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad is very keen on supporting environmentally sustainable microenterprises in Bangladesh.
Mr. Kazi Shofiqul Azam, Secretary of ERD recognized PKSF as a renowned organization of the country and said that ERD will provide full support to implement this project. He wished all the successes of this project.
In the signing ceremony, Mr. Qimiao Fan, Country Director of the World Bank thanked the Government of Bangladesh, PKSF and the World Bank staff for completing the project formalities within a very short period of time. He also said that most of the countries follow ”do first and clean later” practice which creates nothing but damage. He also mentioned that, through this project Microenterprises of Bangladesh will be supported to adopt environment friendly practices.
On March 29, 2018, the World Bank has approved USD 110.0 million for the project. Total budget of the project is USD 130.0 million; of which the World Bank will finance USD 110.0 million and PKSF will contribute USD 20.0 million. This project will be implemented within next 05 years through the designated Partner Organizations of PKSF in selected business clusters of the microenterprises.
The officials of PKSF and its Contractor firm Concord Engineers & Construction Ltd joined a Dua Mahfil Ceremony with fervor on may 15, 2018 for Earth Breaking of construction work of 13 storied with 4 basements Display & Sale Centre (Bhaban) of PKSF at Shyamoli, Dhaka. The function was chared by Dr. Jashim Uddin, DMD (Admin), PKSF. The honorable MD of PKSF Mr. Md. Abdul Karim was the Chief Guest in the occasion. Besides MD of Concord Group, Mr. Shariar Kamal, Dr. Abdul Jalil, Consultant, BRTC-BUET, Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, DMD (Program), Mr. Golam Touhid, DMD (Finance) and Professor Shafi Ahmed, Senior Editorial Adviser of PKSF were also present in the inaugural session. Apart from those, other top rank officials of PKSF & Concord Group also participated in the Mahfil.
A national platform titled ‘Bangladesh Jatiya Prabin Mancha (Bangladesh National Forum for the Elderly)’ has been launched under the initiatives of Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF). Mr. Md Abdul Karim, Managing Director of PKSF, has been pro-active to the formation of the Forum.
The platform will take up various programs in light of the National Policy on Older Persons 2013. The platform, comprising different organizations and individuals working for the welfare of the elderly, is expected to play an effective role in building a senior citizen-friendly society as well as in ensuring sustainable socio-economic progress by bettering services to the elderly people.
Social Welfare Minister Mr. Rashed Khan Menon, MP, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and Health and Family Welfare Secretary Mr. Foyez Ahmed was the Special Guest at the launching ceremony. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad presided over the program held on 14 May 2018 at PKSF Auditorium.
In his speech, Mr. Rashed Khan Menon said the experience and wisdom of the senior citizens can guide the youth towards a better and more prosperous future. Mentioning that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cannot be achieved leaving anyone behind, he commented that empowering senior citizens is as important as ensuring their welfare. “I hope this Forum will play a vital role in ensuring inclusive development and social dignity of the elderly.”
Stating that the average life expectancy of the Bangladeshis has reached 72 years, the Health and Family Welfare Secretary said ensuring collective welfare of the elderly is becoming a growing challenge, and this Forum is a “praiseworthy initiative” for addressing that challenges.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, the PKSF Chairman, said inclusion of the elderly in the development process is a must for achieving the SDGs. During his speech as the program’s Chair, the eminent economist also announced the Advisory Committee (bn) (eng), the Executive Committee (bn) (eng) and the General Body (bn) (eng) of the newly floated Forum.
PKSF Managing Director Mr. Md Abdul Karim said PKSF is carrying out its Elderly programme in light of the National Policy on Older Persons 2013 and the Parents’ Maintenance Act 2013.
He said PKSF is conducting a comprehensive pro-elderly program titled ‘Uplifting the Quality of the Lives of the Elderly People’ that ensures social and financial security, healthcare, empowerment, entertainment of elderly people. The new Forum will hopefully formulate its working strategies in line with the experiences of PKSF, he said.
Mr Abdul Karim, a former Principal Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office, stressed on the need for the expansion of health services for the elderly at the grassroots, incorporation of a dedicated chapter in textbooks for creating social responsibility and awareness among people, and introduction of a national pension scheme for all.
A separate ministry or department can be established for expediting the pro-elderly measures of the government, suggested the former top bureaucrat of the State. “Bangladesh National Forum for the Elderly will hopefully act as a model platform for the welfare of older persons”, Mr. Abdul Karim added.
Earlier, PKSF Deputy Managing Director (Program) Mr. Md Fazlul Kader, who spearheads the implementation of the Foundation’s innovative ‘Uplifting the Quality of the Lives of the Elderly People’ programme, presented on different pro-elderly interventions and achievements of PKSF.
Ms Rabeya Sultana, Country Director of HelpAge International Bangladesh, Mr. Abul Hasib Khan, Director of Resource Integration Centre (RIC), and Ms Monowara Begum, Executive Director of Prottyashi, also spoke at the program. PKSF Board Members, members of PKSF’s elderly interventions and officials of the Partner Organizations concerned, among others, were present at the launching ceremony of the new platform.
To mark the International Women’s Day, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) organized a seminar on 27 March 2018. This year the theme was “Time is Now: Rural and Urban activities Transforming Women’s lives.
The seminar was presided over by Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF, and Advocate Tarana Halim, MP, State Minister, Ministry of Information, as the chief guest. Mr. Md. Zillar Rahman, Secretary of Social Welfare Ministry, was the Guest of Honor and Litterateur Ms. Selina Hossain was present as special guest.
PKSF Chairman Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad said social, economic and educational development of women is essential for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He expressed the view that ensuring the equal opportunities and establishing human dignity for all will enhance the pathway of women towards prosperity.
State Minister for Information Advocate Tarana Halim said that elimination of discrimination against women can be achieved by changing the mindset of people of all walks of society. The current government is a women-friendly Government and due to this, Women are marching ahead in all spheres today. She emphasized on ensuring women’s political development alongside their economic development to ensure women’s empowerment.
Secretary of the Social Welfare Ministry Mr. Md. Zillar Rahman spoke about the initiatives taken by his ministry. The purview of social safety net has already been expanded and further expansion is underway with priority on women, he said.
Speaking on the occasion, renowned litterateur Ms Selina Hossain expressed her hope that the society will advance through equality of male and female. She emphasized on the need for creating equal opportunities for everyone by removing gender discrimination in society.
Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director of PKSF delivered welcome speech at the seminar. He mentioned about the initiatives taken by the government to pave way for women’s development. At the same time, he highlighted the initiatives taken by PKSF for the empowerment of women at the grassroots.
In recognition of her contribution in the field of socio-economic development for women, the PKSF honored Ms. Begum Rokeya, Executive Director of Swabalambi Unnayan Samiti. Muhammad Shahid Uz Zaman, Executive Director, Eco-Social Development Organization (ESDO) presented the keynote paper at the seminar. Ms. Nilufar Banu, Executive Director, Bangladesh Unnayan Parisad, also spoke at the seminar.
Success in extracting royal jelly from honey bee!
Extraction of royal jelly has been successfully done through a value chain intervention under IFAD supported PACE project. This is the first ever success in extracting royal jelly in Bangladesh. This Royal Jelly was extracted under the Value Chain sub-project under PACE project named “Income Generation of Beekeepers through Sustainable Beekeeping and Honey Production” implemented by Bangladesh Association for Social Advancement (BASA), a partner organization (PO) of PKSF. Royal jelly is a secretion of honey bee, which is considered as the ‘super food’ for queen bees and it is used for developing bee larva and queen. This extract enables a queen bee to maintain a highly productive life. Royal jelly has many health benefits for humans. Apart from improving immunization system and boosting energy, this extract has good impact in controlling blood pressure and other diseases. Bee keepers will now be able to extract royal jelly applying this technology transferred under PACE project. We are congratulating and appreciating all institutions concerned including farmers on this ground breaking success.
It can be mentioned that PACE project has achieved successes in other economic sub-sectors which includes establishment of the country’s first ever crab hatchery, establishment of Halda river research Institute, export of mung bean, establishment of Tissue culture lab and other common service centre and transfer of technologies for high value fruits and crops cultivation and so on.
The Baul Shah Abdul Karim Memorial Museum is going to be built at the residence of Baul Shah Abdul Karim at Dirai upazila of Sunamganj district. On 19 March 2018, the Chairman of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad laid the foundation stone of the Museum, in a ceremony organized on the premises of the baul’s home. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad was the Chief Guest and PKSF Managing Director Mr. Md. Abdul Karim was present as Special Guest. Partner Organization TMSS will oversee construction of the museum with the financial assistance from PKSF.
Dr. Md. Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director (Admin), PKSF, and senior officials of PKSF and TMSS were present at the ceremony.
Ekushey Padak recipient Baul Shah Abdul Karim was born on February 15, 1916 in sunamganj District. He died on September 12, 2009.
Initiatives to achieve Sustainable development in haor areas face multilevel challenges. In order to create a strategy to involve the marginalized people of the Haor region in the mainstream development process, a conference was organized in Shantiganj of South Sunamganj upazila in Sunamganj district on 18 March 2018.
The conference was comprised of two sessions. The opening session was chaired by Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF. Honorable State Minister of the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Planning of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Mr. M. A. Mannan, M. P. was present on the occasion as the Chief Guest while Advocate Shamsun Nahar Begum, MP, Mr. Moazzem Hossain Ratan, MP, Dr. Jaya Sengupta, MP, Mr. Muhibur Rahman Manik, MP, and Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF were present as Special Guests. Mr. Md. Sabirul Islam, Deputy Commissioner of Sunamganj gave the welcome speech at the conference.
Two presentations were made on the initiatives taken by government and non-government entities for the development of haor people. Dr. Md. Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director (Administration), PKSF gave a presentation titled “Sustainable Development of Haor People: Non-government Initiatives” and the other presentation titled ‘Sustainable Development of Haor People: Government Initiatives’ was presented by Mr. Md. Ruhul Amin, Director (Wetlands), Directorate of Bangladesh Haor and Wetland Development.
In the second part of the day, a technical session held on “Sustainable Development of the Haor People through Collaborative Initiatives of the government and non-governmental bodies: Challenges and Prospects”. In this session, four articles on sustainable development of haor people were presented. Four presentations were made respectively by Dr. Fazle Rabbi Sadeque Ahmed, Director (Environment and Climate Change), PKSF, Mr. Zakir Ahmed Khan, Head of Urban Program, Concern Worldwide, Bangladesh, Mr. KAM Morshed, Director, Advocacy, Technology and Partnership, BRAC, and Mr. Iqbal Ahmad, Executive Director, Padakkhep Manobik Unnayan Kendra.
Mr. Ziaul Haque Mukta, General Secretary, Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL), Professor AKM Mazharul Islam, Department of Anthropology, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet and Dr. M. Mokhlesur Rahman, Executive Director, Center for Natural Resources Studies (CNRS) were panel discussant in the session. PKSF Chairman Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad was the Chief Guest and Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF was the Session Chair. PKSF organized this conference to get a glimpse of the challenges regarding sustainable development initiatives for the Haor People and identify ways to ensure better and stronger collaboration among different government and non-government initiatives.
Presentation in Haor Conference 2018 (Concern Worldwide)
Presentation in Haor Conference 2018 (BRAC)
Presentation in Haor Conference 2018 (Padakhep Manabik Unnayan Kendra)
Presentation on GCF Proposal in Haor Conference 2018
Human Rights Human Dignity and Sustainable Development
- Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad
(This paper is based on the speech delivered by the author as the chief guest at the inaugural session of the 7th World Edu Summit, organized by MTC Global at Bangalore, India on 9 September 2017.)
Thank you very much, Professor Bholanath Dutta. I am here, because of Professor Dutta. I was not ready to travel. I don’t travel these days very much. And I am due to travel again on the next 13th September, a rather long journey to the USA. But Bholanath persuaded me to be here today. He is very persuasive. I say this, because noting his persuasive power, I can state with confidence that, with him at the helm, the MTC Global will go very far. I thank him and congratulate him and his associates.
I heard the comments of Professor R S S Mani with interest and he made some very pertinent points. Professor Golam Samdani Fakir, from Bangladesh, has talked about sustainable development. In fact, this is the in-thing now, but it is not going to be easy to translate all the talks and proposals into action. And Professor Ratnalekar has given a list of don’ts: don’t do this, don’t do that; yes, he has also provided a list of do’s. This reminds me that we all are equal human beings, with the same set of universal human rights. Everybody, all of us here and everywhere, including those who are not fortunate enough to even come near this community, i.e. those who work physically in fields, factories, and streets. Everybody is entitled to pursuing their rights as vigorously as possible. But, nobody must do one thing and that is to encroach upon the rights of others. And this is something I try to put across in Bangladesh. I travel to rural areas all over Bangladesh as much as I can; and one key message that I try to give is: we’re all equal as humans; we have the right to expand our horizons, but nobody has the right to undermine anybody else’s rights. This is something that if we, all of us take unto ourselves and follow through, we can surely contribute to the evolving of a fair society. One can try to be whatever they want—rich, highly educated, highly placed in society, economy or any other sphere of life—but they must do it in a manner that does not encroach upon anybody else’s right. In my judgement, this is one of the most basic things that the educationists should put across to their students. I try to do it.
I have been introduced as Chairman of Dhaka School of Economics which is a higher educational institution and also as Chairman of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) which works with the downtrodden, the poor and the extreme poor, for their socio-economic progress. I think we have so far talked about higher education a lot in this session, and also about sophisticated skill training and entrepreneurship development, geared to making large profits. Sustainable development has also been mentioned. But we have not talked about the downtrodden at all. In the context of sustainable development, one key element is: nobody is to be left out, everybody has to be included. Indeed, the society cannot go forward sustainably, leaving any segment of population, even an individual, behind. And my understanding is that in India, depending on the poverty lines used, 25-30 percent of the total population is still poor. In Bangladesh, the proportion is about the same. But in terms of numbers, the poor account for 40-45 million in Bangladesh and here, in India, it may be 250 million plus, perhaps 300 million or more people who are poor. So we have to think about poverty eradication if we are talking about sustainable development or just sustainable education. And we’ve heard Professor Samdani say that basic education is included in SDG4 which is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals; and basic education is surely for everybody. However, we don’t have to talk about the basic education of our children, i.e. children of those of us who are here in this room and others like us or more accomplished than us, because we are very aware of that and we make sure that our children get the best possible education. But it is the children of the poor, who do not have the resources and do not have access to good, even any educational institutions, should be a critical focus. They are an integral part of sustainable development paradigm. We do a little bit of that at Dhaka School of Economics. It is a post-graduate institute mostly, although we have also recently started an undergraduate programme. We facilitate economically less fortunate students to study at the School. One of the major programmes we teach is environmental and resource economics, and environment is one of the pillars of sustainable development.
Sustainable development, all of you may be aware, is socially acceptable, environmentally sound economic growth. In other words, it has three pillars: economic, social, and environmental. If you look at the definition given in the Agenda 21 adopted in 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, Brazil, sustainable development has been defined with reference to economic development, social development, and environmental protection with the human being placed at the centre of the process. And that has been repeated in the outcome document, The Futurre We Want, of the 2012 Rio+20 conference. This time, the definition starts with the human being. In Rio 1992, it was economic, social, and environmental concerns and then the human being; and, in 2012 Rio+20, it is said that all development is for the human beings, which consists of an integrated economic, social, and environmental progress.
We are now aware of the mind-boggling inequalities in the world a lot more than before. There is a study (2016) by Oxfam that has found that the richest 1% of the world population owns half the world’s wealth, and the other 99% owns the other half. This is not a sustainable world. I think it is the inequality that is at the heart of unsustainability. From education to economic to social development to political participation, everywhere there is inequality. And that’s social exclusion. In fact, inequality in education sustains the other inequalities. I think it’s time we focus on inclusiveness. When we consider skill training, employment generation, enterprise and entrepreneurship development, we should include all segments of society having regard to their differential circumstances and views. I do.
I know that economic growth is essential, but it is not enough for sustainable development. And we have to get out of the fold of neo-classical economics which is focused on profit for the producers and satisfaction for the consumers, with everybody making decisions rationally. That’s the essence of neo-classical economics. Rationality can be taken to any extent in relation to self interest. But such thoughts as I don’t recognize anybody else’s interests and rights, I only want MY rights and progress can’t be humanly rational. If we pursue such thoughts and actions, we are acting against social cohesion and peaceful social progress; and that is what is happening around the world. We now have the neo-classical economic paradigm ruling around the world, where everybody pursues their own purposes regardless of what happens to anybody else. And that’s why the world is now what it is—sharply divided in terms of social, economic, and political participation across and within countries. This is basically true in India and in Bangladesh and all over the world.
We talk a lot about poverty reduction; and there are many programmes in Bangladesh, in India, and in other countries focused on the poor. But, these programmes don’t go far in terms of sustainable removal of poverty. These anti-poverty efforts are often undermined by the powerful and selfish interests.
That is basically the framework that prevails. The social formation or the class formation remains highly stratified.
The prevailing sharp contradiction between the rich and the downtrodden (the under-classes) is, to me, the crux of the matter from the point of view of sustainable development. Neo-classicism has led to neo-liberalism in terms of attitude, prescriptions, and actions. That’s the perspective that rules today. And it causes and enhances disparity and perpetuates and sharpens socio-economic and power distinctions.
In this context, please recall something I have said earlier that as human beings we are all equal and nobody has any right to undermine anybody else’s rights and interests. But, what is going on is contrary to this inherent demand of humanity. Also, Professor Ratnalekar has said in so many words that we’re not supposed to do certain things, which harms and hurts others.
Let me now come back to the issue of sustainable development: Here, two of the slogans, shown in the documents you have distributed, I like very much. One is ‘Educate, Empower, Elevate’. The other is ‘Educate, Empower and Employ’. Thus, you educate and train people to empower them. Very good first step. But empowerment is not only education and training, it also depends on health services. We, who are present here in this room and people like us and those who are in stronger socio-economic or political positions, can access health services as required, but there are people, particularly the downtrodden, who cannot; and therefore facilitation of health services for them is important, along with education and skill training. Education, skill training, and health services including access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation lead to genuine empowerment of the people concerned. Empowered, they are ready to achieve and move forward. Now, when they are empowered, they may be expected to find jobs, but in many cases they can’t. And many may not wish to work for others. These people have to be assisted to set up enterprises to create their own jobs. The PKSF now assists people of little means, by providing credit, supporting access to technology and market information and marketing assistance, to set up enterprises at scales that they can manage properly.
While introducing me, Professor Bholanath Dutta mentioned micro-credit. It is now known, through authentic research activities, that microcredit is of little avail in the context of poverty removal. Indeed, PKSF was a microcredit organization when (November 2009) I took over as its Chairman. It provided money to the partner organizations (POs)—carefully selected well-run NGOs; and they extended microcredit to poor and even non-poor people on an annual basis, and collected it in weekly installments with interest during the relevant year. It was not much of a consideration as to what was happening to the people who took microcredit. The main consideration was whether the money could be collected back. But, in the Memorandum of Association (MoA) of the PKSF, which is a Government established Foundation, microcredit is not even mentioned. The purposes of PKSF as mentioned in its MoA are education, health services, skill training, employment creation, livelihood improvement, and credit—not microcredit. Credit does not mean microcredit, it can mean any amount of credit. Now, we call it appropriate credit and it goes up to Taka 10 lakh, the equivalent of about US$12,800. The amount given to a household depends on what it wants and can do. The credit is now given for up to two years or even longer periods. The repayment is monthly, three monthly, or, in the case of agriculture, after the harvest. In fact, the repayment schedule is determined in consultation with the particular borrowers. We have also changed the approach from project approach or credit approach to human being-centered development. So all our programmes are developed taking into account the circumstances of the people, their interests and expectations, their understanding of how they want to go forward, and so on.
Also, credit is now given as one service in a package of services which also include skill training, assistance in accessing necessary technology and market information, and marketing assistance. This package, it has been seen, tremendously improves the ability of the people to succeed and our experience is that they usually move forward and soon get out of poverty and move on to beyond poverty sustainable socio-economic progress.
The PKSF is, thus, solidly contributing to poverty eradication and sustainable development. One of the key elements in the changed PKSF approach is to help empower the downtrodden to enable them to take control of their own destiny. The basic idea is to focus on the human being and empower them through education, skill training, and health services along with assurance of clean drinking water and sanitation facilities. And I have mentioned before that when somebody is empowered, they may find wage or salaried employment or establish their own businesses.
In the second case, they need a few other things, which should be provided. Some of those (training, technology, market information and marketing assistance, and finance) I have already mentioned. But, for a solid base for them to build their forward movement on, there are some other things they are best helped to gain access to. One such factor is social capital. Going alone is very difficult. Hence, we first try to ensure social capital formation within the family. In the existing practice, there is usually a lack of coordination of family efforts. ‘The head of the family knows best’ is the guiding principle. Others, particularly women, have little or no say. So, we try to make sure that all members of the family come together. Within the framework of the multidimensional, integrated, human-centred approach, the ENRICH (Enhancing resources and capacities of households for the eradication of their poverty), the PKSF and PO officials sit down with all the members of each downtrodden family in ENRICH areas to prepare a family development plan for the family. The family is then assisted on that basis towards eradication of their poverty and beyond poverty sustainable progress. All members of the family contribute to the process in an integrated fashion. The PKSF stands beside them and help them move forward on the basis of that plan, which is adjustable on the basis of experiences gathered along the way. So, social capital formation in this approach starts with the family or household. At the community level, we focus on each ward of an ENRICH union—usually there are 8 wards in a union. In a ward, there are about 30,000 people. An ENRICH Centre is established in each ward, where people of the particular ward come to socialize, discuss issues, take decisions regarding community level issues, and take possible actions to address them.
The PKSF also tries to work in close cooperation with other institutions and service providers, both government and non-government, working in the area. Resources are limited and available resources from different sources should go further as a result of working together like this. Indeed, social capital is extremely important. Social capital can be more important under certain circumstances than other forms of capital. In addition, there are few other things that they need to have access to, so that they can go forward solidly. Finance through appropriate credit arrangement, I have mentioned earlier, but the financial service of insurance, which ensures that they have something to fall back on if a disaster (e.g. flood, cyclone) strikes, is another service they need.
Their socio-economic situation plunges when such an event strikes and without insurance they find themselves in economic quagmire. Recovery and rehabilitation become a nightmare. But, on grassroots level insurance, not much progress has been achieved yet in Bangladesh. There are administrative and legal issues. But, there are efforts to resolve them so that insurance (livestock, crop, health, etc.) can be provided at the grassroots level. Our pilot activities show strong prospects.
At the same time,it is necessary to arrange for the people concerned necessary skill training, which MTC Global is doing for higher levels of skills. Skill training can be at various levels, from rudimentary to a very high level, involving modern technology, depending on who the trainees are. Training on ICT, for example, can be from low to mid or high level. The PKSF starts with the lower level skill training for the downtrodden, often with little or no basic education; and as they go on, their skills are upgraded, as appropriate. Then their access to technology needs to be ensured and the PKSF facilitates their access to appropriate technologies. They are also supported, as I have indicated before, to gain access to market information and assisted in the marketing of their outputs. Armed with this support package, they turn around quickly. As they go forward, they can borrow up to Taka 10 lakh from the PKSF sources if they have an appropriate project, along with other services as appropriate. But, our experience is that people usually borrow Taka 3 to 5 lakh at a time. With such an amount, they can set up their own businesses and, in 3 to 4 years, by using the borrowed money and some of the profits generated and other services received, they can and usually do achieve a level of living which is humanly dignified.
Our long term goal is for everybody to enjoy universal human rights and live with human dignity. So, we are trying to stand by the downtrodden and help them to move towards that goal. There is much more, in this context, in the approach followed by the PKSF that I can talk about. But, given time constraint, let me finish as quickly as I can; Let me just say that it is a multidimensional, multidisciplinary approach. Human living is multidimensional. It’s not only economic. So we bring in all the dimensions into the programme, which include various social, economic, cultural, and political aspects as well as climate change issues. To address all these aspects, a multidisciplinary approach is followed. People from various disciplines are needed. So we bring them all together. Our focus is on the individual, on the household, and then on the neighbouring areas. The area we now focus on is the union—the lowest administrative unit in Bangladesh,where, on average, about 3 lakh people live. Once the union is selected, all the households therein are surveyed and then, using a set criteria, the downtrodden are identified, who have turned out to make up 50-60% of the total households of an average union, considering the 153 unions in which the ENRICH is currently being implemented. But health and education are provided to all the households in a union, while economic and financial and other services are provided to the downtrodden in addition to education and health services. The total population is 4.5 million in the 153 unions. Internal and external evaluations show that the approach and action programmes work effectively and the people are moving forward satisfactorily. We are under tremendous pressure for extending the ENRICH programme to other areas of the country, but the resources at hand, as of now, do not permit large-scale expansion. However, we have initiated the process of expanding the ENRICH programme to cover other areas to a limited extent.
The ENRICH in fact addresses all important aspects of people’s living. It’s not a project for a few years. We have replaced the project approach by human-being centered approach. A project is for 3 or 5 years. A project is implemented as designed to generate a certain internal rate of return. If that is achieved, it’s fine. Money has been well spent. Usually, it is not investigated as to what happens on the ground, i.e. how have the targeted people fared. If the allocated money has been spent and the target rate of return has been achieved, the project is successful, highly successful. But, the missing link, not usually evaluated is whether or not the targeted people have overcome poverty sustainably and moved on to a sustainable pathway of progress. A project finishes after 3/4/5 years and the project implementers go away. Unsupported, the people go back again. They relapse. That’s the usual picture. We have changed it. Not only that we focus on the human being but also we stay by the side of the people for as long as necessary for them to be on a sustainable development pathway. It’s a programme approach, not a project approach. When, as is the PKSF’s, the purpose is to work with the downtrodden to help them get out of poverty and, then, improve their living conditions on a sustainable basis, we believe the just outlined approach is the right way to go.
We do not need to be concerned about those young people who are fortunate in having parents, who are rich or highly educated or high government officials or high private sector functionaries. They can take care of themselves. What is necessary is that there must be high quality institutions for education, health, and other services and they will usually take advantage of those. However, in their case, there is a possibility that some of the young people may degenerate into drug addiction and may take up anti-social activities. I know one young man, who argued: “My father is rich so I don’t have to work. I shall own all the money when my father will die and I can then spend it anyway I like. It’s mine! And therefore I start spending it now. I don’t have to study, I don’t have to work hard the way my father did. Everything is fine for me.”He, in fact, degenerated into a chaotic life. Also, these days, we see young people getting into such social evils as drug addiction, tobacco addiction and teasing of girls. They so degenerate regardless of their educational backgrounds—general, technical, and highly respectable educational institutions. As parents are too busy making more and more money for themselves or for their children or in climbing more and more social or power related ladders. They have no time for their children. Their children, therefore, are neglected. While these children are provided with all amenities and facilities and private tuition arrangements, they receive little or no parental care and supervision. Social cohesion formation within the family is not given necessary importance. The children, therefore, do whatever they think best. Through Facebook, they make friends; and all these facebook friends are not good or of noble pursuits. There are those who are ill-motivated and of evil pursuits, who may seek to influence them to follow what they are doing. Frustrated some of these young people become easy prey to persuasion by those evil friends and recruitment by terrorist godfathers for terrorist activities. This is happening in Bangladesh, we have seen, regardless of the educational background of the young people. In Bangladesh, it was generally believed earlier, and I also believed, that terrorists usually come from among the students of Madrassas. Now, we find it’s not true.
This process has to be stopped and the young people likely to degenerate should be rescued and those who have already degenerated should be found and rehabilitated. The parents, teachers, the government, and civil society, all have roles to play in this context. Efforts are afoot by the Government and other institutions/networks in Bangladesh trying to impress upon the parents that they should take care of their children.It may be mentioned that the policy of the Government of Bangladesh on terrorism is one of zero tolerance and has been very successful containing the menace.
Also, poverty is another reason behind terrorism. The global terrorism has emerged as a major threat because many people in certain parts of the world have been done serious wrong to. Those who have been wronged—economically exploited, politically subjugated, militarily tortured and suppressed—have been devastated. With their back against the wall, they found that they had no future so that they, it appears,decided that they have to do something, however dangerous that may be for themselves. So they are doing, what they can—mounting terrorist attacks on chosen targets. It’s a response to the injusticesdone to them. Indeed, injustices cannot be sustained over a long term. Justice must replace injustice while time remains, otherwise there can be much more dangerous reaction (terrorism) than as at present. Indeed, perpetuated injustices will give rise to situations that no one may be able to manage. A huge threat to humanity.
There are at least two other menacing threats to humanity. One is climate change which has been caused by unprecedented destruction of the global natural wealth and emitting huge quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The other is the nuclear threat. In the case of nuclear threat, these days there are some people in charge of nuclear arsenals, who are unpredictable to say the least. So one doesn’t know what might happen to the world.
A nuclear war can destroy the whole world but that will not, I expect, happen. On the other hand, climate change is occurring and worsening fast. On both counts, we, academics, may play a role, particularly in terms of contributing to national and international opinion formation against the former and for individual country and globally collective action to be taken to bring global climate change under control and for international cooperation in minimizing risks of and adaptation to climate change impacts. In relation to combating terrorism also, we can play a useful role in mobilizing public opinion and for the governments and other actors concerned to act decisively and fast, from their own vantage points and collectively by all actors within countries as well as regionally and globally.
Finally, let me conclude by saying that whatever responsibilities we have to carry out, we must concentrate on them, perform honestly and try to achieve the goals set; but we must, at the same time, work towards ensuring equitable and sustainable improvement in the circumstances of those who are now left behind for them to enjoy universal human rights and live in humanly dignified fashion. Sustainable development, I repeat,is not achieved if anybody is left behind. Thank you all very much.
Speakers stress the need for inclusive development of the marginalized people at PKSF discussion program with UP Chairmen of ENRICH Unions
A daylong discussion program was held to exchange views with the Chairmen of 200 Unions where Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) is implementing its flagship program ‘Enhancing Resources and Increasing Capacities of Poor Households towards Elimination of their Poverty (ENRICH)’. Social Welfare Minister Mr Rashed Khan Menon, MP, was the Chief Guest of the closing session of the program held at PKSF Bhaban in Dhaka while Mr Shahriar Alam, MP, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, was the Special Guest. PKSF Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad chaired the event and Mr Md Abdul Karim, Managing Director of PKSF, delivered the welcome remarks.
The Social Welfare Minister said that the government is working relentlessly for the welfare of the marginalized people. A proposal has been made to increase safety net allowances, including those of the elderly and widows, by 10 percent and an initiative has been taken to introduce widow allowance in the urban areas. Mr Rashed Khan Menon praised ENRICH’s role in sustainable poverty alleviation and establishing human dignity. “Although many would disagree, I think there is no conflict between ‘rights’ and ‘development’ and PKSF’s ENRICH program is a perfect example of that.”
Terming poverty reduction as one of the greatest achievements of Bangladesh in recent times, State Minister Mr Shahriar Alam said there still are 11-12 percent ultra-poor people in the country and the government, under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina, is determined to bring down this rate close to zero. He expressed his hope that PKSF and its Partner Organizations would play an important role in this journey.
Eminent economist Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, also the Chairman of PKSF, said all the activities under ENRICH have been designed in light of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of Bangladesh, and the Vision 2021, all of which attach special emphasis to removing inequality, deprivation and poverty from the country and establishing human dignity for all. PKSF will play a vital role in the government’s strive for sustainable development in Bangladesh, added Dr QK Ahmad. “The goal is common – to eliminate poverty from the country forever, and to establish Bangladesh in a more dignified position in the world.”
In the welcome speech, PKSF Managing Director Mr Md Abdul Karim said PKSF has stepped beyond the limited scope of microcredit and now ensures appropriate financing, necessary training, and technological and marketing support in all its programs. Describing ENRICH as a groundbreaking model of poverty alleviation and beyond-poverty sustainable development, the former Principal Secretary also said the program is implementing a range of activities to ensure financial and social inclusion of the marginalized people, and to establish human dignity for all.
Dr Md Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director (Administration) of PKSF, gave the vote of thanks to end the program. He expressed his hope that PKSF will continue to receive all necessary cooperation from the government’s central level to the grassroots in implementing its programs including ENRICH.
Earlier on the day, PKSF Chairman and high officials exchanged views with the Chairmen of 200 Unions under ENRICH coverage and Executive Directors of 116 Partner Organizations that are implementing the PKSF flagship program. In this session, Dr Md Jashim Uddin, DMD of PKSF, gave a presentation titled ‘ENRICH Program: Achievement and Experience’.
Since 2010, PKSF has been implementing the ENRICH program, a brainchild of Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, for the inclusive human-centric development of the poor. Currently, the program is being implemented in 200 Unions of 64 districts.
PKSF signs agreement with Concord Engineers and Construction Ltd. for construction of ‘PKSF Display & Sales Centre
PKSF signs agreement with Concord Engineers and Construction Ltd. for construction of ‘PKSF Display & Sales Centre’
With a view to creating opportunities for promotion and marketing of products produced by entrepreneurs, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) has taken an initiative to construct a 13-storey “PKSF Display & Sales Centre” on its own land in Shyamoli at the heart of the capital.
On 4 February 2018, PKSF Deputy Managing Director (Administration) Dr. Md. Jashim Uddin and the Managing Director of Concord Engineers and Construction Ltd, Mr. Shahriar Kamal, signed the agreement for construction of the building on behalf of their respective organizations. Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director of PKSF, and other senior officials of PKSF and Concord Engineers and Construction Ltd. were present at the agreement signing ceremony held at PKSF Bhaban in Agargaon, Dhaka.
The Bureau of Research Testing and Consultation of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) will supervise the construction works in the capacity of consultants.
The foundation stone of the building was laid on 25 March 2017 by the Chairman of PKSF, Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad.
HE Dieudonne Kalombo Nkole Badibanga, Principal Adviser to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), called on PKSF Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad on 7 December 2017.
PKSF Managing Director Mr Md Abdul Karim, Deputy Managing Director (Programme) Mr Md. Fazlul Kader and other top officials were present during the meeting held at PKSF Bhaban in Dhaka.
Mr Badibanga is in Bangladesh on an official visit to participate in the Ministerial Conference of Digital World 2017 taking place in Dhaka.
During the meeting, Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad apprised the Congolese envoy for picking PKSF’s decades-long experiences in designing and implementing programmes and projects for poverty alleviation, access to fund and financial inclusion, skills and capacity building towards self and paid employment, and beyond-poverty development.
Mr Badibanga highly praised PKSF’s role in accelerating sustainable human development in Bangladesh, and said that the DRC Government had started formulating a national strategy for skills and enterprise development in the country with a view to strengthening the public-private partnership-led initiatives for sustainable growth. The DRC could use PKSF’s knowledge, experiences and capacities in its strive for achieving the overall development goals, the Congolese envoy observed.
Mr Nazir Alam, Honorary Consul of DRC in Dhaka, Bangladesh (proposed), was also present during the meeting.
PKSF on 26 November 2017 organised a workshop titled “People’s Voice: Strengthening implementation of SDGs-2030 in Bangladesh” with a view to helping strengthen accelerate effective realisation of the UN-sponsored Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Mr Rashed Khan Menon, MP, graced the closing ceremony of the workshop held at PKSF Bhaban as the chief guest while Dr Zafar Ahmed Khan, Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources, and Mr Arijit Chowdhury, Additional Secretary of Financial Institutions Division (FID) under the Ministry of Finance were the special guests. PKSF Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad chaired the ceremony and Managing Director Mr Md Abdul Karim delivered the welcome address.
The Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister highly praised PKSF activities in sustainable poverty alleviation and beyond-poverty development. “All sorts of development have to be human-centred … and people of all levels, including the grassroots, should be included in the process,” Mr Rashed Khan Menon said, adding that PKSF will hopefully continue to play an effective role in helping the country achieve the SDGs within the 2030 deadline.
Senior Secretary Dr Zafar Ahmed Khan said Bangladesh might have to face some challenges in order to continue the current pace of development. “We however hopefully will overcome all the obstacles to realising the SDGs like we did in case of the Millennium Development Goals.”
The range of PKSF’s operations is so vast that its activities touch upon all the SDGs in one way or another, commented Additional Secretary Mr Arijit Chowdhury. He expressed his hope that PKSF would further strengthen its activities and help Bangladesh steer towards realising the SDGs.
Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad referred to the Declaration of Independence, and said, “Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman called for liberation of people from economic deprivation, from inequity, from discrimination and from poverty. It is that vision that PKSF is relentlessly working to realise.”
In the welcome speech, Mr Md Abdul Karim highlighted how PKSF’s activities evolved from only microcredit to holistic development services. “Human dignity for all — this is the philosophy that drives PKSF activities as a whole.”
At the beginning of the workshop, two group discussion moots on Goal 1 (No Poverty), Goal 2 (Zero Hunger), and Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) took place. Executive Director Mr Mohsin Ali of WAVE Foundation and SMA Rashid, Executive Director of NGO Forum for Public Health presented on the key outcomes of the discussions. High officials from govt and non-govt agencies, development thinkers, PKSF staff and representatives of its Partner Organisations attended the daylong workshop.
IRONMAN Title winner Arafat made Goodwill Ambassador of PKSF’s Cultural and Sports Program
Mohammad Samsuzzaman Arafat, a Bangladeshi IRONMAN title holder was accorded with a grand reception on 19 November 2017 at Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF). In the event, he was made the Goodwill Ambassador of PKSF’s Cultural and Sports Program.
The Chairman of PKSF, Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, handed over a Crest and a sponsorship check of BDT one lakh to Mohammad Shamsuzzaman Arafat. The Managing Director of PKSF Mr Md Abdul Karim, three Deputy Managing Directors and other Senior Officials of PKSF were present in the reception ceremony.
At the outset of reception, Mr Arafat shared his experience gained in the IRONMAN contest, and specially thanked PKSF for patronizing him in this competition. The iconic IRONMAN is the largest participation sports platform which is organized by World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). This competition was to be completed within 17 hours, starting with a 3.8 kilometer swim. As soon as the swimming was completed, every participant had to ride bicycle through a distance of 180km followed by a full marathon race of 42.2 km. Mr Arafat took only 12:43:28 hours to finish the whole Triathlon.
Mr Arafat, a graduate from the University of Dhaka, had crossed the Bangla Channel thrice and went along a total of 1004 kilometer running from Teknaf to Tetulia under the banner of “The Great Bangladesh Run” with an aim to make Bangladesh a sporty nation. Social Service Officer, Mr Arafat, represented Bangladesh for the first time in the IRONMAN competition held in Langkawi, Malaysia on 11 November 2017.
Mr Md Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director (Program) of PKSF spoke about the Cultural and Sports Program of PKSF at the ceremony and how the Program of PKSF encouraged such feats. Earlier on 2 November 2017 the Chairman of PKSF Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad handed over the national flag of Bangladesh to Mr Arafat before he flew off to Malaysia to participate in the competition.
PKSF Development Fair 2017 held
Amid festivity and enthusiasm, the PKSF Development Fair-2017 was held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Dhaka from October 29 to November 03, 2017. Hon’ble Finance Minister Mr Abul Maal Abdul Muhith graced the fair as the Chief Guest and inaugurated the six-day mega event while Hon’ble Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury was present as the Special Guest on the occasion.
A total of 89 organisations showcased in 133 stalls a range of products manufactured or processed by the grassroots participants of different PKSF programmes implemented in the field-level by different NGOs, officially termed as Partner Organisations (POs). Also, some Government Agencies, Research Institutions and Non-POs took part in this usually biennial event.
Alongside the usual fair activities, five seminars on issues related to the development aspects of Bangladesh and PKSF were held. Cabinet Members, Government and Non-Government Officials, Development Thinkers and Eminent Academics, among others, participated in the seminars.
An exclusive part of the fair was the Book launching ceremony where three book authored by the Chairman of PKSF Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad were unveiled. Hon’ble Water Resources Minister Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and the event was chaired by PKSF Managing Director Mr Md Abdul Karim. The titles of the books are: Sustainable Development and All That; Environment, Climate Change and Water Resources; and নানা সংকট একই দিশা (a collection of Bengali articles penned by Dr Ahmad).
The fair continued form 10am to 8:30pm had colourful cultural performances every day. Nationally acclaimed singers as well as local performers from different regions of the country participated in the cultural events.
The curtain dropped on the most successful of the five such fairs so far on November 03, 2017 through a closing ceremony chaired by Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad. HE Mr Tran Van Khoa, the Vietnam Ambassador to Bangladesh, was present as the Special Guest andMr Md Abdul Karim, the PKSF Managing Director, delivered the welcome speech.
At the closing ceremony, PKSF awarded three POs in the ‘Best Stall’ category. Basak tea, Cheowa Shutkee (one kind of dried fish) and sweet chilli were recognised as the most promising products displayed at the fair. Also, certificates and crests of special appreciation were given to the Centre for Education and Community Development (CECD) of Vietnam, and the Government Agencies and Non-POs that showcased their products at the fair.
PKSF Development Fair Kicks Off
The PKSF Development Fair 2017 has begun at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city from October 29, 2017. The aim of the fair is to exhibit the products of PKSF programme participants with a view to pulling them out of poverty.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith was present as the chief guest in the inaugural ceremony of the six-day fair. Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury was present as special guest.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, chairman, PKSF, chaired the opening ceremony and delivered the welcome speech while Mr. Md Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF gave the concluding speech.
In his speech, the finance minister said that Bangladesh will be a poverty-free country by 2024 if the current pace of development continues. He said currently 22 percent of the population live below the poverty line, which is quite unsatisfactory.
The finance minister said that about 60-70 percent areas of the country are developed and there is no difference between villages and cities. People have equal access to education, health, electricity and transportation around the country, he said. Mr. Muhith said the government has taken various measures to eradicate poverty and the PKSF is working as a helping hand by implementing the initiatives.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury appreciated the efforts of PKSF for diversifying their activities in health and education beyond microcredit. “The government has achieved more than its target in poverty eradication and child death prevention and the PKSF has played a vital role”, she said
Matia Chowdhury highlighted different development activities of the present government and said the country is achieving remarkable success because of the Prime Minister’s bold leadership and well-thought planning.
In the opening ceremony, Mr. Abul Hasib Khan, Director, Resource Integration Centre ( RIC), and Mr. Fakir Abdul Jabbar, Founder Executive Director of Kormajibi kallyan Sangstha (KKS), were awarded for their outstanding contribution to establish human dignity, poverty eradication and sustainable development.
Besides, programme participants of ENRICH, Uplifting the Quality of Lives of Elderly People, Sports and Cultural programmes shared their experiences in the opening ceremony.
A seminar on ” human -Centered Sustainable Development” was held in the noon at the same venue. Presided over by Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, chairman, PKSF, Mr. M.A Mannan, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Planning was present as chief guest. Mohammad Muslim Chowdhury, Secretary, Finance Division, Ministry of Finance was present as special guest.
Dr. Md. Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director, PKSF presented the keynote paper in the seminar. Dr. Dr. M.A. Baki Khalili, former professor of University of Dhaka and Dr. Md. Shahid Uz Zaman, Executive Director, Eco Social Development Organization ( ESDO) discussed in the seminar.
In the evening, there was an arrangement of colorful cultural show where performers of IDF and ESDO performed different traditional cultural events. Dinat Jahan Munni and Badsha Bulbul, two poepualr singers of the country also performed on the occasion.
Discussion Meeting Held on the International Day for Older Persons
To mark the International Day for Older Persons-2017, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) and Forum of the Rights of the Elderly, Bangladesh (FREB) jointly organized a discussion in PKSF Bhabanon 14 October 2017. MrAsaduzzaman Khan, MP, Hon’ble Minister for Home Affairs was the chief guest at the programme chaired PKSF Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad.
In his speech, the Home Minister said the elders are never a burden. They can pass their knowledge and wisdom to the younger generations so that the latter can take the country forward. Mr Asaduzzaman Khan also highlighted different pro-elderly measures of the government.
Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad said that social values in the country are waning. But it is possible to turn things around through proper education. He also mentioned the programmes taken by the PKSF for the welfare of the elderly. “No one should be left behind — that’s the essence of the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said, calling for united moves to ensure human dignity for all.
PKSF Managing Director Mr Md Abdul Karim and FREB Vice President Maj Gen (Retd) Mr Jibon Kanai Das gave the welcome speeches.
Mr Kazi Reazul Haque, Chairman of National Human Rights Commission, Bangladesh; Advocate Hosne Ara Lutfa Dalia, MP; and Mr. Golam Sarwar, Editor of the Daily Samakal were the Guests of Honor.
PKSF gets Green Climate Fund accreditation
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) has been accredited as the National Implementing Entity (NIE) of the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The GCF approved the accreditationin its 18th Board meeting held in Cairo, Egypt, on 2 October 2017.
With this, PKSF joins the elite club of 59 globally reputed organisations/institutions, including UNDP, the World Bank, ADB and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which are accredited with the GCF.
The GCF is a financial mechanism set up by the 194 countries that are parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It aims to deliver funding to mitigation and adaptation to ensure climate-resilient development in the countries affected by or vulnerable to climate change.
As the NIE of the GCF, PKSF will now carry out a range of activities that may include developing and submitting funding proposals for, and overseeing the management and implementation of projects and programmes; deploying a range of financial instruments within its capacities (grants, loans, equity, and guarantees); and mobilising private sector capital.
PKSF Signed MoM with JICA
On September 20, 2017 Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) has signed a Minutes of Meeting (MoM) including Draft Record of Discussions with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). This is to extend cooperation for “Developing Inclusive Risk Mitigation Program for Sustainable Poverty Reduction” project in Bangladesh.
The documents are signed by Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF and Mr. Kazuto Tsuji, Team Leader, Detailed Planning Survey, JICA. Mr. Oishi Kohei, Deputy Assistant Director; Mr. Daichi Hirose, Access Advisory Japan from JICA and Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director and other officials of PKSF were also present on that occasion.
Seminar held on role of fisheries and livestock sector in sustainable development
In order to accelerate sustainable development by ensuring food and nutrition security for an ever-growing population, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) on 17 August 2017 organised a seminar titled ‘Fisheries and Livestock Sector in Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Development.
Mr Narayan Chandra Chanda, Hon’ble State Minister for Fisheries and Livestock, graced the seminar — held at PKSF Bhaban — as the chief guest while Dr Md Nazrul Anwar, Additional Secretary (Fisheries) to the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, was the special guest. PKSF Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad chaired the event.
Hon’ble State Minister Narayan Chandra Chanda, in his speech, highlighted different steps the government has taken accelerate development in the fisheries and livestock sector of the country. “But the government efforts alone cannot be enough in achieving Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”
He lauded different innovating interventions PKSF is making at the grassroots level, and urged it to come up with activities tailored to help micro-entrepreneurs sustain against big companies that are investing in fisheries and livestock sector in Bangladesh. “The government will provide necessary assistance if needed.”
Terming fisheries and livestock as a key sector in rural economy, Special Guest Additional Secretary Dr Md Nazrul Anwar said what PKSF is doing in this regard is highly praiseworthy. “If PKSF needs any assistance, we will be happy to help,” he added.
PKSF Chairman Dr QK Ahmad stressed the need for investing more in the sector. “Microcredit cannot be the answer to sustainable development. Hence, we are giving appropriate loans and continually increasing allocation for fisheries and livestock-related activities.”
“Leave no one behind — this is at the heart of Sustainable Development Goals. And we are making all efforts to ensure that our interventions reach all the disadvantaged groups in every corner of the country,” added the renowned economist.
Earlier, in the welcome speech, Mr Md Abdul Karim, Managing Director of PKSF, highlighted how the PKSF is taking a holistic approach to address the multidimensionality of poverty. “We are diversifying our activities to the needs of the people. With this in view, our Fisheries and Livestock Unit and the Learning and Innovation Fund (LIFT) programme are working relentlessly at the grassroots.”
Deputy Managing Director (Administration) Dr Md Jashim Uddin then gave a presentation titled ‘Role of Livestock and Fisheries Sector in Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Development: Efforts of PKSF’. He made an in-depth analysis of the country’s food and nutrition security status at the moment, the challenges in the days to come and what PKSF is doing to help people cope with their food and nutrition needs as well as their strive against poverty.
At the event, five micro-entrepreneurs narrated their stories of success in defeating poverty with financial and technical assistance from PKSF.
Top officials of different government agencies concerned, PKSF officials, Executive Directors of PKSF’ Partner Organisations and representatives of different development organisations attended the seminar.
MoU signed between PKSF and ERF
On the sideline of the seminar, PKSF signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Economic Reporters’ Forum (ERF) of Bangladesh. Deputy Managing Director (Administration) Dr Md Jashim Uddin of PKSF and ERF General Secretary Mr Ziaur Rahman signed the MoU under which nine journalists — three each from electronic, print and online media — will receive ‘PKSF-ERF Award’ every year for outstanding reports on development activities. Also, PKSF will make arrangements for two ERF members to study Diploma in Economics at Dhaka School of Economics each year.
ERF President Saif Islam Dilal said this cooperation will usher in a new era in development journalism in Bangladesh.
Meeting held on bettering desalination plant services
The top officials of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) on 24 July 2017 met representatives from 12 NGOs — officially termed as Partner Organisations (POs) — that are operating desalination plants installed in different salinity-hit coastal areas of Bangladesh under the PKSF’s ‘Learning and Innovation Fund to Test New Ideas (LIFT)’ programme.
Dr Md Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director (Administration) of the PKSF, chaired the meeting held at PKSF Bhaban in Agargaon, Dhaka.
A range of issues including safe water supply situation in the target locations, rationalizing desalination plant technology, operational management and sustainability were discussed in the meeting.
The executive directors of different POs and their representatives highlighted the massive response of the people who avail services from the desalination plants run by his organization. “People are highly appreciative of the low-cost services we provide. Sometimes, our plants are operated at capacity to meet the demand,” said one of them.
They, however, stressed the need for providing training to the plant operators so that they can fix minor technical glitches without wasting time for bringing technicians from as far as Dhaka.
The coastal people are increasingly leaning towards using desalinated water instead of rainwater or water from other surface sources, said another PO representative. “They have understood the health benefits of desalinated water. However, more extensive Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) activities are needed to ensure wider coverage.”
One of the PO representatives spoke on the challenges regarding improvement of distribution channels, and ensuring sustainability of the interventions by building community ownership.
Guest of Honour at the meeting, Dr Mustafa K Mujeri, executive director of the Institute for Inclusive Finance and Development (InM), lauded the NGOs for their activities. “You are doing a noble job by providing safe water to the salinity-afflicted coastal people.”
The InM is currently conducting a study titled ‘Innovative Solutions to Sustaining Access to Safe Drinking Water’, for which they will survey the desalination plants installed by the PKSF. Dr Mujeri also discussed about different aspects of the study with the PO representatives.
Highlighting the PKSF’s strive to serve the distressed, the underprivileged and the extreme poor of the country, Dr Md Jashim Uddin urged the POs to ensure that the safe water interventions made by the PKSF operate not for profit, but to serve those in need.
“Ensure quality service and transparency. Be more proactive in dispelling any confusion or misunderstanding that may arise among people over any aspect of our services. The PKSF is committed to serving the poor and will extend all possible help to ensure uninterrupted supply of safe water to a wider number of people of the salinity-affected areas.”
AQM Golam Mawla and Dr Sharif Ahmed Chowdhury, both general managers (programme), and other PKSF officials concerned were present at the meeting.
The PKSF has so far installed 51 desalination plants, 20 of them under the LIFT programme, in the coastal areas where climate change-induced salinity ingress has created an acute dearth of freshwater. The water from the plants are sold at a minimum service charge, usually ranging between Tk 0.10 and Tk 0.50 per litre, to cover the operational cost only. However, the extreme poor and physically incapacitated people are provided the desalinated water free of cost.
Workshop on Field Level Implementing Strategies of Cultural and Sports Programme
A workshop on Field Level Implementing Strategies of Cultural and Sports Programme was held on July 24, 2017 at PKSF Bhaban. A total of 110 Focal Person and Programme Organisers of 60 Partner Organisations were present in the day-long workshop.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, the honorable Chairman of Palli Karma- Sahayak Foundation, Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, honorable Managing Director of PKSF and Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director (Programme) were present at the inaugural session of the workshop. The honourable guests discussed the background and perspective of the Cultural and Sports Programme. They welcome the workshop participants and gave necessary guidance to them.
In his speech, Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad said that culture is a part of development. What we do, what we practices and our movements, all are the part of our culture. “Sports have a joy, it teaches discipline. A child, a teenager who exercisecultural and sports activities will neverinvolve in any illegal activity”, Dr. Ahmad added.
Mr. Md. Abdul Karim said that to establish a poverty-free society, our youth need to be healthy and cultured. “Sports and cultural are essential to practice the artistic bent of mind.Mr. Abdul Karim said that implementation of this programme does not require a lot of money, but its impacts are far more and far-reaching.
Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader said that sports and cultural practices create a positive attitude towards the people. As a result, people learn to turn around. It’scall sportsman spirit”. We have to awaken the sportsman spirit toour youth. He said the children want heroes. If we fail to present a good hero before them, they will choose a terrified hero.
Mr. Abul Hasan Md. Abdul Qaiyum, Deputy General Manager (Programme), PKSF gave a presentation and discussed on strategies for Cultural and Sports Programme at the field level. The respective officials gave chapter wise presentation on the ‘Guideline to Implement the Cultural and Sports Programme’. There was a separate presentation from PKSF Audit Division, where the participants were briefed about budget preparation and re-imbursement.
In the workshop, the relevant Focal Person and Programme Organisers of three PO as IDF, ESDO and SKS Foundation shared their field level experiences.
Workshop on Field Level Implementing Strategies of Uplifting the Lives of Elderly People Programme
A workshop on Field Level Implementing Strategies of Uplifting the Lives of Elderly People Programme was held on July 23, 2017 at PKSF Bhaban. A total of 120 Focal Person and ProgrammeOrganisers of 52 Partner Organisations were present in the day-long workshop.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, the honorable Chairman of Palli Karma- SahayakFoundation, Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, honorable Managing Director of PKSF and Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director (Programme) were present at the inaugural session of the workshop. The honourable guests discussed the background and perspective of the Uplifting the Lives of Elderly People Programme. They welcome the workshop participants and gave necessary guidance to them.
In his speech Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad said that in order to establish human dignity it is important to manifest the thoughts of grassroot people andrecognise theirinnovations. He said that in old age, people become ineligible in many ways. “These neglected, destitute elderly peopleshould not rehabilitate in old home rather they should be served at their own homes”.
Mr. Md. Abdul Karim in his speech emphasised the importance of inclusive development in sustainable poverty reduction. Referring the necessity of the workshop heasked the participants to contributethe workshop effectively. Mr. Abdul Karim also urged the focal person and programmeorganisers of the respective partner organisationsto be the pioneer in uplifting the lives of the elderly people by implementing the programme at field level successfully.
Mr. Md. FazlulKader said that like the dispersion of lights during the sunset, elderly people enlightened us with their knowledge and experiences before their departure. Comparing the old social center to the lighthouse, Mr. FazlulKader said “by establishing a social center, we are establishing a lighthouse which will encourage the other people to establish more”.
Mr.Abul Hasan Md. Abdul Qaiyum, Deputy General Manager, PKSF gave a presentation and discussed on strategies for Uplifting the Lives of Elderly People Programme at field level. In the workshop, the respective officials gave chapter wise presentation on the ‘Guideline to Implement the Uplifting the Lives of Elderly People Programme’. There was also a separate presentation from PKSF Audit Division, where the participants were briefed about budget formation and re-imbursement.
In the workshop, focal person of three POs as RIC, Jagarani Chakra Foundation and Ghasful shared their field level implementation experiences.
PKSF MD stresses the need for global move for road safety
Md Abdul Karim, Managing Director of Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), has called for a united move to meet the global health target for road safety.
He made the call at an event, organised by the Global Initiative for Child Health & Mobility and the G4 Alliance, during the annual United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF) from 10-19 July 2017.
Hosted by the FIA Foundation at UN Headquarters in New York, envoys from different countries gathered to discuss their challenges and successes in reaching Sustainable Development Goals to achieve safe and sustainable mobility.
Md Abdul Karim — a former Principal Secretary to Government of Bangladesh and currently at the helm of the PKSF, an apex development agency of the country — took part in a panel discussion there.
This year’s theme of the HLPF was ‘Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world’.
Managing Director of PKSF attends the 5th HLPF
The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has convened the fifth High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) from 10-19 July 2017. At invitation from the Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh, the Managing Director of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), Mr. Md. Abdul Karim has left for New York on 8 July 2017 to take part in this global meet. Mr. Karim will attend other special and side events of this conference.
This year’s theme will be ‘Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world,’ as decided in UN General Assembly (UNGA). Seven of the SDGs will be reviewed in 44 Voluntary National Reviews (VNR). Ministers, Cabinet Secretaries, Deputy Ministers and Registered Stakeholder Representatives from around the globe will attend the HLPF.
National Water Convention 2016 ends with
Outcome Presentation on its 13 technical sessions
An outcome presentation ceremony on National Water Convention’16, held in December 2016, took place at PKSF Bhaban, Agargaon, Dhaka on June 07, 2017. It was jointly organized by Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), Bangladesh Unnayan Parishad (BUP), and NGO Forum for Public Health.
Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF warmly welcomed the guests with a call to mitigate water-related problems in Bangladesh.
Introductory remarks were made by Dr. Nilufar Banu, Executive Director, BUP. A presentation of the Convention outcome was given by Mr. S.M.A. Rashid, Executive Director, NGO Forum for Public Health.
Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud, MP, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Water Resources was the Chief Guest and Mr. Kazi Shofiqul Azam, Secretary, ERD, Ministry of Finance was present as the Special Guest of the ceremony.
A report was published based on the resourceful findings of the 2-day National Water Convention titled “Sustainable Water Regime in Bangladesh: Availability, Management, Access” on 28-29 December 2016. Thirteen keynote papers were presented by eminent water experts, renowned academicians, researchers, top government officials, international and national NGO professionals during the convention.
The Hon’ble Water Resources Minister praised highly of this publication and pledged to respond positively in light of the findings. Mentioning the recent havoc in the haor areas, he urged the water experts to display more sense of responsibility and objectivity in commenting on issues as critical as this.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF and Convener of the ‘National Water Convention 2016′ chaired the outcome presentation ceremony. In his speech, Dr. QK Ahmad placed importance on promoting integrated water-resource management in Bangladesh.
Dr. Md. Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director, PKSF delivered the vote of thanks at the end of the ceremony. he highlighted the background of the convention and expressed hope that the outcome of this convention will help formulate effective water-related policies to meet demands of the people.
Govt high-ups praise ENRICH achievements
Top officials of the PMO and the PKSF inspect ENRICH activities in Dhamrai
The Government’s top official on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has lauded the activities, supported by Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), to drive positive changes in the socio-economic and cultural life of the rural people, particularly those usually ignored in traditional development interventions.
Md Abul Kalam Azad, Chief Coordinator on SDG Affairs, Prime Minister’s Office, said proper coordination among the PKSF and other development agencies of the Government is a must for achieving the SDGS by the 2030 deadline.
He was among a high-profile delegation that visited different PKSF-supported activities implemented by SOJAG (Somaj o Jati Gathan) — a Partner Organisation (PO) of the PKSF — in Sombhag Union of Dhaka’s Dhamrai upazila on 02 June 2017.
Led by PKSF Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, the delegation also included Director General of NGO Affairs Bureau Khandakar Rakibur Rahman, PKSF Board Member Dr MA Quassem, Managing Director Md Abdul Karim and Deputy Managing Director (Admin) Dr Md Jashim Uddin.
The visit started with a meeting at the SOJAG head office where its Executive Director Mr Abdul Matin apprised the delegation of the PKSF-supported activities in their working areas. In a presentation, he showed how effectively ENRICH, a flagship PKSF programme, was changing the lives of people who earlier had been left out of mainstream development activities.
“I used to work as a house help or day labourer even a couple of years ago. But now I myself have to hire people to work for me,” Asiya Begum, in her mid-50s, told the delegation that was visiting her ENRICH-ed house in Sombhag.
“Last year, I took an appropriate loan of Tk 5 lac from SOJAG. With that money, I bought cows, goats, poultry, ducks and pigeons, set up a biogas plant, started vegetable gardening on my homestead. I also was provided necessary training and other services for all those activities.
“I have more money now than I ever had in my life. Within just a year, I have managed to return Tk 1.72 lac of the loan. All my family members are well taken care of. I no longer have to worry about food or health services for me and my family,” said Asiya.
Asked about her future plans, she said, “First I want to repay the loan, and then leave as much assets as possible for my grandchildren before I die.”
The visiting delegation was full of praise of her success, which eventually represents the overall success of the ENRICH’s holistic approach to poverty alleviation and beyond poverty development.
The delegation then went to inspect different PKSF-buoyed activities including beggar rehabilitation, youth development, ENRICH Centres and Education Assistance Centres, Income Generating Activities with PKSF loan support, improvement of the quality of life of the elderly people, production and processing of quality crop seeds, artificial insemination centre for livestock, etc.
PKSF calls for an anti tobacco network
Marking the upcoming World No Tobacco Day, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) arranged a seminar at its auditorium in May 28, 2017. Different anti tobacco campaigners and institutions joined the seminar and agreed upon the proposition of working together in an anti tobacco network led by the Chair of the seminar, Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF. Board members of PKSF and executives from its Partner Organizations (POs), media journalists and government officials were present in the seminar.
In his welcome address the Managing Director of PKSF Mr. Md. Abdul Karim urged upon implementation of effective policies to reduce tobacco consumption.
Mr. Md. Golam Touhid, Deputy Managing Director, PKSF, delivered an informative speech through a presentation on negative impact of tobacco consumption over health and agro-economy. Mr. Touhid presented an overview of the PKSF. Then he made some suggestions for considerations of all parties concerned regarding tobacco issues.
The seminar got momentum and became vibrant with the recommendations from representatives of respective anti tobacco bodies who were present in the seminar.
The special guest of the seminar National Professor Brig. (Rtd.) Abdul Malik, President, National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh justifying the root cause of tobacco problem in Bangladesh said that, nicotine is a highly addictive substance in tobacco products and tobacco companies are ran by influential people with ill-business motive. The government should levy higher tax rate in order to make them face a soaring price in their production.
The chief guest of the seminar Hon’ble State Minister of Finance, Mr. MA Mannan MP, stressed upon the current government’s mandate of making a tobacco-free Bangladesh within 2040. He further said that, the upcoming national budget could be reviewed if required and as an imminent issue, tobacco companies got no exemption in this regard.
PKSF Chairman Dr. Ahmad invited Hon’ble State Minister Mr. Mannan to unveil two anti tobacco posters. These posters would be distributed to disseminate knowledge and awareness building about anti tobacco issues.
PKSF Awards Scholarship to 3424 Meritorious Students of Poor Families
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) organized the ‘Scholarship Awarding Program’ at PKSF Bhaban, Agargaon, Dhaka on May 11, 2017. 3,424 poor and meritorious students were delivered cheques of financial assistance to continue their education. The total amount of scholarship of BDT 4.11 crore (approx.) was allotted from the Programmes-Support Fund of PKSF. Each student received an amount of BDT 12,000.
The programme was chaired by Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF, while Mr. Mostafizur Rahman MP, Hon’ble Minister for Primary and Mass Education was the chief guest. Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director of PKSF delivered the welcome speech. Dr. Md. Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director (Admin.), PKSF made a presentation on ‘PKSF in Education’.
Mr. Mostafizur Rahman MP, Chief Guest, appreciated PKSF’s contribution to the cause of the underprivileged children.
Accesses to health care, education and social development activities are preconditions to establish human dignity of the poor. PKSF initiated the Programmes-Support Fund (PSF) in 2011 in order to ensure such accesses. Till now, a total of 8,671 students have been given scholarship worth BDT 8.57 crore from PKSF’s Programmes-Support Fund.
PKSF extends supports to flood-hit haor people
Palli-Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) has extended livelihood support to the flood-hit people of the haor areas who are severely affected by crop-damage due to untimely heavy-rainfall and onrush of water from the upstream. The PKSF has decided to disburse an emergency interest-free loan of BDT 200 million to the disaster-hit farmers through its Partner Organizations (POs). The terms and conditions of loan repayment will be very flexible.
This interest-free loan will be disbursed in the most affected areas of Sylhet, Sunamganj, Habiganj, Moulvibazar, Kishoreganj and Netrakona districts via eight POs working in those areas.
The loan is intended to be used for ensuring safe drinking water, first-aid treatment, shelters for vulnerable ones and safe guarding livestock. The PKSF has urged all of its POs working in those areas to temporarily suspend collecting regular installments from the flood-affected members.
Moreover, under the PKSF programme titled Learning and Innovation Fund to Test New Ideas (LIFT), BDT 297 million has been disbursed as loans and grants to 22,038 ultra-poor people in Kishoreganj, Habiganj and Sunamganj districts.
Foundation Stone Laid for PKSF’s Display and Sales Building at Shyamoli
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) celebrated the foundation stone laying ceremony for its second office, a new commercial building at Shyamoli, Mohammadpur, Dhaka on March 29, 2017. It would be a modern architecturally designed 13-storey green commercial building with 21-storey foundation, in which ten floors will be left for branding and marketing the products produced by the marginalized poor members of the Partner Organizations (POs) of PKSF.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF unveiled the foundation stone of the building. Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF presided over the event. Two Board Members of PKSF’s Governing Body, Dr. Pratima Paul Majumder and Mr. Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled were also present as honorable guests. PKSF’s high officials and other staffs attended this event and took part in “Dua Mahfil” on the occasion.
International Women’s Day Observed in PKSF
Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), in observance of International Women’s Day, organized a seminar at PKSF auditorium on 28th March, 2017. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF chaired the seminar. Dr. Selina Hayat Ivy, Hon’ble City Mayor of Narayanganj, graced the seminar as the honorable guest.
A number of female officials from PKSF as well as those from its Partner Organizations (POs) gathered on the occasion. Moreover, PKSF’s high officials and other staffs took part in the seminar.
Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF, in his welcome address, mentioned that, the women of our country are now performing important responsibilities in different sectors including the administration of the government.
Begum Rokeya, Executive Director, Sabalamby Unnayan Samity (SUS) presented a resourceful essay in the seminar emphasizing on gradual development of the status of women in Bangladesh. Also Dr. Pratima Paul Majumder, a member of PKSF’s Governing Body, addressed the audience of the seminar.
Chairman of PKSF, Dr. Ahmad highlighted that though Bangladesh is making significant progress in many global indexes regarding the issue of women empowerment, women repression and child marriage are yet to root out. Dr. Ahmad also moderated an open discussion. Later, he handed over a crest to Mayor Dr. Selina Hayat Ivy for her excellent contribution towards women empowerment. He acclaimed Ivy for her courageous role she had played and not to bow down in the face of all difficulties to attain her incumbent position.
Mayor Dr. Selina Hayat Ivy stated that, men and women should step forward together for sustainable development. When a woman is educated, nothing can stop her to expose her potentials. So female education should get more importance for women empowerment in the days ahead.
A National Convention on PKSF’s Cultural and Sports Programme
Amid festivity and a sportive mood, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) arranged a daylong national convention on its Cultural and Sports Programme on March 23, 2017 at PKSF Auditorium.
Mr Asaduzzaman Noor MP, Hon’ble Minister for Cultural Affairs, graced the programme as the chief guest, and Dr Shree Biren Sikder MP, Hon’ble State Minister for Youth & Sports, as the special guest. The convention was chaired by Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF. Many government high-ups, officials of PKSF and its Partner Organizations (POs), officials of development agencies, journalists and other stakeholders attended the convention.
The convention started with a presentation by Mr Md Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director (Programme) on the PKSF’s Cultural and Sports Programme. Following that, a documentary film on PKSF’s Cultural and Sports Programme was displayed.
The chief guest Mr Noor, in his speech, stressed on the importance of cultural and sports activities of school-going children. He said that nurturing such activities can create a good citizen in future Bangladesh.
Dr Sikder, the special guest, said that sportsmanship shapes our mentality towards a prosperous life and well-being of all.
Representatives from the POs and young participants from schools under the PKSF programme shared their experiences in the convention. Later, the chief guest awarded the Programme implementing POs with crests for successful implementation of the Programme at the field level.
The chair Dr Ahmad said that cultural and sports activities teach us to stand beside one another in times of need and these activities can lead the nation towards making a just society. Dr. Ahmad also moderated an open discussion among the participants.
A colorful cultural show performed by youths, coming from different parts of the country, made the closing of the programme very delightful.
Delegates from University of Oxford Visit PKSF
A 22-member delegation from the University of Oxford paid a visit in Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) on March 22, 2017. They met Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF and other high officials of PKSF and held discussion on the management and operational strategy of PKSF. The discussion meeting and question-answer session was chaired by Mr. Karim. A video documentary on PKSF’s activities was shown to the delegation.
New Accolade for PKSF Chairman
Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman of PKSF and concurrently the Chairman of Dhaka School of Economics (DScE) has been bestowed with a new laurel. Management Teachers Consortium-Global, an India-based voluntary non-profit group and known across the world as a top level global think tank in higher education has conferred upon Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad MTC Global Rooshikumar Panday Life Time Achievement Award. MTC Global has selected Dr Ahmad as a leading economist of Bangladesh, a renowned development thinker and a dedicated activist. To recognize the excellence of persons in different areas of education, MTC instituted few awards from 2010. These awards are rated very high by the academia at the global level. Many top leaders in the academia and the corporate sector have earlier received this MTC Global award.
Changing lives in the hills
Chairman all smiles after inspecting PKSF development activities in CHT
Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), has expressed satisfaction at the development activities carried out by the PKSF and its Partner Organisations (POs) in Chittagong Hill Tracts.
“It was so heart-warming to see how the people in the hills, who used to be by and large left out of development activities, are now coming out of extreme poverty, and how the PKSF is standing by them in this journey,” said the renowned economist after concluding his 6-day visit to the hill districts — Chittagong, Bandarban, Khagrachhari and Rangamati.
Dr QK Ahmad — who took over as the PKSF Chairman in 2009 and has since been leading the apex development institution established by the Government of Bangladesh towards making more human-centric interventions aimed at eradicating poverty and ensuring human dignity for all — was accompanied by Deputy Managing Director (Admin) Dr Md Jashim Uddin and General Manager (Programme) Mr Mashiar Rahman during the 16-21 March 2017 visit.
He attended a range of programmes and inspected a number of PKSF-supported activities implemented by Integrated Development Foundation (IDF), Centre for Integrated Development Programme (CIDP) and Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) — all POs of the PKSF.
On the first day, the PKSF chairman first went to Satkania Union of Chittagong where he inaugurated an ENRICH centre.
The ENRICH, a brainchild of Dr QK Ahmad, is a flagship programme of the PKSF that works for sustained poverty eradication and beyond-poverty development for the extreme-poor households in rural Bangladesh. The programme adopts a ‘One Union-One PO’ approach to effectively deliver a range of activities to ensure ‘total development’ of the downtrodden. Each ENRICH union, like Satkania, has ENRICH Ward centres that serve as a hub of socio-economic, cultural and educational activities of the local communities.
From there, the PKSF Chairman and his entourage inspected a Red Chittagong Cattle (RCC) farm in the same union. The farm, established by the IDF under the financial support from another highly successful PKSF programme titled ‘Livelihood and Innovation Fund to Test New Ideas (LIFT)’, promotes rearing high-yielding RCC. Dr Ahmad also exchanged views with a group of locals who had gathered at the farm to take training on RCC rearing.
The day passed amid tightly scheduled programmes that included inauguration of a few more ENRICH centres and discussions with the leaders and representatives of different ethnic groups living in the hill tracts of Bandarban.
The day ended with a colourful cultural programme in Sualok Union of Bandarban where members of local Mro community showcased their rich cultural heritage through musical performances.
The next day, the PKSF Chairman inspected IDF-implemented ENRICH activities in Rangamati’s Wagga Union under Kaptai Upazila. He also inaugurated an ENRICH Social Centre for the Senior Citizens, inspected a health camp for the underprivileged ethnic groups there, and took part in a number of discussion programmes.
Defying intermittent rains and treacherous roads, Dr QK Ahmad — who is reverently termed as ‘Mr Forever 25’ by the PKSF employees for his tenacity and vivacity — then went to Sapchhari Union in Rangamati where the CIPD is implementing the ENRICH activities. The locals welcomed him and his entourage with a warm reception in their indigenous way.
After inauguration of a couple of ENRICH Centres and discussions with the locals, it was time for him to inspect the PKSF-supported activities implemented by the YPSA in Panchhari union of Khagrachhari.
On the last day of the visit, the PKSF Chairman inaugurated a convention of people with disabilities (PWDs) in Sitakunda of Chittagong. The YPSA in association with some local organisations of the PWDs organised the programme on the premises of its Human Resources Development Centre, established with financial support from the LIFT programme of the PKSF. The researchers there walked the PKSF top boss through their innovations that facilitate access of the PWDs to different resources.
Dr QK Ahmad addressed a rally of around 2,000 PWDs and handed over grant cheques to some of them. “The PKSF will continue to work for rehabilitating the PWDs and including them in the mainstream workforce so that they can contribute more to the national development,” he said at the convention.
As the hectic yet exhilarating six-day tour came to a close, the PKSF Chairman was all smiles. “Never stop believing in these people. With a little support, they can do miracles,” he said to a delighted Dr Jashim Uddin, who leads the implementation of both the LIFT and the ENRICH programmes from the forefront.
The Chairman, PKSF Briefs on SDGs’ Implementation in Bangladesh
Following the country’s remarkable progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF delivered a knowledge disseminating lecture in a meeting with a good number of PKSF officials on various critical development issues to be pertinent for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Bangladesh.
In his lecture, arranged on March 16, 2017 in PKSF Bhaban, Dr. Ahmad shared his experiences and thoughts with PKSF officials by putting forward some of the basic socio-economic development issues of Bangladesh in the context of its macro and meso-economy. Besides, this lecture has referred some future directives for PKSF to carry out the responsibility in response to the government’s initiatives for SDGs implementation in the days ahead.
Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF delivered a concluding remark on this occasion and thanked Dr. Ahmad for his invaluable directions on SDGs’ implementation in Bangladesh. The lecture meeting ended with a lively discussion among the participants.
PKSF Convenes a National Conference on its Programme for Elderly People
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) convened a National Conference with festivity on its Programme for Uplifting the Quality of the Lives of the Elderly People on 2 March 2017 in PKSF Auditorium. Mr. A. M. A Muhith, Finance Minister, Government of Bangladesh, was present at the Conference as the Chief Guest. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF presided over the Conference. An open discussion was followed by a spectacular documentary presentation on PKSF’s initiatives for elderly people. An exhibition took place at the premises of PKSF Bhaban displaying facilities and services provided by PKSF to the aged people.
PKSF is providing both financial and non-financial services in enabling disadvantaged people to take part in diversified livelihoods. In January 2016 PKSF, in persuasion of National Policy on Older Persons 2013, started its Programme for Uplifting the Quality of the Lives of the Elderly People concentrating on the well being of aged persons.
Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF, applauded the Government of Bangladesh for enacting the Parents’ Care Act 2013. He remarked that, elderly people of Bangladesh are in much favorable position compared to the global scenario.
Finance Minister Mr. A. M. A Muhith thanked PKSF for initiating such a programme on elderly people of Bangladesh. He said, as longevity of people is increasing, the need for this programme is getting more and more concentration throughout the country day by day.
Dr. Ahmad, the Chair of the Conference, announced that programme for elderly people will be extended to another new fifty unions of ENRICH, a new holistic PKSF approach, all over the Bangladesh through a special budget allocation from PKSF.
Earlier, Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director (Programme), PKSF, made a short presentation on PKSF’s programme for elderly people. Programme for Uplifting the Quality of the Lives of the Elderly People is being implemented in 20 Unions of 18 districts through 19 selected Partner Organizations (POs) of PKSF. A total of 31,807 elderly people have been identified as probable programme participants of the programme after a demographic and socio-economic survey. The activities being implemented are establishments of social centers for the elderly people, provision of old age allowance, special savings programme and pension fund, recognizing elderly persons’ contribution to society, providing awards to the best children for serving their parents, creating appropriate credit and training facilities, training up para-physiotherapist to provide geriatric nursing and creating special social facilities for the elderly people. 279 village committees, 174 ward committees and 20 Union committees of elderly people have been formed in 18 districts and they are being provided with training on leadership, communication and social awareness.
The Government officials, the officials of PKSF and its Partner Organizations (POs), development agencies, journalists and other stakeholders attended the Conference. Noted dignitaries from institutions like BAAIGM, BUP, Orbis Intl, BWHC, BPA, Aging Support Forum, HelpAge Intl, CDF, Mousumi, Sir William Beveridge Foundation, etc were also present at the Conference. The conference ended with a magnificent cultural programme performed by Proyash, one of the POs of PKSF, and Spondon, a cultural academy.
Time to Champion Women’s Empowerment: Implementation of SDGs in Bangladesh
By Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad
The year 2015 was highly significant in relation to global convergence on ways forward towards achieving sustainable development at local, national, regional, and global levels.
Global leaders reached four groundbreaking agreements that year, the first of which was the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the first major agreement crucially important in the context of the post-2015 development agenda.
Then in July came the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development, which has dealt with how finances can be mobilised for global sustainable development. In September, the world leaders adopted the ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ with 17 goals, known as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030.
The other momentous development was the signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change in December that year. Not that everyone will agree with the contents of these agreements and certainly there are deficits in each in relation to what needs to be achieved, but these documents provide a strong basis to moving forward.
Of these, the SDG 2030-Agenda essentially integrates the core objectives of the other three agreements along with other relevant issues, and focuses on the inclusion of everyone in the development process, with particular emphasis on gender equality (Goal-5) that men and women must be equally endowed with opportunities and facilities. This is a key Goal that catalyses actions to carve out an appropriate forward movement of society, overcoming gender discriminations and other hurdles.
Despite the fact that women’s empowerment takes the centre stage of sustainable development, they face discrimination in different aspects of their lives, one of which is wage discrimination.
Even in the United States, women working full time in 2015 typically were paid just 80 percent of what men were paid, a gap of 20 percent. The same can be found in Bangladesh where women get 21.1 percent less hourly wages than men, according to a recent study by the International Labour Organisation.
Bangladesh has come a long way in empowering women and closing the gender gap. Women are joining and making their mark in all branches of the development and society including education, health services, administration, banks, entrepreneurship, military and law enforcement forces, and politics.
In terms of political empowerment, Bangladesh not only leads the region but also beats many developed countries in the world. The Global Gender Gap Report 2016 published by the World Economic Forum testifies to the significant progress women have achieved in Bangladesh.
The Report that covers 144 countries ranks Bangladesh 72nd with an overall score of 0.698 (1 means parity), well above the average global score. The country leads the South Asian region in all four indicators – economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment. Bangladesh’s closest performer in the region is India, lagging 15 spots behind.
What is notable is the progress made in Bangladesh in reducing gender gap over the past one decade. Ranked 91st among 114 countries, Bangladesh jumped 19 spots ahead in just 10 years, even though 30 more countries were included in the exercise this time.
This noteworthy progress, along with the very significant socio-economic advancement achieved by the country in recent years, has been possible mainly because of a conducive policy environment provided by the government, and the indomitable spirits of the people of this country to move ahead against all odds and achieve changes for the better. It is also to be recognised that facilitating support at the local spaces has been provided by many civil society and non-government entities.
The Constitution of Bangladesh clearly states that “the State Shall endeavour to ensure equality of opportunity and participation of women in all spheres of national life” and “women shall have equal rights with men in all spheres of the State and of public life”. The country also has the National Women Development Policy 2011 and a set of laws to prevent violence and discrimination against women and to ensure empowerment of women, and their equal rights and opportunities.
In conformity with the constitutional dictates as well as the policy and legal obligations and the political will to ensure women’s legitimate progress, the Sheikh Hasina-led government introduced the Gender Budget in the 2009-10 fiscal year. Seven fiscal years later, the Gender Budget now has jumped almost 3.5 times. This amount is allocated directly to promote women’s progress in relation to various issues faced by them. But, the issue of improvement of women’s status also features directly or indirectly in various other programmes.
Despite the advancements women in Bangladesh have made, they still are paid less than men for equal work, as mentioned above, and are facing violence both inside and outside their homes. A 2015 study of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics shows that 80.2 percent women in Bangladesh suffer domestic violence at some point of their lives.
Girl students account for over 50 percent of the number of students at primary and secondary levels, but their proportion at the tertiary level is now around 40 percent. Though more women are joining the mainstream workforces in the government and corporate sectors, their presence in the top echelons is not yet very encouraging. Harassment of women and girl students in their workplaces and educational institutions respectively, and child marriage, remain major challenges.
The Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), which is a government-established foundation, has been trying to empower women in terms of human capability as well as economic and social opportunities. It currently offers financial and non-financial services to over 10 million households or about 45 million people throughout the country.
An intensive and integrated multidimensional poverty eradication and beyond-poverty sustainable development action programme is being implemented in 150 unions (the lowest administrative unit) across the country, covering around 4.5 million people, half of whom are women.
Previously, women were often used as conduits for borrowing money from microfinance institutions. But, now the PKSF ensures that women play important roles in the management of financial and non-financial services they avail from the PKSF-POs (Partner Organisations of the PKSF, NGOs through which the PKSF implements its action programmes) under strict PKSF supervision and monitoring. These women are thus getting increasingly empowered in their families and in society.
The PKSF also focuses on education of girls and campaigns against and actions within its capacity to reduce child marriage, harassment of girls and women, and violence against women, and also for the recognition of women’s household chores as economic activities.
Since empowerment of women is at the heart of the SDGs, it is of paramount importance that Bangladesh makes bolder moves to end all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girl children. ‘Be Bold For Change’ thus seems to be an appropriate slogan that has been picked for the International Women’s Day 2017, a day the world observes on March 8th every year.
On this occasion, Bangladesh must renew its pledge to step up efforts to make this country a better place for women, take bolder stances to effectively address the persistent bias, inequality, and violence faced by women, and forge women’s advancement, celebrate their achievements, and champion women’s education.
I firmly believe that men and women in Bangladesh together will lead the country towards sustainable development in a balanced manner with no one left behind, where everyone will live in human dignity, overcoming all odds.
The article was originally published by Inter Press Service (IPS) on the occasion of the International Women’s Day 2017.
Crablets production started in the first crab hatchery established in the country
The production of crablets has been started in the newly established crab hatchery in Shyam nagar Satkhira with the financial assistance of Palli Karma-Shayak Foundation (PKSF). This is the first ever successful crab hatchery in Bangladesh. The hatchery has been established through Nowabenki Gonomukhi Foundation (NGF) a partner organization of PKSF under the project titled ‘Promoting Agricultural Commercialization and Enterprises (PACE) Project jointly financed by PKSF and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The first batch of crablets produced in the hatchery was released to nursery ponds on 25th February 2017. Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director (Programme), PKSF formally released crablets in a nursery pond. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Fazlul Kader expressed his satisfaction over the success of the hatchery in producing quality crablets and expected that the hatchery will have far reaching impact in the expansion of this promising export oriented sector. He mentioned that attempts will be taken for setting up small-scale crab hatcheries at the household levels through microentrepreneurs to meet the increasing demand of crablets of the crab culture sector flourishing in southern coastal regions of the country. Mr. Akond Md. Rafiqul Islam, Project Coordinator of PACE project was present on the occasion.
The crab hatchery technology was transferred to Bangladesh by a Vietnamese development organization ‘Center for Education and Community Development (CECD)’ which is led by Ms. Pham Thi Hong. Earlier, Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman of PKSF laid the foundation stone of the hatchery on 6th April 2016 through a video conference. After the completion of experimental production, Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad released the crablets into a nursery pond on 27th August 2016. Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director of PKSF was present on the occasion. The experimental production was done under the direct technical supervision of the Vietnamese experts.
PKSF Launches New Platform to Strengthen SDGs Implementation
To help Government achieve the UN-sponsored Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) has launched a new platform titled “People’s Voice: Strengthening SDGs Implementation in Bangladesh”, consisting of sector-related organisations and professionals.
PKSF Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad chaired the event, in which the Foundation’s Managing Director Md Abdul Karim gave the welcome address. Dr Md Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director (Admin), gave a presentation on how the PKSF activities have been contributing to the endeavors of the Government in SDGs implementation. Parliamentarian Mr Md Abdul Wadud, also the Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Food Ministry; Mr Md Abul Kalam Azad, Chief Coordinator for SDGs affairs in the Prime Minister’s Office; and Mr Md Eunusur Rahman, Secretary to the Bank and Financial Institution Division, the Finance Ministry, attended the programme as special guests.
They emphasized that Bangladesh, following the remarkable progress in achieving MDGs, has the capacity to achieve SDGs before the due time by mobilizing and utilizing internal resources.
The Government officials, the officials of PKSF and its Partner Organizations (POs), development agencies and other stakeholders attended and took part in the discussion of the seminar.
Coordinated, area-specific planning a must
Say experts at a PKSF seminar on sustainable development of Haor people
With a view to identifying ways to ensure comprehensive development of those living in the country’s Haor areas, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) on 14 February 2017 organised a seminar titled `Sustainable Development of Haor People: Innovative Initiatives of PKSF’.
Noted economist Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, also Chairman of the PKSF, was the chief guest of the seminar chaired by PKSF Managing Director Mr Md Abdul Karim. Mr Amalendu Mukherjee, Executive Vice-Chairman of Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA), spoke there as the special guest. Executive directors and other high officials of different Partner Organisations (POs) of the Foundation and representatives of Hoar people attended the half-day event.
In the welcome speech, PKSF boss Mr Karim said the Haor people constitute a large part of the country’s population that still lives below the poverty line. “Though the Haor people live in what probably the hardest-to-reach areas, the PKSF with the help of its POs is relentlessly working to improve their livelihoods. The recommendations to be made during today’s event will certainly help us chalk out more effective development action plans for future.”
The Haor region covers an area of 4,450 square kilometres of vast wetlands across seven districts of North-eastern Bangladesh. The areas remain under water for over six months of a year, allowing no agricultural activities there during the period. Fishing becomes the only source of livelihood for the millions of people living there. Due to the absence of regular livelihood sources, acute poverty has been plaguing the lives of Haor people for generations.
The Executive Directors of Padakkhep Manabik Unnayan Kendra and Palli Bikash Kendra — both POs of the PKSF — gave two presentations on their experiences of implementing PKSF activities in the Haor areas. Later, PKSF Deputy Managing Director (Admin) Dr Md Jashim Uddin and Mr Murshed Alam Sarker, Executive Director of People’s Oriented Program Implementation — another PO of the Foundation, discussed on the presentations.
Mr Mukherjee of the MRA lauded the PKSF activities in the Haor region. “Sustainable development of the country cannot be achieved leaving the Haor people out of the process. So, the MRA will always extend all possible support to the PKSF if it undertakes any development project for the Haor areas.”
Chief guest Dr Kholiquzzaman Ahmad highlighted the need for inclusive development of the poor and ultra-poor population living in Haor and other remote areas for the country to achieve the UN-sponsored Sustainable Development Goals.
“Proper coordination among the government and the non-government entities at all levels is a must for achieving the desired results in any development activity. Thus, we all have to work together to formulate an area-specific, viable and sustainable plan of action for the Haor region.”
The renowned economist expressed hope that the PKSF will take up more Haor-centric programmes in the days ahead.
More photos from the event
Inauguration of Training on Implementing National Integrity Strategy
In pursuance of implementing National Integrity Strategy (NIS) as approved by the government, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), in the first phase, arranged a daylong training programme on January 22, 2017 at PKSF Bhaban for 30-official from its various departments covering wide range of issues related to NIS.
The training programme was inaugurated by Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF. Mr. Karim urged the participants to the enforcement of NIS with rigour in PKSF to comply with the government policy. He said, PKSF is constantly keeping utmost transparency and accountability in all of its activities and we have to, by any means, make a conscious effort to uphold the spirit in the days ahead.
The high officials of PKSF took part as the resource persons in various sessions on integrity strategy issues.
ENRICH-ed tales of indomitable spirits
PKSF top delegation delighted at Programme successes in Hatiya, Nijhum Dwip
A high-level delegation led by Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), recently inspected different activities implemented under the PKSF’s flagship programme ‘ENRICH’ in Noakhali district.
The delegation was comprised of PKSF General Board members — Ms Bulbul Mahalanbish, Mr SM Wahiduzzaman Babur, Prof Shafi Ahmed and Mr Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmad; PKSF Deputy Managing Director Dr Md Jashim Uddin, who leads the ENRICH implementation from the forefront; and journalists from the country’s leading print and electronic media outlets.
During the January 16-19 visit, they attended a range of programmes and inspected a number of ENRICH-ed households and other PKSF-supported activities implemented by Sagarika Samaj Unnayan Sangstha (SSUS) and Dwip Unnayan Sangstha (DUS), both Partner Organisations (POs) of the PKSF, in Char Elahi, and Hatiya and Nijhum Dwip islands of Noakhali.
The ENRICH, a brainchild of PKSF Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, works for sustained poverty eradication and beyond-poverty development for the extreme-poor households in rural Bangladesh. The programme assigns one PO in a union to effectively deliver a range of activities to ensure ‘total development’ of the downtrodden in a sustainable way and human dignity for all.
PKSF praised in Char Elahi
The 4-day visit started with inspecting an ENRICH Education Assistance Centre (EAC) at Char Elahi in Companiganj Upazila of Noakhali. A total of 26 children, who are helped with their after-school and co-curricular activities at the EAC, accorded the PKSF delegation with recitations, songs and other performances. They also shared their experiences at the EAC with the visiting team members.
Later, the PKSF delegation attended a public rally attended by around 500 people from different walks of life. Among others, Companiganj Upazila Parishad Chairman Mr Mizanur Rahman Badal, Char Elahi UP Chairman Mr Abdur Razzak and SSUS Director Mr Abdur Razzak spoke at the rally. They all highly praised the PKSF interventions there, particularly those of the ENRICH, and requested the Foundation to expand its activities there. Dr Md Jashim Uddin in his speech gave an overview of the ENRICH and how the programme was changing lives in a sustainable way.
The PKSF Chairman expressed his gratitude to the local government representatives for joining the programme. “Development by and large is a political process … The involvement of politicians at the grassroots has proved to be catalysing the ENRICH implementation and the socio-economic development of the locals.”
At a view-exchange meeting in the evening, the SSUS officials apprised the PKSF delegation of its different activities and sought assistance to introduce localised crop calendar and establish an artificial insemination centre for sheep there. Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad assured them of PKSF help in these regards.
A Beauty-ful tale of struggle and success
Ferdous Begum Beauty built her house in Kaladur village under Chanandi Union of Hatiya after her previous house on a char was devoured by the mighty Meghna. However, the house never felt like home due to extreme poverty. Extortions and tortures by local robbery gangs made it all the worse for her. While the government forces managed to curb the crimes in the area, poverty would still torment her family.
“… So much so that we would often have to go to bed with an empty stomach. And I could not even count how many nights and days we had to spend like that,” says Beauty, in her late 40s.
She went on to describe how the DUS reached out to her and helped her make her house an ENRICH-ed one. Though hers was not an ENRICH union yet, the DUS provided her different types of training and necessary assistance under other PKSF-supported programmes in line with the ENRICH model of a self-sustaining household.
“Gradually, things started becoming better,” Beauty continued. “We started earning from the vegetables cultivated on our homestead, rearing cattle, selling fish etc. The earning was enough to support the four-member family. We also were saving. In three years, we saved enough to buy 130 decimals of farmlands.”
“How well are you doing financially now?” asked PKSF DMD Dr Md Jashim Uddin.
“Fairly well, by the grace of Allah. Our monthly net income ranges between Tk 12,000-15,000 now,” she replied.
Her husband Manik Mia, who was sitting next to her, added, “But we don’t want to stop here. If you (the PKSF) are with us, I believe we can go further ahead.”
The PKSF delegation went to three more houses there and they left each of those with stories of exemplary successes, and smiles on their faces.
The PKSF Chairman inaugurating a deep tube well and an ENRICH Centre in Nijhum Dwip
At mercy of the sea, in hope for better days
The next destination was Nijhum Dwip, an island in the Bay of Bengal inhabited by around 60,000 people. Though a popular tourist destination, the island did not have much lodging facilities for the tourists. This was adversely affecting the earning opportunities for the locals.
In order to help them, the ENRICH took up an initiative to introduce ecotourism there. The PKSF constructed concrete house there for a family with a spare room which can be rented out to tourists as an income generating activity. PKSF Chairman Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad inaugurated one such house. This is still in a pilot phase and extensive interventions will be made if this was a success, he said.
Then the PKSF top-boss attended a meeting with rehabilitated Freedom Fighters at the island. They thanked the PKSF for helping them out of extreme poverty. However, there are still a number of problems that plague them, they said and requested the PKSF to help them with constructing embankments, a lighthouse and an artificial insemination centre for cattle so that they could have a better life.
In response, the PKSF chairman says, “It hurts me when I see that the bravest sons of the soil are in distress. We will do whatever possible on our part to give you a happier life.”
He later instructed the DUS officials to take necessary steps to help the islanders with what they need within the PKSF’s capacity.
The PKSF delegation later enjoyed a magnificent drill on disaster preparedness and management and Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad was accorded with a civil reception in Hatiya.
During the four-day visit, the PKSF chairman also inaugurated ENRICH centres and deep tubewells, and attended an ENRICH fair.
On January 19, the delegation made its way back to Dhaka. As the trawler carrying the PKSF officials and journalists sailed its way from Hatiya across the Bay to the mainland, the PKSF Chairman and the DMD (Admin) kept looking at the island slowly fading into the horizon. Both were wearing bright smiles – smiles of accomplishment and of contentment that comes from serving humanity.
PKSF signed a MoU with DScE
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Dhaka School of Economics (DScE) to extend cooperations to promote environmental and sustainable development education, research, learning and dissemination of activities in Bangladesh.
On behalf of PKSF and DScE the MoU is signed by Dr. Md. Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director and Mr. Muhammad Selim, Head of Administration, Development and Academic Affairs respectively. Chairman of PKSF Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Managing Director Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, all Deputy Managing Directors and other senior officials of PKSF were present on that occasion.
PKSF signed a MoU with IPS
To raise public awareness internationally about the extraordinary impact of the works of PKSF and to provide decision makers worldwide with substantive information on its various key areas, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is signed between Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) and Inter Press Service (IPS) at PKSF Bhaban on 3rd January, 2017.
Dr. Md. Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director, PKSF and Ms. Farhana Haque Rahman, Director General, IPS signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organizations. On that occasion, Chairman of PKSF Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Managing Director Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, all Deputy Managing Directors and other senior officials of PKSF were present.
PKSF signs MoU with Orbis International aiming to expand eye care services in Bangladesh
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing programme between Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) and Orbis International was held in PKSF Bhaban on January 01, 2017, with a specific objective to increase access to and coverage of eye care services in the selected areas of Bangladesh through joint planning, advocacy, capacity building and community interventions. It is to be noted that there is a link between loss of sight and poverty. Currently, there are 51200 blind children. Approximately 153600 children have low vision problems, of which about 78,336 cases are avoidable. In this reality, PKSF and Orbis signed the MoU with a view to enhance eye care services in remote areas of Bangladesh, in particular those who are excluded from formal eye care services.
Mr. Golam Touhid, Deputy Managing Director (Finance), PKSF and Dr. Munir Ahmed, Country Director, Orbis International signed the MoU in presence of Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF. Among others, Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director (Program Implementation), PKSF; Mr. AKM Nuruzzaman, Deputy General Manager, PKSF; Mr. Mohammed Alauddin, Director of Programs, Dr. Lutful Husain, Senior Medical Specialist, Mr. Mohammad Awlad Hossain, Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Manager, and Mr. Md. Iqbal Hossain, Project Manager-QCV, from Orbis International were also present.
After signing the MoU Mr. Md. Adbul Karim, Managing Director of PKSF said “This has been the best agreement ever signed with PKSF. The need is enormous and we need to work together”. Dr. Munir Ahmed, Country Director of Orbis International expressed his gratitude to PKSF for signing the agreement with Orbis International. He also shared that this collaboration will help us to implement innovative way of reaching vision 2020 goal.
National Water Convention 2016 held at PKSF Bhaban
The country’s top water experts assembled at the 2-day National Water Convention titled “Sustainable Water Regime in Bangladesh: Availability, Management, Access” on 28-29 December 2016 at PKSF Bhaban, Agargaon, DHaka. The 2-day National Water Convention was jointly hosted by Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), Bangladesh Unnayan Parishad (BUP) and NGO Forum for Public Health. This convention was organized to review the state of affairs in respect of various key water sector issues with an emphasis to how the increasing water issues and problems can be more effectively addressed and how coordination between the Government and the various stakeholders can be strengthened.
Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud, MP, Minister, Ministry of Water Resources inaugurated the event as the Chief Guest of the Convention. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF presided over the inaugural session while Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF warmly welcomed the guests with a call to uphold the spirit of the Convention. Introductory remarks were delivered by Mr. S.M.A. Rashid, Executive Director, NGO Forum for Public Health; and Dr. Nilufar Banu, Executive Director, BUP. The event was divided in 13 technical sessions in which key-note papers were presented by eminent water experts, renowned academicians, researchers, top government officials, international & national NGO professionals.
The 13 technical sessions covered various water resources management issues of the country. The sessions included remarks and observations on Climate Change Induced Salinity in Coastal Areas of Bangladesh; Participatory Water Management; Flood Management in Bangladesh; Bangladesh: Poverty and Water Sector Interfaces; Water Management in Hilly Areas; Water Management in Drought-prone Regions; Arsenic Contamination of Ground Water; Urban Water Challenges; Saving the Rivers; Ensuring Potable Water for All: Technological, Management & Social Issues; Trans-boundary Water Issues; PKSF in Water Management; and Ensuring Availability & Sustainable Management of Water & Sanitation for All. Around 300 sector professionals from the GoB, diplomatic missions, academia, media, International & national NGOs, civil society etc took part in the Convention.
PKSF Chairman and eminent specialist on water use and management Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad was the convener of the Convention. Dr. Ahmad pointed out to the deep connectivity between water and poverty.
PKSF holds its 27th Annual General Meeting
The 27th Annual General Meeting of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) was held on 27 December 2016 at PKSF Bhaban.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF presided over the meeting. The members of the General Body namely, Dr. Pratima Paul-Majumder, Dr. A.K.M. Nurun Nabi, Mr. Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled, Mr. Md. Fazlul Haque, Mr. C. M. Shafi Sami, Ms. Bulbul Mohalanabish, Ms. Begum Razia Hossain, Mr. Nazir Ahmed Khan, Dr. Nazneen Ahmed, Professor Shafi Ahmed, Mr. Munshi Faiz Ahmad, Mr. S. M. Wahiduzzaman Babur, Dr. Mujib Uddin Ahamed, and Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director of PKSF were present in the meeting.
The Chairman presented an overall statement of PKSF’s activities. He informed the General Body of the progress of the ongoing programs and projects of PKSF. The members of the General Body lauded PKSF’s continuous efforts to accomplish its various activities and initiatives. They also gave their valuable suggestions. The Managing Director updated the meeting regarding the progress of the implementation of the decisions/suggestions of previous Annual General Meeting held earlier this year. In the meeting, the general body expressed its satisfaction over the progress of the overall operations of PKSF.
A Meeting was organized for the Participants of `Advance course on Administration & Development (ACAD)’ from Bangladesh Public Administration Training Centre (BPATC) on 19 December 2016. A 23 member of delegation from that course visited Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) and its one Partner Organization (PO) named Voluntary Education and Resource Center (VERC), Savar, Dhaka. Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF chaired the meeting and made a welcome speech. He shared his own experience working with Government of Bangladesh and also mentioned some facts of the progress of PKSF. After initial introduction, Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director, PKSF made a presentation on PKSF followed by an interactive discussion. After that Mr.Md. Mashiar Rahman, General Manager (Programme), PKSF presented brief features of ENRICH programme of PKSF. After lunch, the team visited the activities of VERC, in Savar areas.
ENRICH delight for PKSF top brass
General Body members inspect ENRICH activities, express satisfaction at progress
A General Body delegation of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) inspected different activities, implemented under its flagship programme ENRICH, in Dhamrai and Manikganj on 17 December 2016.
The nine-member delegation led by PKSF Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad consisted of Prof Zaheda Ahmad of Dhaka University, the Foundation’s General Body members Dr Pratima Paul-Majumder, Mr Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled, Ms Bulbul Mahalanbish, Mr Md Emranul Haque Chowdhury, Mr Nazir Ahmed Khan, Dr Mujib Uddin Ahmad and PKSF Managing Director Mr Md Abdul Karim. PKSF Deputy Managing Director (Admin) Dr Md Jashim Uddin, who spearheads the ENRICH implementation, accompanied the PKSF top brass during the visit.
The General Body provides overall policy directions to the management of PKSF towards designing and carrying out various activities.
The daylong visit began with a meeting at the headquarters of SOJAG, a Dhamrai-based Partner Organisation (PO) of PKSF. There, SOJAG Executive Director Mr Abdul Matin apprised the PKSF delegation of the PKSF-supported activities in their working areas. In a presentation, he showed how effectively ENRICH programme was changing the lives of people who earlier had been left out of development activities.
The PKSF delegation then visited a number of ENRICH-ed households and other PKSF-supported activities, including health camps, being implemented by SOJAG.
“Even a year ago, my grandchildren would not even visit me because I could not provide them with good food to eat or a good bed to sleep in … But now, they would not want to leave once they come here,” says Asiya Begum, pointing towards her 14-year old grandson standing nearby.
“My husband is too old to work. So I had to work as a house-help to make a living for us. Now, I myself have to hire people to work for me sometimes,” the woman in her mid-50s told the PKSF delegation.
Flanked by a crowd of curious onlookers at the front yard of her house at Uttar Depashai village in Sombhag union of Dhamrai, Asiya was telling how the PKSF’s ENRICH programme had changed her life.
“Last year, I took an appropriate loan of Tk 5 lac from SOJAG. With that money, I bought cows, goats, poultry, ducks and pigeons, set up a biogas plant, started vegetable gardening on my homestead. I also was provided necessary training and other services for all those activities,” she said.
“So, do you have better life now?” asked PKSF Managing Director Mr Abdul Karim.
“Definitely!” said a gleaming Asiya, “I have more money now than I ever had in my life. Within just a year, I have managed to return Tk 1.72 lac of the loan. All my family members are well taken care of. I no longer have to worry about food or health services for me and my family.”
Asked about her future plans, she said, “First I want to repay the loan, and then leave as much assets as possible for my grandchildren before I die.
“My house may be small, but my dreams aren’t,” said Asiya, to cheerful appreciation of everyone around her.
ENRICH, a brainchild of PKSF Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, works for sustained poverty eradication and beyond-poverty development for the extreme-poor households in rural Bangladesh.
As the General Body members were still admiring Asiya’s feat on their way out, PKSF Managing Director Mr Abdul Karim beamingly said, “This is the real development!”
Strive on to ENRICH Zamirtta
The PKSF delegation then headed for Zamirtta, an ENRICH union in Manikganj district. Wave Foundation, another PO of the PKSF, is implementing the Programme there.
They held a meeting with the local stakeholders at a newly established ENRICH Ward Centre in Hatni village under the union. The locals expressed their gratitude to PKSF for selecting the union as a working area of the Programme, and gave accounts of how the ENRICH activities came to them as a bliss.
Adjacent to the meeting venue was the house of Hazera Begum who had received ENRICH support for rearing cows, goats, poultry, ducks and pigeons, planting medicinal and spice plants, homestead gardening, producing vermi-compost etc. She walked the PKSF delegation through the activities and told them how the ENRICH support had turned her into a self-reliant woman.
A few hundred meters away, Anwara Begum was waiting for the PKSF team with fresh fruits from the garden she had developed with ENRICH support. While the PKSF top officials were enjoying the fruity treat, the woman in her early 30s was telling them the story of her success.
“My husband is an expatriate worker. He left the country to earn more so that we can have a better life. But thanks to ENRICH support, I don’t even have to rely on the money he sends. I earn enough to provide for the family,” said Anwara. PKSF top officials re-assured her of continued support so that she could become a replicable model for others.
The PKSF delegation was accorded a warm reception as it then went to attend an ENRICH fair at a local school ground. Wave Foundation organised the fair where they displayed different activities of the organisation. The PKSF top officials spoke about the ENRICH mission and vision before a large crowd of the locals and distributed prizes among the winners of different competitions arranged during the fair.
This marked the conclusion of the hectic-yet-pleasant daylong visit of the PKSF delegation. The joy of achievement was evident in the faces of the PKSF top officials as they headed back to Dhaka in the evening.
A knowledge dissemination workshop on PKSF’s `Gender Policy’ and `Policy and work plan to create a favorable atmosphere in the workplace with regards to give protection from possible sexual harassment of employees’ was held on 15 December 2016, at 3:00pm, at PKSF auditorium. Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director, PKSF provided the introductory speech of this workshop. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF and Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF graced the workshop with their presence. Ms. Hasna Hena Khan, General Manager (Social Development and Advocacy) gave a presentation on the `Gender Policy’ which was approved by the Board of PKSF on 11 May 2016. Whereas, Ms. Tanvir Sultana, Asstistant General Manager (Training) presented the overview of `Policy and work plan to create a favorable atmosphere in the workplace with regards to give protection from possible sexual harassment of employees’, which was approved by PKSF’s Board on 29 June 2015.
“Monga now an obsolete word” – Says finance minister at closing ceremony of PRIME
Bangladesh has achieved a momentum in its initiatives for poverty eradication and in a very short period the magnitude of poverty will come down, says Finance Minister Mr. AMA Muhith.
Once a dreaded term, ‘Monga’ no longer exists in the country, thanks to various government and non-government successful initiatives like PRIME, he said while speaking as the chief guest at the closing ceremony of “Programmed Initiatives for Monga Eradication (PRIME)”, an extreme poor graduation programme implemented by Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), on 30 November 2016.
“Today, we say goodbye to Monga, once and for all” Mr. Muhith said, to cheerful applause inside the PKSF Auditorium packed with an audience of over 300 people.
PRIME was initiated in 2006 with the objective to confront Monga, a Bengali term referring to the yearly cyclical phenomenon of poverty and hunger due to seasonal joblessness in the north-western region of Bangladesh. The region used to experience acute hunger and income depletion during the pre-harvest months of October to December. The phenomenon led to fewer available job opportunities for rural workers, resulting in their becoming migrants and moving to towns. Those who could not migrate would face malnutrition and starvation.
PRIME interventions covered a whopping 5.12 lac extremely poor households in 50 upazilas of 11 highly poverty-affected districts located in the greater northern and south-western regions of the country.
Special Guest Mr. Mahbub Ahmed, Senior Secretary, Finance Division, Ministry of Finance, hailed the PRIME success and urged PKSF to work in other sectors of disaster-related shocks that plague the people of Bangladesh.
“We have achieved 7.11 percent economic growth this year and targeted 7.2 percent for the next year. We want to take the growth rate higher and for that, we want to switch from factor-based growth rate approach to skills and innovation-based growth approaches … So, PKSF should also focus on improving skills of the people through its projects.
“I believe the Government will continue to support PKSF in such initiatives in future,” the Senior Secretary added.
PKSF Chairman Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad chaired the closing ceremony attended by, among others, Government officials, representatives of donor agencies including DFID Bangladesh, PKSF’s Board Members, officials of PKSF and CEOs/representatives of PKSF’s Partner Organisations (POs).
An achievement unlike anything
In the welcome remarks, PKSF Managing Director Mr. Abdul Karim provided a brief description of the context in which PRIME was initiated. “The Programme was introduced from PKSF’s own resources in 2006 for eradication of Monga from northern Bangladesh … Then DFID came forward in 2007 to finance this Programme with a grant equivalent to £24.54 million.”
The primary focus of PRIME was to create wage-employment and self-employment opportunities to ensure sustainable income for the people of the Monga-affected region throughout the year, he said.
“Now, most of the PRIME households have succeeded in crossing the international extreme poverty threshold of $1.25 a day per person by the year 2012. And in 2013, it increased to $1.37 a day per person.”
Terming PRIME a very cost-effective programme, he said, “We have spent less than $100 per household.”
Quoting from an evaluation report by the donor agency DFID, Mr. Karim said, “PKSF has succeeded in designing and implementing an effective programme for delivering extreme poverty reduction, enabling the target households to graduate out of extreme poverty.”
Turning to PKSF’s long-term goals, the PKSF Managing Director said, “PKSF is working extremely hard to assist the Government in implementing Vision 2021, SDG 2030 and Vision 2041. For this, we need constant support of the Government and also of the development partners.”
Later in a presentation, PKSF Deputy Managing Director (Administration) Dr. Md. Jashim Uddin boasted that PRIME’s success in effectively confronting Monga is unique.
“The average monetary value of the assets of the PRIME households has increased from Tk. 62,000 in 2008 to Tk 2,11,000 in 2016 – a 242 percent rise within a period of just eight years,” said Dr. Md. Jashim Uddin who led the implementation of the programme from the forefront.
“At the same time, food security of these households has seen a tremendous improvement – from a meagre 4 percent in 2007 to an astounding 99 percent in 2016.”
Besides, the programme also made interventions in the salinity-hit southern region of the country by installing desalination plants and providing other tools for ensuring accessibility to safe drinking water and income generating activities for the extreme poor, Dr. Md. Jashim Uddin added.
Prof. Dr. MA Baqui Khalily, former executive director of the ÔInstitute for Inclusive Finance and Development (InM)Õ, gave another presentation on the impact assessment of PRIME, which showed how visibly ahead the programme was in comparison with other initiatives of its kind.
A number of surveys were conducted to assess the Programme’s impact and most of the PRIME participants had developed to cope with the adverse impacts of any natural disasters, he said.
“Monga was essentially created for lack of employment opportunities. Those regions were largely dependent on agriculture. So floods would affect agricultural economic activities. Therefore, there were no employment opportunities during the Monga period.”
However, by diversifying economic activities to off-farm from on-farm in those areas and providing a complete package of financial and non-financial services, PRIME has succeeded in graduating people of those regions from poverty in a sustainable way and Monga was no longer in place, observed Prof. Baqui Khalily.
‘A pleasure to be associated with success’
Hailing PRIME’s achievements, DFID Bangladesh Representative Mr. Keith Thompson said, “It’s a pleasure to be associated with success and PRIME certainly is a success.”
Market orientation, adaptive implementation and diversification played the most crucial role in PRIME’s success, Mr. Thompson said.
“Being an adaptive and market-driven extreme poverty alleviation programme is the key behind PRIME’s success. And, technical support and market linkage activities strengthened the impacts of income generating activity promotion.
“These three success factors can also be relevant to the national level … as the country is going through graduation itself.”
Reasserting the UK’s commitment to Bangladesh, the DFID Bangladesh Representative noted, “The United Kingdom will continue to support Bangladesh in capacity building, health education and many other areas including to make it easier for businesses to invest and flourish.”
‘Thank you, PKSF!’
“There was a time when I wouldn’t know in the morning whether I would be able to find something to eat for supper or would have to go to bed with an empty stomach,” Zahira Begum, who had come all the way from Nilphamari to Dhaka to attend the programme, said as she was describing how PRIME changed her life.
“Born in an extremely poor family with five other siblings, I was married off at the age of 13. My husband was an unemployed youth with no income at all. I soon became a mother and poverty started taking a worse turn.”
Amid such gruelling hardship, she was listed as a PRIME participant in 2006 and received training on making mats. After a 45-day training, she was provided with the mat-making equipment and a loan of Tk. 8,000.
“From that moment onwards, I never had to look back. Now I have 75 women employees directly working for me. I also have trained at least 175 others on making mats so that they too can create employment opportunities for themselves and for others,” said a proud Zahira, with the joy of success radiating in her face.
Similar accounts of achievements were narrated by some other PRIME participants during a session styled “Voices from Grassroots”.
Once a hunger-stricken rickshaw-van puller, Saheb Jamal from Gaibandha described how production of vermi-compost has pulled him out of abject poverty. Over the years, he has been able to buy 20 decimals of land, take lease of another 33 decimals, send his three well-fed children to school and make plans to perform Hajj with the money earned from selling vermi-compost.
Anima Mistri from Khulna could not hold the tears back as she recalled the sufferings she and her family had to go through after the devastating cyclone Aila in 2009. “For three years, we had to live in a shabby tent beside a road.”
“But thanks to PRIME’s help, I now grow 32 types of vegetables. I also have 16 different fruit trees, 28 species of medicinal plants and I grow four types of spices.
“We are happy now … very happy … and it’s mainly because of PKSF’s help,” said an emotional Anima, leaving the audience in awe.
‘Won’t stop here’
The Chair Dr. Kholiquzzaman Ahmad said that though PRIME has come to an end, it would remain under close monitoring of PKSF so that the benefits gained by programme participants may be sustained in the long run.
Citing different examples of PRIME participants, he said, “With a little push, even a beggar can regain self-esteem and earn himself a respectable position in the society. PKSF has proved this through PRIME and other initiatives.”
The reference points, the PKSF Chairman continued, that drive all the PKSF initiatives are the Constitution of Bangladesh, the Vision 2021 of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina-led Government and the dream of a ridding people of deprivation of all forms. “And PKSF will never stop working towards that end.”
Earlier on the day, an exciting display of PRIME activities like mat-making, embroidery, production of bamboo and cane crafts, vermi-compost, crab and eel fish farming etc. took place at the venue.
PKSF Retreat 2016
A 3-day official retreat programme of Palii Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) was held in BCDM, Khagan, Savar during 22-24 October, 2016. The retreat programme was intended to seek the recommendations on how to effectively face the upcoming challenges for PKSF and the critical aspects of its activities of now and tomorrow. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF and Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF along with all Deputy Managing Directors, General Managers and other PKSF official/staffs that total 149 persons have participated in the retreat. Professor Dr. A.K.M. Nurun Nabi, Mr. Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled and Dr. M.A. Quassem, Hono’ble members of PKSF’s Governing Body, were present in the retreat.
Mr. Karim, Managing Director, PKSF, delivered a welcome speech in the inauguration of retreat programme inviting all to take part in the retreat with a festive mood. Dr. Ahmad made an opening speech asking all to feel free to share their views on the discussion sessions.
Four separate sessions took place on different issues which were moderated by senior officials of PKSF. Each of the sessions followed an active and lively participation of PKSF officials of different ranks. The sessions were- “Discussion on PKSF Perspective: Past, Present & Future” moderated by Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF; “Discussion on Climate Change and Poverty” moderated by Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director (Operations), PKSF; “Discussion on Inclusive Finance & Development” moderated by Dr. Md. Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director (Admin), PKSF and “Discussion on Human Capacity Building of PKSF” moderated by Mr. Golam Touhid, Deputy Managing Director (Finance), PKSF. The Chairman of PKSF Dr. Ahmad finally moderated an exclusive session with the Board Members of PKSF.
In the closing session, Mr. Karim, in his speech, mentioned the retreat as a success and urged on framing a strategic paper on PKSF’s future activities based on Vision-2021 and SDGs. Dr. Quassem, Board Member, PKSF talked about some important aspects of human capacity building of PKSF focusing on skill upgradation and procedural development. Dr. Ahmad concluded the 3-day retreat programme by saying that the retreat of PKSF had been successfully completed with effective and quite impressive participation of all officials. This retreat would rejuvenate and strengthen the team spirit of PKSF through co-operations and coordination among each other. This retreat had come across with many important issues in the presence of Board Members that would be useful for them to think about PKSF with a new look and contribute to its future policy making.
Alongside active participation in discussion sessions, the PKSF officials celebrated the retreat with a magnificent cultural programme and exciting football match and pillow passing game.
PKSF Chairman and MD Jointly Visit Vietnam
During 10th-17th October, 2016, Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF and Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF visited Vietnam to visualize the Vietnamese crab-hatchery technology and its operational aspects thoroughly to assess the possibilities of commercialization of crab production and its marketing in the context of Bangladesh.
An important meeting on a bilateral agreement took place during this visit. This bilateral agreement is supposed to be signed by the PKSF with the authorities of Vietnam’s Ninh Thuan province. At present PKSF has been implementing Vietnamese crab-hatchery technology under the supervision and technical assistance of the Center for Education and Community Development (CECD), Vietnam.
The visit was arranged by CECD, Vietnam.
PKSF Disburses BDT 40.40 Crore to its Partner Organisations under ENRICH Program
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) arranged a dialogue based on ENRICH program’s Yearly Action Plan for FY 2016-17 on September 22, 2016 in its auditorium. Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF presided over the meeting.
Dr. Md. Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director, PKSF gave his welcome note focusing on some critical issues that are needed to be addressed by Partner Organisations (POs) in implementing the ENRICH program in the days ahead.
Mr. Karim moderated the session of open discussion to know about pros and cons of the ongoing program from the participants Chief Executive Officers of the POs. Mr. Karim provided some valuable directives in his remarks.
Later, the Chair of the meeting, Mr. Karim disbursed cheques among the POs of BDT 40.40 crore in advance.
PKSF MD meets Honourable President
Mr. M. A. Karim, Managing Director of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) recently exchanged Eid greetings with H. E. Mr. Md. Abdul Hamid, Hon’ble President of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh at Bangabhaban, Dhaka. The Hon’ble President invited the Ministers, Judges, Members of Parliament, Ambassadors/High Commissioners, intelligentsia, high Civil and Military Officers etc. on the occasion of the holy Eid. Mr. Karim wished the Hon’ble President long, happy life and requested for his blessings for the Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF).
PKSF Focuses on Reviewing SDG Implementation in Bangladesh
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) organised a seminar on “SDG Implementation in Bangladesh: Progress and Future Plan” on September 07, 2016 at PKSF auditorium. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF chaired the programme. Mr. Md. Shahidul Haque, Foreign Secretary, the Government of Bangladesh was present as the chief guest of the seminar. Mr. Md. Abdul Halim, Director General, Governance Innovation Unit (GIU), Prime Minister’s Office made a presentation as the keynote speaker. Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF delivered the welcome speech in the seminar. Government officials, noted personalities, academics and experts, officials of PKSF and CEOs/representatives of Partner Organisations (POs), students and journalists attended the seminar.
In his welcome speech, Mr. Md. Abdul Karim said that PKSF is operating a programme in a holistic approach called ENRICH in which a number of SDGs have been taken into account with adequate importance. He noted that Bangladesh truly did well in achieving MDGs and obviously would make significant progress in implementing SDGs.
In his presentation, the keynote speaker Mr. Halim asserted that despite some limitations, Bangladesh has already started implementing SDGs. He further stated that there must be an accord between economy, society and environment in the process of implementation of SDGs.
Mr. Md. Shahidul Haque, the chief guest of the seminar focused on the importance of good governance. He said that SDGs are fundamentally different from MDGs and in the upcoming UN General Assembly Bangladesh will try to highlight some of the new development issues.
Dr. Ahmad, the Chairperson of the seminar, remarked that implementation of SDG should be made in an inclusive approach. He stressed that the Liberation War of 1971 was fought for equity and SDG is focusing this concept to remove disparity across the globe. Later, he moderated a participatory and lively open discussion session.
A Discussion on Rights of Agricultural Workers held at PKSF Bhaban
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), Karmojibi Nari and Krishi Sromik Adhikar Manch (a platform of agricultural workers) jointly organised a discussion programme on the rights of agricultural workers at the auditorium of PKSF Bhaban on August 31, 2016. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF presided over the programme. Mr. Hasanul Haq Inu, Minister of Information of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, was the Chief Guest of the programme.
Mr. Md. Abdul Wadud MP, Member of the Standing Committee for the Ministry of Food, Ms. Shirin Akhter MP, Member of the Standing Committee for the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Dr. Pratima Paul Majumder, Chairman of Karmojibi Nari and Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF were present at the programme as special guests. The officials of PKSF, agricultural workers at the grassroot-level and other distinguished guests were also present. Among them, nine women agricultural workers who are now elected as Union council members and one agricultural labour leader were awarded recognition by the Chief Guest. Mr. Subal Sarkar, Secretary, Bhumihin Samity presented a concept paper on problems and possibilities of agricultural labourers. Mr. Rokeya Rafiq, Executive Director, Karmojibi Nari welcomed all. The programme started with a brief cultural performance.
The Chief Guest Mr. Inu said that the Government is likely to initiate rationing system at the rural level. He urged that the employers must look after the welfare of the employees to remove inequality from the society.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF focused on the equal rights of all, particularly of the workers, as enshrined in the Constitution of Bangladesh. Dr. Ahmad said that the development process would smoothly go ahead with the recognition of everyone’s rights.
PKSF organises a Workshop on GO-NGO Collaboration in Disaster Management
A workshop on “GO-NGO Collaboration in Disaster Management: Bangladesh Context” was organised under the Community Climate Change Project (CCCP) of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF). The workshop that took place on August 23, 2016 at PKSF Auditorium was intended to figure out new directions in mitigating vulnerabilities and lessening the impact of natural disasters in Bangladesh. Officials of PKSF and CEOs/representatives of its fifty Partner Organizations (POs), among others, have participated in this workshop. The workshop was presided over and moderated by Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF. Mr. Md. Shah Kamal, Secretary, Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, was present as the Chief Guest of the workshop.
Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF, in his welcome speech highlighted that PKSF is addressing the climate vulnerable areas in Bangladesh through 200 of its Partner Organizations (POs). Interventions are being made by about 8000 branches of these POs. He mentioned that best results can come out if the Government and NGOs work together for disaster management.
An exhaustive presentation was made by Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director (Operations), PKSF. He mentioned that PKSF has been working in disaster management since 1998 with its Disaster Management Loan (DML). Later it developed a Disaster Management Fund (DMF) in 2000 which has opened the door for providing grants particularly during emergency situations. During the devastating cyclones like ‘SIDR’, ‘AILA’, ‘Roanu’ and the flood of 2014, PKSF came up with effective interventions. In a further and intensive response to climate change adaptation, PKSF started implementing Community Climate Change Project (CCCP).
A lively open discussion followed the presentation. Participants’ insights and experiences were shared during this session. Mr. Kamal, the Chief Guest of the programme attached importance to the rescue of not only human lives but also of the livestock. Mr. Kamal suggested that the government and PKSF work jointly in arranging special training on disaster management.
PKSF Chairman Dr. Ahmad concluded with the remarks that Bangladesh has set an example in dealing with the pre-cyclone state. He assured that PKSF will carry on its operations to meet the needs of the distressed people during any type of disaster in Bangladesh. He urged that the dependency on donor agencies be reduced to uphold our high self-esteem.
National Mourning Day Observed at PKSF
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) observed the National Mourning Day on 15th August, 2016 on the occasion of the 41st death-anniversary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. A milad mahfil followed a brief discussion session. The speakers highlighted on Bangabandhu’s glorious political life and his paramount contribution towards the founding of the nation. A large number of PKSF officials and staff of all rank and file attended the assembly.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF; Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF including other high officials and employees of PKSF joined the milad mahfil to pay homage towards Bangabandhu and other martyrs of 15th August 1975. Dr. Ahmad remarked that, PKSF is following the spirit of the Liberation War of 1971 which is rooted in the ideology of Bangabandhu. Mr. Karim expressed his reverence towards the Father of the Nation for the sacrifice he made for the nation.
With due solemnity, the milad mahfil was held before Zuhr prayer. Later, a special munajat was offered seeking eternal blessings for the departed souls of Bangabandhu and his martyred family members.
PKSF Honours 22 Freedom Fighters & Leaders of Socio-Economic Movement
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) organized a day-long event divide into two sessions under the umbrella banner of Unnayane PKSF 2016. It took place on July 27, 2016. Both the sessions were presided over by Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF. In the first session, twenty two freedom fighters who are at present either Chairman or Chief Executive Officers of 18 Partner Organizations (POs) of PKSF were honoured for their brave and active participation in the glorious war of our liberation in 1971. In the second session, PKSF bestowed life-time achievement to Mr Jamil Chowdhury, Chairman, Bangladesh Female Academy. This Female Academy is a home to orphan girls, who pursue their education and learn useful life-skills. A similar award was given to Ms Pam Thi Hong, Executive Director, Center for Education and Community Development (CECD), Hanoi, Vietnam. Ms Hong is playing a leading role in Vietnamese crab-hatchery technology transfer to PKSF projects.
Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad in his speech noted that all PKSF interventions are morally fuelled by the spirit of our liberation war. He referred to the paradigm shift in PKSF ideology of evolving into an organization that upholds holistic development with focus on human dignity. He made special mention of the ENRICH programme of PKSF. Mr Md Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF delivered his welcome note at the opening of both the sessions. He said that all PKSF activities are directed to facilitate the fulfillment of Vision 2021 of the government.
Mr Md Fazle Rabbi Miah MP, Deputy Speaker of Bangladesh Parliament and Major General (Retd.) Helal Morshed Khan Bir Bikram, Chairman, Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad were present in the first session as the chief guest and special guest respectively. Mr Md Fazle Rabbi Miah handed over the crest and roll of honour to the valiant freedom fighters. Mr Helal Morshed Khan Bir Bikram lauded the PKSF initiative to honour the freedom fighters.
Mr A M A Muhith, MP, Minister, Ministry of Finance, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh was the chief guest of the second session. Mr Md Yunusur Rahman, Secretary, Banking and Financial Institutions Division, Ministry of Finance was present in the session as the special guest. The Finance Minister handed over the awards to Mr Jamil Chowdhury and Ms Pam Thi Hong. A book of essays in honour of A M A Muhith titled Bangladesh’s Development: Some Issues and Perspectives, edited by Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad and Prof. Shafi Ahmed was launched in the closing part of the second session.
The Bangladesh Summit on Sustainable Development 2016 Held at PKSF Bhaban
A 2-day Bangladesh Summit on Sustainable Development 2016 took place on 24th-25th July, 2016 at PKSF Auditorium. The event was jointly organized by Eminence Associates for Social Development and Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) in association with Global Citizens’ Forum on Sustainable Development (GCFSD).
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF, convener of the summit organizing committee chaired inaugural session of the Summit. Mr. Hasanul Haq Inu MP, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Information, Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh, inaugurated the Summit as the Chief Guest, while Mr. Syed Monjurul Islam, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, was present as the Special Guest. Dr. A.K. Abdul Monem, former Bangladesh Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, was present as an Hon’ble Guest.
A number of specialists representing different areas of development and academia took part in nine different sessions as key-note speakers and panel discussants. They were from different government and non-government organizations. Seven plenary sessions were discussed on the issues on poverty and hunger, health, nutrition and food security, education, water and sanitation, public habitation, and climate change. Noted academics, development workers, government officials, NGO professionals, journalists, students from colleges/universities attended those knowledge-sharing sessions.
The Summit focused on various issues of sustainable development and the role of civil society actors, key government functionaries, development partners, academics and researchers in the process of realizing the agenda and how they can play an active role in it.
A delegation from PKSF visited the World Bank Headquarters
The Managing Director of Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), Mr. Md. Abdul Karim has taken part in a series of meetings with the World Bank as a member of the Bangladesh Financial Sector Delegation at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC, USA during July 10-16, 2016. Two Deputy Managing Directors of PKSF, Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader and Mr. Golam Touhid, have also participated in relevant meetings as technical experts on microfinance, microinsurance, livestock/agricultural insurance, agriculture, microenterprise and SME finance. The Bangladesh Delegation Team included top officials from different financial sector authorities including the Secretary of Bank and Financial Institutions Division (BFID) as leader of the delegation, Deputy Governor of Bangladesh Bank (BB), and representatives from Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA).
The meeting, organized by the Finance and Markets Global Practice (F&M GP) Division of the World Bank, was arranged under the Financial Sector Support Project (FSSP) which is implemented by Bangladesh Bank. In addition to the Bangladesh Delegation and F&M GP Division personnel, a representative of the Bangladesh Country Management of World Bank was also present in Washington. Along with other presentation, during the meetings, PKSF also has shared the key learning and achievements of its Micro-Enterprise (ME) program and the impact of the program made on the economic development of Bangladesh. PKSF has mentioned that there is a huge unmet demand for loan in this sector that needs to be addressed on a priority basis. PKSF also shared its vision and strategy for ME development, its accumulated rich experience and comparative advantage in promoting ME sector by integrating Value Chain interventions through its nationwide network of partner. Moreover, PKSF has also shared its successful experience in livestock insurance.
In the last day of the meeting, Mr. Karim has given a separate presentation titled “Developing Housing Microfinance for the Urban Poor: The Case of PKSF in Bangladesh” while responding to a special invitation from the South Asia Social Development Unit of the World Bank. The session was chaired by Mr. David Warren, Practice Manager, Social Development SAR. MD PKSF, in his presentation, portrayed the present scenario of housing finance in Bangladesh with respect to the upcoming Low Income Community Housing Support Project to be implemented by PKSF and National Housing Authority (NHA) and funded by the World Bank. Through his presentation Mr. Karim shared PKSF’s view about the project and the role it can play through its comparative advantages and potential value additions. He also mentioned that through this project PKSF will be looking to expand housing finance access to the middle- and lower-income groups, by establishing balanced funding models and a diversified toolbox of instruments; and ultimately developing a sustainable housing finance market. The presentation received widespread appreciation. Representatives from the World Bank as well as the Bangladesh Team acclaimed the ideas presented and World Bank showed its keen interest to work with PKSF on a much broader level to develop the low income housing finance sector of Bangladesh.
The 5th General Meeting of PKSF Held
The 5th General Meeting of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) was held on 22 June 2016 at PKSF Bhaban.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF chaired the meeting. The members of the General Body namely, Dr. Pratima Paul-Majumder, Dr. A.K.M. Nurun Nabi, Mr. Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled, Mr. Md. Fazlul Haque, Mr. Md. Emranul Haque Chowdhury, Begum Razia Hossain, Mr. Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmed, Mr. S. M. Wahiduzzaman Babur and Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director of PKSF attended the meeting.
The Chairman gave a graphic report of PKSF’s ongoing activities. He informed the progress of various programs and projects being implemented by PKSF. Referring to ENRICH, a people-centered holistic program of PKSF to alleviate poverty through establishing human dignity, Dr. Ahmad said that this is presently being implemented in 150 unions of 143 upazilas under 62 districts by 111 Partner Organizations (POs) of PKSF.
The Managing Director updated the meeting on the accomplishment of the resolutions taken in the 26th Annual General Meeting held on 23rd December, 2015. The General Body expressed its satisfaction over the progress of overall operations of PKSF. They also offered some valuable comments.
A LIFT Workshop
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) organized a workshop on 20th June 2016 on distribution of grant funds under Learning and Innovation Fund to Test New Ideas (LIFT). The objective of this project is to encourage and support innovative financial and non-financial initiatives in order to benefit the poor through improvement of livelihood, generation of sustainable employment and development of health and education, and further to help develop new tools for poverty eradication. The UKaid has been financing this project since 2007.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF chaired the workshop. Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF gave the welcome address. Dr. Md. Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director, PKSF made two presentations consecutively on “Learning & Innovation Fund to Test New Ideas (LIFT) – Innovation for poverty reduction” and “Potable Water Crisis in South Western Coastal Region of Bangladesh – PKSF’s Mitigation Approach”. Mr. Panchanan Biswas, the Member of Parliament, was an invited guest who took part in the distribution of cheques. The Chief Executives/representatives of 27 organizations under LIFT program and the representatives of Local Government from different unions of the country were present at the workshop.
PKSF grants BDT 60 lac to 7 different organisations
PKSF granted BDT 60 lac to seven different organisations as part of its socio-economic and Human-Capacity Development Programme.
Socio-economic and Human-Capacity Development programme, is a new initiative of PKSF. Under the programme PKSF aims to donate 0.01 percent of its yearly budget to different development organisations.
On June 19, 2016, Dr. Md. Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director (Admin), PKSF, handed over the cheque to the representatives of the seven organisations.
Managing Director of PKSF leads the South Korea Study Trip
The Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) of the World Bank nominated Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) for an exposure visit from 15th to 22nd May, 2016 to exchange learning on sanitation. The WSP is working to improve rural sanitation at scale in more than a dozen countries across Africa, East Asia and South Asia.
The said Study Trip, consisting nine delegates including Government officials, was headed by the Managing Director of PKSF, Mr. Md. Abdul Karim. This trip was intended to focus on achieving total sanitation. It provided valuable exposure to the process and policy initiatives adopted by the South Korean Government to achieve total sanitation in the rural areas. It has also made valuable insights over promoting community based total sanitation approach.
One of the main objectives of this exposure visit was to enhance capacity amongst WSP’s Partners. On an arrangement of exchanging mutual experiences, the Managing Director of PKSF shared his views on the respective matter. Two senior officials of PKSF, namely, Mr. Golam Touhid, Deputy Managing Director, and Mr. Md. Abdul Matin, Deputy General Manager, who are involved with the implementation of WSP supported project, took part in it. The project is called Scaling up Microfinance Institutions (MFI) Lending for Improved Rural Sanitation in Bangladesh.
At the completion of the mentioned Study Trip the Managing Director of PKSF paid a short visit to a closing session of the Training on Crab Hatchery Production and Crablets Incubation for PKSF and NGF Technicians arranged by Research Institute of Marine Fisheries (RIMF), HaiPong City, Vietnam. Mr. Karim was the Hon’ble Chief Guest. He expressed that both Vietnam and Bangladesh will keep on carrying the transferring of various technologies essential for mutual development.
PKSF Managing Director joins 20 Years Celebration of PDIM Foundation
The Managing Director of Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, attended the 20 years celebration of PDIM Foundation, a Partner Organization (PO) of PKSF in Dhaka on May 10, 2016. Mr. Karim also inaugurated the new head office building of PDIM and addressed the audience as the chief guest. Mr. Ashraful Hoque, Manager (operations), PKSF accompanied him on this visit. Chairman of PDIM Foundation, Executive Directors of Credit and Development Forum (CDF)and Christian Commission for Development of Bangladesh (CCDB)were also present in the programme.
Mr. Karim, in his speech, noted that microfinance in Bangladesh is characterized by three types of institutional structure- retail, wholesale and regulatory agency. He emphasized on the prevailing wrong perception about charging high interest rate by Microfinance Institutions (MFIs). He said that persons having such a notion have very little idea about this sector. He also said that the Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA) has fixed a maximum interest rate of 27% per annum and PKSF has even set the bar at the maximum of 25% for its POs.
Mr. Karim said the MFIs are providing appropriate financing to the unbanked segment of society to achieve sustainability coupled with commitment. He further referred to the visionary leadership of current Chairman of PKSF which seeks to realize an integrated development programme with appropriate financing, capacity building, technology transfer, value chain development and other technical services with the ultimate objective to establish human dignity.
Chairman PKSF visits the ENRICH Programmmes
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF, visited Pirojpur and Gopalgonj districts from May 1 to 5, 2016 to have a first hand view of the implementation of ENRICH programme by three Partner Organizations (POs) namely ‘Dak Diye Jai’, ‘Uddipan’ and ‘PPSS’. Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF joined him during the Gopalgonj visit.
On the 2nd May a ‘development fair’ was organized by ‘Dak Diye Jai’ at ‘Gabtola Primary & Secondary School’ of ‘Shikder Mollik’ union in Pirojpur. Chairman of PKSF attended the fair as the chief guest while Mr. Md. Khairul Alam Sheikh, DC of Pirojpur was present as the special guest. Among others, Mr. Md. Jamal Hossain, UNO of Sadar upazilla-Pirojpur and Mr. Md. Shahjahan Gazi, Executive Director, ‘Dak Diye Jai’ were also present. More than a thousand people characterized by the display of 20 stalls, assembled in the fair.
The same day Chairman, PKSF visited activities of ENRICH programme being implemented by the PO ‘UDDIPAN’ at ‘Parer-Hat’ Union of Pirojpur. He was also present in a ‘Staff Meeting’ as the Chief Guest organized by ‘UDDIPAN’ at ‘Parer-Hat’ Union Parishad auditorium.
On the 3rd May, Chairman, PKSF visited a ‘Health Camp’, a blood grouping & donation camp and attended a discussion meeting as the chief guest at ‘Kushali’ Union of Tungi-Para upazilla at Gopalgonj. A total of 750 patients were given free medical services at that health camp. These events were organized by the PO ‘PPSS’. Chairman, PKSF has also laid the foundation stone of the ENRICH Centre at Ward No-1 of ‘Kushali’ Union.
On that day the honorable Chairman of PKSF visited the mausoleum of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Tungipara at Gopalgonj. The Chairman along with the MD of PKSF paid tribute to the Father of the Nation laying a garland of flowers. Mr. Md. Khalilur Rahman, DC, Gopalgonj and Mr. Md. Khalid Hasan, Chairman, ‘Kushali’ Union Parishad were present at that time.
PKSF Participates in CAMPE Fair Organized in Observance of its Silver Jubilee
PKSF participated Education and Development fair held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka on April, 30, 2016. Campaign for Popular Education (CAMPE), an advocacy and campaign network based institution organised the fair to mark its 25th founding anniversary.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF, Dr. Rasheda K. Choudhury, Executive Director, CAMPE, Golam Mesbah Uddin, Director, NGO Affairs Bureau, Prime Minister’s Office, Dr. Md. Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director, PKSF, among others, visited PKSF stall.
The events included Education & Development Fair and Youth Conference. The festival was inaugurated by Mr. Md. Humayun Khalid, the Hon’ble Secretary, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, Government of Bangladesh.
PKSF participated in the Fair and took the opportunity to showcase its ongoing activities of poverty alleviation through employment generation. PKSF displayed an info-graph titled “PKSF, at a glance” on its ongoing activities. Apart from this, different types of publications, newsletters, documentaries were also showcased in PKSF stall during the Fair.
PKSF signs MoU with IDEB aiming pro-poor technology transfer for poverty alleviation
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing programme between Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) and Institution of Diploma Engineers Bangladesh (IDEB) was held in PKSF Bhaban on 26th April 2016, with an objective to transfer pro-poor technology among grass-root level entrepreneurs.
Keeping the pace of rapid growth and enhancement of poverty reduction activities among poor people, PKSF is usually spreading appropriate technologies and technical assistance innovated by different specialized institutions through its Partner Organizations (POs). In continuation to such efforts, PKSF and IDEB signed the MoU with a view to enhancing productivity in agricultural and non-agricultural sector and to expand relevant technologies and machineries as developed by IDEB for grass-root farmers and entrepreneurs.
Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF and Engineer A.K.M.A. Hamid, President, Central Executive Committee, IDEB signed the MoU in presence of Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF.
In accord with this MoU, IDEB will provide with necessary assistance regarding agricultural and non-agricultural technologies for programmes and projects that are being implemented by PKSF. Moreover, PKSF will assess the demand for technology, technical assistance, training etc in consideration of all the hurdles related to the technologies of different economic sectors. To this end, IDEB will provide necessary assistance for solving technological problems of any subsector as identified by PKSF.
It is expected that, a new dimension is to be added to ongoing activities of PKSF, in particular both increasing productivity and income of microenterpreneurs, through this alliance.
Chairman PKSF visits the ENRICH Programmmes
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF, visited ENRICH programmes in Rajshahi and Natore districts from 23 to 25 April 2016. During the visit, he has participated in the inaugural ceremony of `Development Fair and Health Camp’ held in Baneshwar Union under Puthiya Upazila of Rajshahi district, organised by the Partner Organization, Shataphool Bangladesh. Mr. Md. Abdul Wadud Dara, Member of Parliament, Rajshahi-5 and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Food, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Enriched homes and interventions under education, health, nutrition, community development were exhibited through 17 stalls. Besides, a Health Camp was organised where a total of 565 patients received free medical services. Nearly 1500 persons visited the fair. Further, Chairman PKSF inaugurated a goat breeding farm and a training course under LIFT Program of PKSF. He has also visited the activities of ENRICH programme at Murshinda Union under Gurudaspur upazila of Natore district implemented by a Partner Organization named National Development Programme (NDP). Dr. Md. Jasim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director (Administration) of PKSF accompanied the honorable Chairman during the visit.
Managing Director of PKSF visits IDF and Mamata in Chittagong
The Managing Director of Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, paid a visit to various programmes that are being implemented by two of the Partner Organizations operating in Chittagong namely ‘Integrated Development Foundation (IDF)’ and ‘Mamata’ during 04-08th April 2016. The Deputy Managing Director of PKSF, Mr. Golam Touhid associated him on his visit.
Mr. Karim went to see health-camp, eye-camp and development fair which are being arranged by ‘IDF’ under the ENRICH programme of PKSF in Satkania union of Satkania upazilla. Again, he visited treatment-camp arranged by ‘Mamata’ in Charkanai village of Habilasadip, Patia Union. During the visit, Mr. Karim inaugurated an agricultural training center of ‘IDF’ in Matiranga, Khagrachari and placed the foundation stone of a dairy farm of ‘Mamata’ in Charkanai village of Patia upazilla. Moreover, Mr. Karim inaugurated an extended unit of a maternity center in Bandartila under Chittagong City Corporation.
Mr. Karim was made chief guests in meetings held in all of the above occasions. Among many local representatives and noted person the Chairman of Khagrachari Hill Tracts District Committee, District Commissioner, Police Super, and Civil Surgeons from Chittagong, Executive Officers of respective upazilla were present in those meetings.
During the said visit, the Managing Director of PKSF went to see the poor people dwelling in Sajek union of Rangamati in order to reach them through PKSF’s services. On that matter, Mr. Karim had a meeting with the Regional Army Commander- the Commanding Officer of 4th East Bengal Regiment.
Seminar held to observe International Women’s Day at PKSF Bhaban
Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) organized a seminar on the occasion of observing International Women’s Day at PKSF auditorium on 29th March, 2016. The seminar took the title of ‘Women Empowerment in Sustainable Development’. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF chaired the seminar.
A number of 249 women representatives from 150 Partner Organizations participated in the seminar. Moreover, PKSF’s high officials including all of its women employees took part in the seminar.
At the beginning, Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF gave his welcome address.
Honorable Chairman of PKSF, Dr. Ahmad highlighted a recent issue on violence against women by citing the atrocious killing of Sohagi Jahan Tonu, a student of Comilla Victoria College. In protest, all the participants present at the seminar raised their strong voices against such brutality and demanded immediate justice against this savagery act.
Dr. Nazneen Ahmed, Senior Research Fellow, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) and one of the Members of the General Body of PKSF, presented a keynote paper in the seminar. In her article, she focused on the gender discrimination in the context of Bangladesh and noted the importance of empowering women in achieving sustainable development goals. Prof. Shafi Ahmed, Senior Editorial Adviser and Member, General Body, PKSF, was the discussant of the keynote paper.
Dr. Nasreen Ahmad, Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of Dhaka, was also present as a Special Guest of the seminar. Dr. Nasreen cited multidimensional role of women for achieving sustainable development.
The Honorable Chair Dr. Kholiquzzaman Ahmad made closing remarks. After the end of the seminar a delighted cultural show was performed by Heed Bangladesh, a Partner Organization of PKSF with a different type of picture displayed songs titled ‘Patgunn’ on ENRICH programme of PKSF.
Managing Director, PKSF joins 18th Microcredit Summit
Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF has joined the 18th Microcredit Summit held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 14th March 2016. The Microcredit Summit Campaign, in collaboration with the Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND), has organized this summit from 14th to 17th March, 2016. As an honorable speaker, Mr. Karim takes part in one of the sessions of the Summit titled “Serving our Aging Clients and Persons with Disabilities”, to share experiences of Bangladesh and the role of PKSF to support aging and disabled people.
According to Microcredit Summit Campaign, the 18th Microcredit Summit will be an opportunity for a wide range of stakeholders to promote best practices and engage in a thoughtful discussion around the challenges and opportunities in using microfinance as tool that can help us contribute to ending extreme poverty. The summit will focus on microfinance and financial inclusion strategies that create clear pathways for social inclusion across the globe.
A Retrospective Meeting on ENRICH
“4-years of ENRICH: Looking back to Move Forward”
A meeting to exchange views titled “4-years of ENRICH: Looking back to Move Forward” was held on 26th of January at PKSF auditorium. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF chaired the session. Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF; Deputy managing Directors and other senior officials were present at the meeting. Dr. Jashim Uddin, DMD (A&F) gave a presentation on the ENRICH programme in which he referred to the research findings of the 3 separate studies. A total of 300 participants including all the Executive Directors and the Union Coordinators of the 111 Partner Organizations of PKSF participated in the event.
PKSF’s MD as Guest of Honor in PPSS Conference
The Managing Director of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation, Mr. Md. Abdul Karim was made the Guest of Honor in the Grand Conference-2016 convened by Palli Progoti Shahayak Samity (PPSS) in 23rd January, 2016.
The chief guest of the grand conference was Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Member of Parliament and Honorable Minister of Local Government and Rural Development & Co-operative, Government of Bangladesh. Alongside, Mr. Golam Touhid, Deputy Managing Director (Operations), PKSF was invited as one of the special guests.
PPSS is one of the PKSF’s Partner Organizations which runs its operation in Faridpur, Gopalganj, Madaripur, Rajbari, Narail etc. Major activities of PPSS include distributing microcredit, providing health facility and addressing gender issues, with objectives of empowering and improving the living standard of the poor as well as underprivileged widows and abandoned females. In addition, PPSS follows PKSF’s holistic approach of ENRICH. Currently, a population of more than 70 thousand beneficiaries is getting services from PPSS.
The grand conference ended in a very well-arranged manner and festive mood.
Visit of H.E. Dr. Zambry Bin Abdul Kadir to PKSF
Dr. Zambry Bin Abdul Kadir, the Chief Minister of Perak State, Malaysia, paid a visit to PKSF as a part of his four-day official visit to Dhaka, Bangladesh on January 14th, 2016. The State of Perak, one of the 14 states in Malaysia, also known as the ‘Land of Grace’, is marching ahead to economic progress in a steady pace. Various programmes dedicated to socio-economic development are being implemented in Perak State. Particular mention may be made of Yayasan Bina Upaya (YBU) (Foundation for Capacity Building) that seeks to unleash the potential of the marginalized groups to end their poverty.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF and Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF warmly welcomed the Chief Minister of Perak State, Malaysia at PKSF Bhaban. Also present in the meeting were the high officials of PKSF and heads of some of its Partner Organizations.
Mr. Md. Abdul Karim made a brief presentation on PKSF’s emergence as an apex development organization, which also reflected the progress and impacts of major PKSF interventions. The members of the entourage of the Chief Minister made some interesting inquiries. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman also highlighted on the comprehensive mission of PKSF.
This visit was friendly in nature, however, the deliberations opened up areas of mutual cooperation between Perak State’s development organizations and PKSF.
Environmental Management Framework (EMF) for Proposed Pro-Poor Slum Integration Project (PPSIP)
National Dialogue on The Paris Agreement held in PKSF
A National Dialogue on “The Paris Agreement: A Critical Look”, jointly organized by Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) and Bangladesh Unnayan Parishad (BUP), was held on January 05, 2015 at PKSF Bhaban. It was chaired by Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF and coordinator of Bangladesh Climate Change Negotiating (BCCN) Team.
Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF and Mr. M. A. Jalil, Chairman, BUP made the opening remarks. Dr. Ahmad, the Chair, started the discussion, having critically reviewed the major contents of recently signed Paris Agreement on climate change, through his valuable comments. The other discussants, took part as the members of BCCN, were Dr. M. Asaduzzaman, Professorial Fellow, BIDS; Dr. Rezaul Karim, Environment Specialist; Dr. Nurul Quadir, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forest; and Dr. Mizan R. Khan, Professor, North-South University. Having a positive look at the agreement as a beginning of new hope, a good discussion was held on adaptation and mitigation measures noted in the agreement, technology transfer & negotiation, climate financing etc. in the context of how Bangladesh is being benefitted there from. PKSF and BUP officials, the officials/representatives from the Government of Bangladesh, PKSF’s Partner Organizations, other development organizations, distinguished guests and representatives from media & newspapers were present in the dialogue.
Here is the brief review on Global Climate Conference and Paris Agreement presented in the dialogue. (বিশ্ব জলবায়ু সম্মেলন ও প্যারিস চুক্তি একটি সংক্ষিপ্ত পর্যালোচনা)
PKSF’s Managing Director joins as a member of Advisory Board, UNDP
Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF, has joined as a member of the Honorary Advisory Board of UNDP. The Advisory Board is instrumental in ensuring the Country Programme in the context of Bangladesh’s ongoing development, challenges and priorities. UNDP Bangladesh is presently developing its Country Programme Document (CPD) for the 2017-2021 cycle. The future programmes are expected to make planned contributions to Bangladesh National Development Plan and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework.
To this end, Mr. Karim will offer his efficient consultation and expert advice to develop its next country programme.
PKSF holds its 26th Annual General Meeting
The 26th Annual General Meeting of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) was held on 23 December 2015 at PKSF Bhaban.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF presided over the meeting. The members of the General Body namely, Dr. Pratima Paul-Majumder, Dr. A.K.M. Nurun Nabi, Dr. M. A. Quassem, Mr. Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled, Ms. Nihad Kabir, Professor M.A. Baqui Khalily, Mr. Md. Fazlul Haque, Dr. Bondana Saha, Ms. Bulbul Mohalanabish, Mr. Md. Emranul Haque Chowdhury, Begum Razia Hossain, Mr. Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmed, Mr. Nazir Ahmed Khan, Dr. Nazneen Ahmed, Professor Shafi Ahmed, Mr. Munshi Faiz Ahmad, Mrs. Monowara Hakim Ali and Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director of PKSF were present in the meeting.
The Chairman presented an overall statement of PKSF’s activities. He informed the General Body of the progress of the ongoing programs and projects of PKSF. He particularly referred to the progress of ENRICH, a people-centered holistic program that addresses household-based total development. The members of the General Body lauded PKSF’s continuous efforts to accomplish its various activities and initiatives. They also gave their valuable suggestions.
The Managing Director updated the meeting regarding the progress of the implementation of the decisions/suggestions of previous Annual General Meeting held earlier this year. In the meeting, the general body expressed its satisfaction over the progress of the overall operations of PKSF.
The Audit Report (FY 2014-15), audited by MABS & J Partners, Chartered accountants, was also presented before the General Body. After a detailed discussion over the Report, it was duly approved.
National Seminar on Revisiting Human Development Index held in PKSF Bhaban
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) and Dhaka School of Economics (DScE) jointly organized a national seminar on “Revisiting Human Development: Concepts and Measurements” on Tuesday 22 December, 2015 at PKSF Auditorium.
The seminar was chaired by Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, Governing Council, DScE and Chairman, PKSF. Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF gave the welcome address. A keynote presentation was made by Dr. Selim Jahan, Director, Human Development Report Office, UNDP.
Dr. Jahan is the lead author of the Human Development Report-2015. He explained different indicators that are taken into account to measure the progress of human development and emphasized on the need to contemplate over the destiny of the future generation to go ahead.
PKSF’s officials, the students of DScE and other distinguished guests were present in this seminar.
PKSF grants BDT 5 lac for 8th National Cub Camporee
Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, the Managing Director of PKSF, handed over a cheque of BDT 5 lac to Mr. Md. Abul Kalam Azad, President of Bangladesh Scouts & Senior Secretary to Hon’ble Prime Minister, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, as a grant for the 8th National Cub Camporee of Bangladesh Scouts held from December 23-28, 2015 on December 22, 2015.
Dr. Md. Mozammel Haque Khan, Chief National Commissioner, Bangladesh Scouts & Senior Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, and senior officials of PKSF were present on the occasion.
Mr. Md. Abdul Karim also presented a PKSF crest as a token of warmth to Mr. Md. Abul Kalam Azad.
Chairman and MD, PKSF visit different sites at Sylhet
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF and Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF visited Zamzam Bangladesh and ENRICH activities of TMSS from December 19-21, 2015 at Sylhet. Dr. Md. Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director, PKSF also accompanied them during the visit.
Zamzam Bangladesh is implementing special health and education programme in 80 education centres with 3500 students. ‘A Children Education Fair’ was held on December 20, 2015 at Sylhet Abul Maal Abdul Muhith Sports Complex to create incentive for the underprivileged children.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman and Md. Abdul Karim were present as the Chief Guest and Guest of Honour respectively in the event, which was chaired by Mr. Moin Uddin Ahmad Chowdhury, Chairman of Zamzam Charitable Trust.
Mr. Kamrul Ahsan, Poloice Commissioner of Sylhet and Dr. Md. Jashim Uddin, DMD, PKSF were also present as special guests on the occasion. The chief guest and guest of honour distributed school dresses among the children. They also distributed computers, sewing machines and wheel chairs to various persons in the programme. It may be mentioned that Zamzam Bangladesh, with the help of Zamzam Charitable Trust, has been implementing education, health, rehabilitation, training programmes for the last seven years.
On the second half of the day, Chairman and Managing Director of PKSF visited different activities of ENRICH programme in Tetli Union of Sylhet Sadar Uazila where PKSF’s Partner Organization, TMSS is implementing the programme. DMD (A&F) of PKSF and Executive Director of TMSS also accompanied them.
They visited an ENRICH School, a Development Fair of ENRICH and a free health camp and attended a ward coordination meeting held at the Tetli Union ENRICH Centre.
A discussion meeting was also held at Tetli Union Parishad in which Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad and Md. Abdul Karim were present as the chief guest and guest of honour. Dr. Md. Jashim Uddin, DMD, PKSF, Professor Dr. Hosne Ara Begum, Executive Director, TMSS, Mr. ASM Ferdous, ADC, Sylhet and Ms. Srabosty Roy, UNO, Sylhet Sadar Upazila were also present as special guests.
The Honorable Chairman and Managing Director expressed their satisfaction on the overall progress of the programmes and provided some important suggestions for further improvement.
PKSF Signed MoU
Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI)
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) and Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI)on 30 November 2015 at PKSF Bhaban under its `Agriculture Unit’. Dr. Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director (Admin. and Finance) and Dr. Bhagya Rani Banik, Director (Training and Communication) signed the MoU on behalf of respective organizations. Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director of PKSF, was present in the occasion. Besides, Mr. Golam Touhid Deputy Managing Director (Operations-2) of PKSF, Dr. Lutfur Rahman, Principal Scientific Officer (Training and Communication) of BARI and other members of PKSF and BARI higher management were also present in the occasion. BARI is the largest multi-crop research institute conducting research on a large number of crops. This institute also carries out research on non-commodity areas, such as soil and crop management, disease and insect management, irrigation and water management, development of farm machineries, improvement of cropping and farming system management, post-harvest handling and processing.
The Objectives of this MoU is to extendimproved agricultural technologies and practices of BARI to the farming community through PKSF’s Partner organizations (POs), to provide specialized training to concerned officials of PKSF and POs as well as organized farmers for their capacity building and to disseminate agricultural technology related latest information to the farming community through PKSF’s POs. Besides, both the parties came to a consensus for inclusion of organized farmers of PKSF’s POs to different applied research conducting by BARI.
Country Representative of DFID Visits PRIME Activities
Ms. Sarah Cooke, Country Representative of DFID Bangladesh, visited the Programmed Initiatives for Monga Eradication (PRIME) activities at Satkhira during 25 November 2015. Mr. Mohammad Roqibul Islam, Program Manager, Growth and Private Sector Development; Ms. Helen O’Conor, Climate Change and Environment Adviser; Mr. Dan Ayliffe, Humanitarian Adviser; Ms. Syeda Masarrat Quader, Private Sector Adviser and Ms. Nafisa Ziauddin, Programe Manager, International Trade and Development also attended her visit from DFID. The team visited remote Munshiganj branch of Nowabenki Gonumukhi Foundation (NGF) in Shyamnagar Upazilla of Satkhira district. The team was accompanied by the Deputy Managing Director of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) Mr. Golam Touhid, General Manager Mr. A. Q. M. Golam Mawla, Deputy General Manager Dr. Sharif Ahmed Choudhury along with higher officials of NGF.
The DFID team visited PRIME activities among the AILA and SIDR affected extreme poor households under Munshiganj branch of NGF. They witnessed the different livelihood activities under PRIME that includes sac vegetable culture, quail rearing, eel fish fatenning, duck rearing, crab fattening as well as production of handicrafts (karchupi, omanian cap, bamboo products etc.). They also observed on-going satellite clinic activity, adolescence group meeting and general health camp under Primary Health Care Services of PRIME. They also witnessed training program on crab fatenning as well as market linkage system of crab and eel-fish in the working area. They took keen interest on safe drinking water supply activity of PKSF under DFID funded LIFT programme in the salinity prone Shyamnagar area. Ms. Cooke appreciated the overall field level progress of PRIME and LIFT programme of PKSF. She expressed her satisfaction by the tangible positive impact of PRIME that made on the climatically vulnerable ultra poor households of Shyamnagar area.
DMD (Operations-2) visits Satkhira
Mr. Golam Touhid, Deputy Managing Director (Operations-2) visited activities of UPP-Ujjibito, PRIME, Agriculture Unit and Livestock Unit in Jessore and Satkhira during 24-26 November 2015. Mr. A. Q. M. Golam Mawla, GM (Operations) and Dr. Sharif Ahmed Choudhury, DGM (Livestock) alsoaccompanied him during his visit.
On the 24th of November, he visited Jhikorgasa branch of Addin-Welfare Center at Jessore to see group activities, training programs and different IGAs of the UPP-Ujjibito beneficiaries.
The 25th of November, DMD visited PRIME activities in Shaymnagar area along with DFID Country Representative Ms. Sarah Cooke and other members of DFID team in the Munshiganj branch of Nowabenki Gonomukhi Foundation (NGF). They visited different livelihood activities of PRIME members e.g. sac vegetable culture, quail rearing, eel fish fattening, crab fattening, pig rearing, duck rearing, homestead vegetable cultivation as well as production of handicrafts (karchupi, omanian cap, etc.) along with their value chain intervention. They also visited poor friendly safe drinking water supply program of NGF in that saline prone area. In the afternoon DMD-led PKSF team visited the ongoing activities of Agriculture Unit and Livestock Unit in Krishna Nagar branch of NGF. They witnessed the demonstration effect of different farming technologies of these two units and their replication among the neighbors. Some of these technologies are buck center, integrated fish cum vegetable culture, vermicompost, semi-intensive system of goat rearing, sex pheromone trap, layer rearing, cow rearing, etc.
On 26th November, he visited PRIME activities in Kumira branch of Unnayan Prochesta at Satkhira. The PKSF team then visited activities of Agriculture Unit and Livestock Unit in Kumira branch where they witnessed some outstanding demonstration of farming technology by enthusiastic farmers who are implementing summer tomato, pheromone trap for safe vegetable production, semi-intensive perch system of goat rearing technologies. Honorable DMD then visited Ziala milk village under Tala branch, where most of the households are dairy farmers having at least 7-8 milking cows. He then visited Khalilnagar branch of Unnayan Prochesta on modern technology basedsmall-holder dairy farming implemented under the LIFT program.
The DMD expressed his satisfaction in the overall progress of the programs he visited and provided some important suggestions for further development.
H.E. Heads of Missions and Delegations of EU Visit CCCP Activities
H.E. Heads of Missions and Delegations of EU Visit CCCP Activities (Read More)
The gracious visit of Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands to PKSF
Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, who is also the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Advocate (UNSGSA) for Inclusive Finance for Development, visited the PKSF on November 16, 2015. It has been a great honour for the PKSF to have had the opportunity of receiving her Majesty. The Chairman and the Managing Director of the PKSF warmly welcomed her at the PKSF premises.
In honour of and as desired by her, the PKSF organized a roundtable on “The Future of Microfinance Institutions in Bangladesh.” Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman of the PKSF chaired the roundtable. The participants included PKSF MD Mr Md Abdul Karim, HE Dutch Ambassador in Bangladesh, HE Bangladesh Ambassador to The Netherlands, PKSF DMDs Mr Fazlul Kader, Dr Jashim Uddin and Mr Golam Touhid, President of ASA Mr S H Choudhury, ED of BRAC, Acting MD of Grameen Bank, EDs of a number of PKSF partner organisations, and a number of HM the Queen’s aides.
Here is the introductory statement made by PKSF Chairman at the roundtable (Details of the introductory statement).
PKSF’s Participation in BDF-2015 organized by ERD of GoB
PKSF participated in Bangladesh Development Fair (BDF) 2015 that was held on 15-16 November, 2015 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) in Dhaka. Economic Relations Division (ERD) of Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh organized this Fair. The Fair was inaugurated by the Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
In the Fair, sixteen of different Ministries/Divisions/organizations of Govt. of Bangladesh, sixteen of Development Partner Organizations and eight of different NGOs as well as Private Organizations as nominated by the ERD had taken part in festive mood. Like other organizations PKSF participated in the Fair and took the opportunity to showcase its ongoing activities for poverty alleviation and valuable experience on the multi-dimensional aspects of poverty. Wherein, PKSF displayed an info-graph based on the theme titled “Peoples partner for sustainable program” with all of the information of its ongoing activities which included Microfinance, ENRICH- a new holistic PKSF approach, Community Climate Change Project (CCCP), Social Advocacy and Knowledge Dissemination (SAKD), Social Safety Net etc. Along with the info-graph, different publications and newsletters, Documentaries were also showcased in the stall during the Fair.
Honorable Prime Minister visited PKSF stall alongside other stalls after the inauguration of the Fair.
A two-member-official group from the Zimbabwe Association of Microfinance Institutions (ZAMFI), an apex body for microfinance institutions in Zimbabwe, paid a study visit in PKSF during 18-22 October, 2015. They met the high officials of PKSF and held discussion on the management and operational strategy of PKSF, performance indicators of PKSF’s programmes and other programme management issues. The team went to field visits at PKSF partner organizations named Sajida Foundation in Dhaka, YPSA and IDF in Chittagong.
Mr. Godfrey C. Chitambo, Executive Director, ZAMFI and Mr. Brian Zimunhu, CEO, Zimbabwe Microfinance Fund (ZMF) meet the Chairman and the Managing Director of PKSF and hold fruitful discussions.
PKSF Signed MoU with HelpAge International Bangladesh
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) and HelpAge International Bangladesh on 30 August 2015 at PKSF Bhaban. Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF presided over the MoU signing ceremony. Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director (Ops) of PKSF and Ms. Nirjharinee Hasan, Country Director of HelpAge International signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organizations. Mr. Dilip Paul, Deputy General Manager (Ops) and Mr. Mustafizur Rahman, Assistant Manager (Ops) of PKSF, Mr. Peter McGeachie, Regional Director; Mr. Mohammad Iqbal Hossain, Senior Policy Officer; Mohammad Shongibul Alam, Admin, Finance and HR Manager and Shawli Jharna, Program Implementation Manager of HelpAge International were also present in the MoU signing ceremony.
The main objective of this MoU is to strengthen the cooperation between PKSF and HelpAge International in the provision of promoting the rights and entitlements of older people in Bangladesh. Its scope includes joint planning, capacity building, evidence creation and joint policy negotiation to promote the rights of the older people based on the approved “National Policy on Older Persons 2013” as well as PKSF guidelines.
HelpAge International, an UK registered charitable organization, helps older people to claim their rights, challenge discrimination and overcome poverty so that they can lead dignified, secure, active and healthy lives. The organization is now working in over 75 countries across the globe including Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, the organization is closely working with likeminded development organizations/institutions to create evidence, develop replicable model and policy/advocacy to uphold rights of the older people.
PKSF has been continuously adding new dimensions to its activities through an evolutionary process. In this backdrop PKSF has decided to add a new feather in its cap by starting a program for older people, especially insolvent and distressed elderly people and the betterment of their lives and livelihood. In accordance with the decision of PKSF Board of Directors, a seminar was held on 02 June 2015 with a view to identifying the challenges and program initiatives that can be taken to ensure the rights and betterment of older people. In Accordance with PKSF Board Meeting decision, 20 unions have already been selected for implementing the aforesaid program targeting elderly people of rural areas across the country.
Implementation of this MoU will help contribute promoting rights of elderly people including the right to live with dignity and the right to enjoy social security articulated in the Constitution of Bangladesh. This MoU seeks to improve efficient and effective interventions by promoting synergies and greater coordination between HelpAge International and PKSF.
PKSF Signed MoU with Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute (BLRI) on mutual cooperation
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) and Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute (BLRI) on 25 August 2015 under the Livestock Unit of PKSF. Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF has presided over the ceremony. Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, DMD, PKSF and Dr. Nazrul Islam, Director General, BLRI signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organizations. Mr. AQM Golam Mawla, General Manager (Operations), PKSF; Dr. Sharif Ahmed Chowdhury, DGM (Livestock), PKSF; Ms. Tanvir Sultana, Manager, PKSF and other high officials of PKSF were also present on that ceremony. Dr. Razia Khatun, Senior Scientific Officer, BLRI was also present in that program. The objectives of this MoU are to disseminate the livestock based technology & package; to provide training, technical service & marketing facilities among and to the member of PKSF with the cooperation of BLRI.
BLRI is the government organization which involves in identifing livestock and poultry production constraints at the national and farm level. They tend to solve those problems through multi and inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional research. BLRI works to develop technologies to help food and nutrition security for the increasing population of the country. Their researches also provide to poverty alleviation, employment creation, income generation and to control environmental pollution.
It is worthwhile to mention that, PKSF has established two separate units namely ‘Agriculture Unit’ and ‘Livestock Unit’ in 2013. These units work to extend agricultural technologies and other services to farmers with a view to increase agricultural production as well as to ensure food security. The core goal of these units is to enable the farmers to gain access to resources necessary for agricultural production, employment generation and for enhancing the quality of their lives through agricultural activities. The salient objectives of these units are to assist providing microfinance services considering the seasonality of agricultural activities; to provide useful, modern and environment friendly agricultural technologies; establish market linkages of agricultural commodities; and to develop skilled manpower at PKSF, PO and participant level. These units will undertake various activities within the purview of financial and administrative capacity of PKSF as a supplementary and additional service provider of the Government.
Baseline Survey of PACE Project Starts
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) and Development Technical Consultants Pvt. Ltd. (DTCL) have entered in an agreement on August 10, 2015 to conduct the baseline survey of Promoting Agricultural Commercialization and Enterprises (PACE) project, jointly financed by PKSF and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Mr. Md. Ziauddin Iqbal, General Manager (Admin.), PKSF and Dr. M.M. Amir Hossain, Managing Director, DTCL signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations. Mr. Akond Md. Rafiqul Islam, General Manager (Operations), PKSF & the Project Coordinator of PACE project was present in the occasion. The consulting firm will complete the study in the next three months. The baseline information relating to socio economic conditions of project participants will be collected under this survey. The findings of the survey will be compared with the findings of mid-term and final outcome surveys to measure the impact of the project.
Inauguration of the Divisional Workshop on Annual Work Plan and Target Setting of ENRICH Programme by the Managing Director, PKSF
Inauguration of the Divisional Workshop on Annual Work Plan and Target Setting of ENRICH Programme by the Managing Director, Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF)
It has been planned to organise a two day long six divisional workshops with a view to determining the annual work plan and target under the “ENRICH Programme” of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF). ‘Union Coordinators’ from 143 unions and ‘Chief Credit Coordinators’ from 110 partner organizations will be participated in these divisional workshops. In the meantime Chittagong divisional workshop is held in participation with 20 partner organisations working under “ENRICH Programme” in Chittagong Division from 23-24 July 2015. Mr. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF inaugurated the workshop as Chief Guest. The progress of 20 partner organisations in implementing the “ENRICH Programme” was reviewed in the workshop. Moreover, the participants from the partner organisations were provided with necessary directions and advice to implement the “ENRICH Programme” in the FY 2015-2016.
PKSF organizes a Seminar on “The elderly people of Bangladesh: challenges and actions for enhancing their quality of lives”
PKSF organizes a Seminar on “The elderly people of Bangladesh: challenges and actions for enhancing their quality of lives”
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) organized a seminar on “The elderly people of Bangladesh: challenges and actions for enhancing their quality of lives” at PKSF Auditorium, Agargaon, Dhaka on 02 June 2015. Eminent economist and Chairman of PKSF Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad presided over the seminar.
Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF, Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director, PKSF shared PKSF’s thinking for the elderly people with the audiences. Professor A.K.M. Nurun Nabi, Vice-Chancellor of Begum Rokeya University and member, Governing Body of PKSF, Dr. Bazlul Huque Khandaker, Professor of Economics Department, University of Dhaka, Mr. Abul Haseeb Khan, Director, Resource Integration Center (RIC), Mr. Mohammad Iqbal Hossain, Senior Policy Officer, HelpAge International and Ms. Salome A. Rahim, Nursing superintendent, TMSS Medical College presented five different articles in the seminar.
Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, in his welcome speech, said that PKSF has been adding up new dimensions to its activities through an evolutionary process. In continuation to this PKSF has decided to add a new feather in its cap by starting an explicit program for the elderly people. He said that various problems or complications at the end of life of the elders emerge like black clouds and we may not be able to remove all of these. But PKSF, according to its means and ability, will try to fulfill as much of its commitment. He urged the Partner Organizations (POs) to play the catalytic role in the implementation of the program through taking firm decision in this regard. Mr. Kader thanked Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad for inspiring PKSF to diversify its interventions in order to address poverty in an integrated way.
Mr. Md. Abdul Karim portrayed a brief picture of the initiatives that PKSF is going to take in future for sustainable welfare of the elderly people. He informed that the already established ENRICH centers for the elderly people in 43 Unions are getting huge acclamation and PKSF has decided to expand these centers where the elders will be able to sit and discuss together, read magazine, watch TV and can also play. Mr. Karim also talked about introducing primary health care system, senior-friendly and flexible loan, suitable training, Physiotherapy service at affordable cost, counseling centers, funeral arrangements, etc.
He said that there are also some necessities such as establishing geriatric institute, which are beyond PKSFs scope, but PKSF surely will request the respective department or authority of the government to take required actions. Mr. Karim shared PKSF’s plan to reward elders who have contributed greatly to the country for poverty alleviation and social development. At the same time PKSF will also award the oldest elderly people as the senior citizen.
Professor A.K.M. Nurun Nabi, in his directional speech, mentioned that according to recent studies demographic dividend in Bangladesh will end in 2031 meaning the percentage of older people will start increasing after that and will put pressure on the economy. Dr. Nabi said, it is high time to create an action-framework for the elders. He insisted on taking specific programs under an institutional framework to ensure the welfare of the elderly people. Dr. Nabi recommended engaging elderly people as advisors in grass root level development project activities, introducing a priori deduction system from wages at earlier ages as a forced savings for old age allowance, social security with medicare and establishing Community Ageing Deposit Scheme for younger persons to provide care for elderly to get care in return at their old age.
Dr. Bazlul Huque Khandaker has shed light on the possible significant positive change of the country’s economy that can be achieved by increasing budget allocation and investing in social security for the elderly people. Referring to one of his research assessing the macro-economic impacts of Universal Pension scheme with Investment projectDr. Khandaker said that transfer payments (such as pension) has similar or sometimes even more impact on economic growth compared to any infrastructure investment. He advised for introducing subsidized credit, transportation and entertainment facilities for the senior citizens along with enhanced coverage and transfer amount of the Old Age Allowance.
Mr. Abul Haseeb Khan shared his speech in the light of thinking of the development agencies and experiences of their programs conducted for the elderly people. Mr. Khan advocated for choosing Active ageing approach that deals with ensuring participation, health and safety to improve the quality of life of elderly people. Mr. Khan advised for establishing informal institute for the elderly people in villages and towns, arranging Inter-generational dialogue and involving them in social arbitrations and other such mechanisms.
Mr. Mohammad Iqbal Hossain discussed on “Reflections of development agencies and various programs for the elders in the international arena”. A paper on “The Need for Geriatric Nursing in the Coming Years in Bangladesh” was presented by Ms. Salome A. Rahim. She spoke on the common health problems of the elderly people and expansion of geriatric nursing education. Among the invitees, two senior citizens from the members of PKSF’s POs also shared their practical life experiences with the audiences.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad said in the closing remarks that the most important thing for the elderly people is to provide emotional support. He said the family members are in the first place to take this responsibility and if they fail then the institutions should take the responsibility. He emphasized on looking at the elderly people not as a client, but as a man and serving them in a way so that it does not hurt their self-esteem. He shared that all PKSF activities are designed by putting people in the centre and upholding the human dignity.
Dr. Ahmad said that PKSF has been furnishing its poverty alleviation programs by taking into consideration of all multi-dimensional aspects of a person’s entire life at all its different stages. He also urged the POs to work for elderly people and spread this as a social movement. He assured them that PKSF with its limited resources will continue its assistance to the partner organizations. “PKSF cannot solve all problems within today or tomorrow, but we can at least pave the way for the future to smoothen the way forward for the next generation”- Dr. Ahmad said.
Representatives from different organizations of elderly people, Officials from Partner Organizations (POs) of PKSF, Electronic and Print Media representatives and PKSF officials participated in the seminar.
PKSF Silver Jubilee Celebrations Come to a Close
Sunday, May 10, 2015
PKSF silver jubilee celebrations came to a close with a day-long programme at Bangabandhu International Convention Centre, Dhaka. It began exactly one year ago. In the beginning, it was a week-long celebration that featured seminars on critical development issues, workshops, cultural presentations and above all, a festive development fair. Then throughout the year, the vibrancy of the of silver jubilee activities was reflected in the organization of a number of seminars held in between and through a number of publications.
Presided over by Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF, the dais of the closing ceremony saw a galaxy of important personalities. Mr Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, MP, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Finance, was present as the chief guest, while Mr Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali, MP, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ms Meher Afroz Chumki, MP, Hon’ble State Minister, Ministry of Women and Children Affairs attended the ceremony as special guests. Mr Md Abdul Karim, MD, PKSF delivered the welcome speech. All senior officials and staff of PKSF, representatives from Partner Organisations (Pos) across the country and invited guests representing the Government, development circle and various strata of the society attended the ceremony.
One special feature of the closing ceremony was the felicitation of two eminent persons who were honoured with life-time achievement for their valiant involvement in our glorious war of liberation in 1971. They were Mr A M Sharfuzzaman and Begum Mushtari Shafi. Moreover, as many as 1583 students were awarded scholarship for their academic proficiency; they belong to the disadvantaged families of the programme participants of PKSF.
The ceremony came to an end with a fascinating cultural soiree.
PACE takes off with the Start-up workshop
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) launches a new project titled Promoting Agricultural Commercialization and Enterprises (PACE) Project. This project is jointly financed by PKSF and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The start-up workshop of the project was held on 04 March 2015 at PKSF Auditorium. Mr. M A Mannan, MP, honorable State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Planning, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, was the Chief Guest in the workshop while Mr. Mohammad Mejbahuddin, Senior Secretary of Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Finance was the Special Guest. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF presided over the workshop. Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF also spoke on the occasion. Mr. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director, PKSF delivered the welcome speech. Mr. Akond Md. Rafiqul Islam, General Manager. PKSF made a graphic presentation on the PACE project. Mr. Nicolas Syed, Country Programme Officer, IFAD made some commendable remarks on behalf of IFAD. Around four hundred officials of different government and private sector organizations including PKSF and its Partner Organizations (POs) attended the workshop.
Mr. M A Mannan, MP, honorable State Minister for Finance and Planning spoke highly about PKSF for its continuous contribution to the country’s development. He mentioned that IFAD funded projects in different parts of the country are playing some important role in changing people’s economic conditions. PACE will be a very effective project in reducing poverty through employment creation, he hoped. He called upon PKSF and its POs to come forward to resolve all challenges the country is facing now. He thanked all concerned for launching this project.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF, said that all PKSF activities are directed to the betterment of the people. From an exclusive microfinance organization PKSF has now become a muli-dimensonal development organization. He referred to ENRICH (Enhancing Resources and Increasing Capacities of Poor Households towards Elimination of their Poverty), a holistic program of PKSF. He mentioned that PKSF now addresses issues like women empowerment, health, education etc in its development endeavors in order to enable people to achieve human dignity. The PACE project will help expedite the goal of poverty reduction of the country, he said.
The special guest of the event Mr. Mohammad Mejbahuddin, Senior Secretary of Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Finances applauded PKSF as an excellent organization in the development sector of the country. It is widely known for its transparency and accountability. He remarked that only Microfinance cannot go a long way to sustainably alleviate poverty. He said that the PACE encompasses almost all elements necessary for the development of the poor. He also remarked on the potential of this project to create opportunities for the entrepreneurs to exploit the benefits out of free market.
Managing Director of PKSF Mr. Md. Abdul Karim mentioned that PKSF has been implementing multi-dimensional activities for expediting poverty reduction. To provide better services to the poor and bring out the people from poverty, PKSF has diversified its financial services. PKSF is also providing training and technical supports to the poor for enhancing their capacity. The Value Chain Development projects under FEDEC showed good results in increasing productivity and income of the entrepreneurs, he mentioned. He referred to PKSF’s wining recognitions from different national and international organizations. PKSF never compromises with quality in implementing its programs and projects, he strongly stressed. For its proven transparency and efficiency, the development agencies are now showing increasing interest to work with PKSF. He expected that the PACE will be another landmark project of PKSF.
Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director, PKSF said in his speech that PKSF had introduced the ME program in 2001 with a view to assist growth based economic activities for creating more employment in the country. Recently completed and IFAD-funded ‘Finance for Enterprise Development and Employment Creation (FEDEC) Project has made enormous contribution to expand PKSF’s Micro enterprise program. PKSF undertook subsector based Value Chain Development interventions to promote income and employment in various potential subsectors. Based on the success of FEDEC project, this new PACE project has also included financial and non financial services for small producers of farm and non-farm sectors.
Mr. Nicolas Syed, Country Programme Officer of IFAD, in his speech said that PKSF has successfully completed three IFAD-funded projects. One of these projects named Microfinance for Marginal and Small Farmers (MFMSF) achieved Development Impact Honor Award from US Department of Treasury. He expressed his satisfaction for implementing these projects with high level of quality. The PACE project will be another excellent accomplishment of PKSF, he hoped.
Mr. Akond Md. Rafiqul Islam, General Manager, PKSF and Project Coordinator of PACE Project gave a presentation in the workshop describing PACE’s goal, objectives and activities. He mentioned the six-year PACE project will be implemented all over the country through PKSF’s POs. The project will involve other government and non government organizations to extend value chain related support to stakeholders. An internet-based marketing platform will be set up to provide market-related information to the entrepreneurs and to facilitate marketing of the commodities produced by the microentrepreneurs. The total cost of the project is USD 92.85 million of which IFAD contribution will be USD 40.0 million. Apart from providing financial services to existing 7.0 lac entrepreneurs the PACE project will provide non financial services to 3.5 lac project participants, the Project Coordinator mentioned in his presentation.
Participants from different organizations took part in the open discussion session. The interventions were largely positive and encouraging. Everyone was of the opinion that PACE can play a very important role in enhancing livelihoods of the farmers and small producers. The participants appreciated PKSF and IFAD for launching this project.
PKSF and DAI signed MoU
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) and Development Alternative Incorporated (DAI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 19 February 2015. Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director (Operations), PKSF and Mr. William T. Levine, Chief of Party, Development Alternatives Incorporated (DAI) signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organizations.
DAI has been implementing a five-year “Agriculture Value Chain (AVC)” project in Bangladesh under the “Feed the Future” initiative. “Feed the Future” is the U.S Government’s Global Hunger & Food Security initiative being funded and administered by USAID. AVC Project will achieve broad-based economic growth which enhances long-term food and nutrition security of Bangladesh applying a market systems approach. The project is being implemented in 20 southern districts of the country. The targeted agricultural value chains will increase on-farm and off-farm income at the household level. The Project will target a portfolio of both food and non-food agricultural products and will address constraints across those agricultural value chains. AVC is committed to facilitate linkages for easy access to finance for farmers and other potential beneficiaries of the project to achieve its objective of strengthening agricultural market system.
The objective of this MoU between AVC Project, DAI and PKSF is to provide services to the beneficiaries of the AVC project through PKSF’s partner organizations (POs) working in the project areas. POs of PKSF will provide financial services to the beneficiaries of AVC project as per their own policy. PKSF and DAI will also work together to develop appropriate financial services for different agricultural products.
The AVC project will facilitate sustainable growth of its agricultural portfolio. The portfolio consists of six food and two non-food items namely pulses, potatoes, tomatoes, mangoes, groundnuts, summer vegetables, flowers and natural fibres. AVC has designed interventions to address the prevailing constraints in the value chains of production and marketing of these crops and plans to facilitate agricultural loan executions to 2,000 farmers by the end of December 2017.
The 25th Annual General Meeting of PKSF
The 25th Annual General Meeting of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) was held at 3:30pm, on 29 December 2014 at PKSF Bhaban. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, the Hon’ble Chairman of the Foundation presided over the meeting. The members of the General Body namely, Dr. Pratima Paul-Majumder, Dr. A.K.M. Nurun Nabi, Dr. Mihir Kanti Majumder, Dr. M. A. Quassem, Mr. Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled, Ms. Nihad Kabir, Professor M.A. Baqui Khalily, Mr. C.M. Shafi Sami, Dr. Bondana Saha, Ms. Bulbul Mohalanabish, Mr. Md. Emranul Haque Chowdhury, Begum Razia Hossain, Mr. Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmed, Mr. Nazir Ahmed Khan, Dr. Nazneen Ahmed, Professor Shafi Ahmed, Mr. Munshi Faiz Ahmad, Mr. S.M. Wahiduzzaman Babur and Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF were present in the meeting.
In the meeting, Hon’ble Chairman provided a detailed description of PKSF’s activities. In his speech, he informed of the progress of multidimensional programs and projects undertaken by PKSF. He also referred to ENRICH, a people-centered holistic program that PKSF is implementing to alleviate poverty through establishing human dignity. In addition, the Chairman notified the meeting about various programs that were arranged as part of the year-round celebration of PKSF’s Silver Jubilee program. Hon’ble members praised PKSF’s activities and initiatives. They also gave their valuable suggestions. The Managing Director updated the meeting regarding the progress of the implementation of the decisions/suggestions of last General Meeting held on 24 June 2014. The meeting expressed its satisfaction on the advancement of the implementation of overall activities of PKSF.
The Audit Report (FY 2013-14), audited by S.F. Ahmed & Co., was also presented in the Annual General Meeting. After having detailed discussion, the report was approved at the meeting.
The present membership tenure of some of the non-government members came to an end. Hence Mr. C.M. Shafi Sami, Dr. Bondana Saha, Ms. Bulbul Mohalanabish and Mr. Md. Emranul Haque Chowdhury, who had been nominated as non-government members, were given re-nomination for the next two years.
PKSF Explores Strategic Partnership with FAO Bangladesh
A high level meeting was held between Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) and Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) Bangladesh (BD) in the PKSF Bhaban on 28 January 2015. The meeting explored the possible cooperation between the two organizations. Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director of PKSF led the PKSF team. Mr. Mike Robson, Resident Representative of FAO Bangladesh along with Dr. Nur Ahamed Khondaker, Assistant Country Representative (Programme), FAO BD and Begum Nurun Nahar, National Operations Officer & Gender Focal point represented FAO Bangladesh. Besides, Mr. Golam Touhid, Deputy Managing Director (Operations-2); Mr. A.Q.M. Golam Mawla, General Manager (Ops.) & Team Leader (PROSPER); Dr. Sharif Ahmed Chowdhury, DGM (Livestock); Mr. A.K.M Nuruzzaman, AGM (Ops) & Team Leader (Ujjibito); Dr. M. A. Haider, Training Officer (KGF) and Mr. A. M. Farhaduzzaman, Assistant Manager (Ops.) of PKSF were also present in the meeting.
One of the main objectives of both PKSF and FAO is to ensure sustainable poverty alleviation and also to ensuring food & nutrition security of the country. For improving farming output under resources constraints conditions, farmers need to have sustained financial services along with advance farming knowledge and technology. Besides, as impact of climate change is already in the horizon, farmer need to adopt climate resilient Good Farming Practices (GFPs). Having, nationwide linkage of PKSF and global experience and technical expertise of FAO, both organizations can play a significant role in shaping sustainable modern farming in Bangladesh.
Both parties also showed keen interests to work together in some of the priority areas of agriculture including crop, livestock and fisheries sectors. FAO BD can extend supports for capacity building of PKSF and PO’s staffs as well as farmers on new agricultural technology. They can also help farmers in adopting Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary (SPS) measures and other World Trade Organization (WTO) compliances for exporting farm products to international market. For strengthening possible mutual cooperation both organizations agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
MD of PKSF is handing over a “Flipchart on Food and Nutrition” to
Mr. Mike Robson, Resident Representative in Bangladesh, FAO
Seminar on “Extension of Appropriate Agricultural Technologies: Experience of PKSF”
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) organized a seminar on “Extension of Appropriate Agricultural Technologies: Experience of PKSF” at PKSF Auditorium, Agargaon, Dhaka on 25 January 2015 as a part of the year-round celebration of its Silver Jubilee program. The seminar became a platform to disseminate knowledge and share its experience on the extension of appropriate agricultural technologies which are useful in increasing agricultural productivity.
Matia Chowdhury MP,Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Agriculture graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. She said, there is a need to develop a strong relationship between Government and Non-Government organizations to enhance agricultural production through inventing high yielding varieties of crops as well as introducing appropriate technologies. She urged the NGOs to supplement the government efforts to develop the agricultural sector as the country’s 16 percent GDP comes from agriculture.
Dr. Shelina Afroza, Secretary, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock was the Special Guest of the programme. She said, modernization of agriculture is needed for the economic development of the country.Dr. Mustafa K. Mujeri, Director General, BIDS, the distinguished Speaker said emphasis must be given on agriculture sector as it has been playing an important role in the country’s macro development. He also said, science-based technology will be the key to future in the agriculture sector. Dr. Zahurul Karim, former Secretary, the distinguished Speaker urged the Government to scrutinize the new technologies before introducing them to the agricultural sector to avoid negative impacts of technologies, if any, in the future.
The seminar was chaired by Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad,Chairman, PKSF. Mr. Md. Abdul Karim,Managing Director, PKSFdelivered the welcome speech. Mr. Golam Touhid, Deputy Managing Director (Opertaions), PKSF was the keynote presenter in the seminar. Agriculture scientists, representatives of different Partner Organizations and famers were present at the seminar.
PKSF Signed MoU with Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM) and Department of Fisheries (DoF) on mutual cooperation
PKSF Signed MoU with
Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM) and
Department of Fisheries (DoF)
on mutual cooperation
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) and Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM) on 30 December 2014 at PKSF Bhaban under its `Agriculture Unit’ and `Livestock Unit’. Mr. Golam Touhid, Deputy Managing Director (operations) and Md. Mahabub Ahmed, Joint Secretary, Director, signed the MoU on behalf of respective organizations. Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director of PKSF, was present in the occasion. Besides, Mr. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director of PKSF and other members of PKSF’s higher management were also present in the occasion. DAM is one of the oldest Government Department which deals with marketing of agricultural commodities. Objective of this MoU is to help the framing community in PKSF’s working area with cooperation from DAM to facilitate proper marketing of their products through dissemination of market information, training farmers – on product quality, handling, processing, storage, transportation.
Another Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has also been signed between Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) and Department of Fisheries (DoF) on 29 December 2014 under ‘Agriculture Unit’ and ‘Livestock Unit’. Dr. Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director (Admin & Finance) and Dr. Syed Arif Azad, Director General, Department of Fisheries (DoF) signed the MoU on behalf of respective organizations. Objective of this MoU is to assist the fish farming community of PKSF in enhancing fish production through technological intervention, ensuring quality fry and improved aquaculture management practice.
It is worthwhile to mentioned that, PKSF has established ‘Agriculture Unit’ and ‘Livestock Unit’ in FY 2013-14 for extending agricultural technologies and other services to farmers with a view to increasing agricultural production as well as ensuring food security. The core goal of these units is to enable the farmers to gain access to resources necessary for agricultural production, employment generation and for enhancing the quality of their lives through agricultural activities. The salient objectives of these units are to assist providing microfinance services considering the seasonality of agricultural activities; to provide useful, modern and environment friendly agricultural technologies; establish market linkages of agricultural commodities; and to develop skilled manpower at PKSF, PO and participant level. These units will undertake various activities within the purview of financial and administrative capacity of PKSF as a supplementary and additional service provider of the Government.
PKSF and Ministry of Finance signed SLGA for implementing PACE Project
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) and the Bank and Financial Institutions Division, Ministry of Finance, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh signed Subsidiary Loan and Grant Agreement (SLGA) on 18 January 2015 to implement the project titled “Promoting Agricultural Commercialization and Enterprises (PACE) Project, jointly financed by PKSF and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The total cost of the project is USD 92.85million. PKSF will receive USD 40.0million from IFAD through the government. Mr. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director of PKSF and Mr. Arijit Chowdhury, Joint Secretary, Bank and Financial Institutions Division signed the SLGA on behalf of their respective organizations.
The main goal of the project is to expedite poverty reduction through creating employment by expanding microenterprises in farm and non-farm sectors. Apart from providing financial services, the project will also provide technical and technological supports for microenterprises. Value Chain Development is one of the major components of the project. PKSF will undertake Value Chain Development interventions on various subsectors with a view to unlocking their potentials for sustainable growth. An e-platform will be set up to facilitate internet-based marketing of the commodities produced by micro entrepreneurs.
PKSF will implement this project in the next 6 years all over the country through its Partner Organizations (POs). It can be mentioned that the Government entered in to a financing Agreement with International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for implementing ‘PACE’ project on 11 December 2014.
PKSF organizes 13 Seminars and one Special Discussion Session
A seven-day-long Development Fair-2014 was held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC), Dhaka from 26 October to 01 November 2014 on the occasion of 25th Founding Anniversary of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) aiming at promoting poverty alleviation initiatives to lift millions out of poverty.
During the fair a total of thirteen seminars and one special discussion session were held in the theme of “Development for Prosperity and Parity: Including the Excluded” where Ministers, Secretaries, economists, researchers, members of civil society and representatives of different non-government organizations were present. Development specialists and discussants from India, Vietnam, Uzbekistan and the USA also participated in the seminars and special discussion.
Presentations of keynote speakers of these Seminars are available here.
List of Seminars:
Agriculture Patterns, Poverty and Climate Change: Vision, Strategy and Actions
|Sl. No||Title of the Seminar||Date and Time||Chief Guest||Chairperson||Presenter/s|
|1||Agriculture Patterns, Poverty and Climate Change: Vision, Strategy and Actions||26 Oct’14
|Mr. Rashed Khan Menon, MP Hon’ble Minister
Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism
|Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad
|1) Dr. Fazle Rabbi Sadeque Ahmed PC, CCCP, PKSF
2) Mr. Md. Shamsuddoha
Participatory Research and Development Initiative (PRDI)
Rural Industrialization for Sustainable Poverty Eradication
|Sl. No||Title of the Seminar||Date and Time||Chief Guest||Chairperson||Presenter/s|
|2||Rural Industrialization for Sustainable Poverty Eradication||26 Oct’14
|Architect Yeafes Osman
Hon’ble State Minister
Ministry of Science and Technology
|Mr. Md. Abdul Karim Managing Director PKSF||1) Mr. Mahbubul Islam Khan
Former Assistant Country Director CARE International
2) Mr. Wahiduzzaman
Building Human Capacity: Education Program for the Excluded
|Sl. No||Title of the Seminar||Date and Time||Chief Guest||Chairperson||Presenter/s|
|3||Building Human Capacity: Education Program for the Excluded||27 Oct’14
|Ms. Rasheda K Chowdhury
Former Hon’ble Advisor to the Caretaker Govt. of The People’s Republic of Bangladesh
|Dr. A. K. M Nurun Nabi Vice Chancellor
Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur and Member, Governing Body, PKSF
| 1) Ms. Hosne Ara Begum
….Executive Director, TMSS Presentation
2) Mr. Muhammad Yahiya
….Executive Director, CDIP
Technology for Sustainable Growth and Development
|Sl. No||Title of the Seminar||Date and Time||Chief Guest||Chairperson||Presenter/s|
|4||Technology for Sustainable Growth
|Mr. Hedayetullah Al Mamoon ndc
Ministry of Commerce
|Mr. Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled Member
Governing Body PKSF
|1) Ms. Tanvir Sultana
2) Mr. Mir Al Amin
Executive Director, HELP
Expanding the Horizon of Opportunities: Promoting Innovative Enterprises
|Sl. No||Title of the Seminar||Date and Time||Chief Guest||Chairperson||Presenter/s|
|5||Expanding the Horizon of Opportunities: Promoting Innovative Enterprises||28 Oct’14
|Mr. Md. Ghulam Hussain
National Board of Revenue (NBR)
|Dr. M. A. Quassem Member
|1) Mr. Ayub Hossain
2) Mr. Mir Al Amin
Executive Director, HELP
Reducing Health Risk of the Excluded: Some Innovative Practices
|Sl. No||Title of the Seminar/ Meeting||Date and Time||Chief Guest||Chairperson||Presenter/s|
|6||Reducing Health Risk of the Excluded: Some Innovative Practices||28 Oct’14
|Mr. Khurshed Alam Chowdhury
Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism
|Dr. Pratima Paul Majumder
Governing Body, PKSF
|1) Mr. Murshed Alam Sarker
Executive Director, POPI
2) Ms. Zahida Fizza Kabir
Moving Out of Low Productivity Trap: Investing at the Bottom of the Pyramid
|Sl. No||Title of the Seminar||Date and Time||Chief Guest||Chairperson||Presenter/s|
|7||Moving Out of Low Productivity
Trap: Investing at the
Bottom of the Pyramid
|Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, MP Hon’ble Minister
Ministry of Housing & Public Works
|Barrister Nihad Kabir Member
|1) Mr. AQM Golam Mawla
General Manager, PKSF
2) Dr. Md. Shahiduzzaman
Executive Director, ESDO
Discussion on: Non-Financial Services of MFIs: Health, Education and Value Chain interventions
|Sl. No||Title of the Discussion Session||Date and Time||Discussants||Chairperson|
|8||Non-Financial Services of MFIs: Health, Education and Value Chain interventions||29 Oct’14
|Mr. Md. Abdul Karim
Managing Director, PKSF
Mr. Larry Reed
Director, Microcredit Summit Campaign
Dr. D. S. K. Rao
Regional Director, Microcredit Summit Campaign
Ms. Pham Thi Hong
SCBI cum Deputy Executive Director, SCODE, Vietnam
Mr. Emranul Haque Chowdhury
Executive Director, UDDIPAN
Ms. Zahida Fizza Kabir
Executive Director, Sajida Foundation
|Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad Chairman, PKSF|
ENRICH, a New Approach to Development: a Paradigm Shift
|Sl. No||Title of the Seminar||Date and Time||Chief Guest||Chairperson||Presenter/s|
|9||ENRICH, a New Approach
to Development: a Paradigm Shift
| 29 Oct’14
| Mr. Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, MP Hon’ble Minister
Ministry of Finance
|Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF||1) Mr. Md. Mashiar Rahman
General Manager, PKSF
2) Mr. Md. Mohsin Ali
Executive Director, Wave Foundation
Inclusive Development: Mainstreaming the Challenged People
|Sl. No||Title of the Seminar||Date and Time||Chief Guest||Chairperson||Presenter/s|
|10||Inclusive Development: Mainstreaming the Challenged People||30 Oct’14
|Mr. Tofail Ahmed, MP
Ministry of Commerce
|Mr. Munshi Faiz Ahmad
General Body, PKSF
|1) Mr. Md Arifur Rahman
Executive Director, YPSA
2) Mr. Md. Golam Ahia
Bandhu Kallan Foundation
Empowering Women: Challenges for Next Decade
|Sl. No||Title of the Seminar||Date and Time||Chief Guest||Chairperson||Presenter/s|
|11||Empowering Women: Challenges for Next Decade||30 Oct’14
|Mr. Md. Abdul Karim
|Ambassador Muhammad Zamir (Retd.)
Former Ambassador and Chief Information Commissioner
|1) Ms. Salina Sharif
2) Ms. Sayeeda Roxana Khan Executive Director
Sheba Nari O Shishu Kallan Kendra
Equity and Justice in Society: Protecting Rights of Children
|Sl. No||Title of the Seminar||Date and Time||Chief Guest||Chairperson||Presenter/s|
|12||Equity and Justice in Society: Protecting Rights of Children||31 Oct’14
|Dr. Gowher Rizvi
Hon’ble International Affairs
Advisor to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh
|Dr. Bondana Saha
General Body, PKSF
|1) Mr. Emranul Haque Chowdhury Executive Director, Uddipan
2) Advocate Salma Ali
Bangladesh National Woman Lawyers’ Association (BNWLA)
Taking off from Poverty: Reducing Risks and Vulnerabilities
|Sl. No||Title of the Seminar||Date and Time||Chief Guest||Chairperson||Presenter/s|
|13||Taking off from Poverty: Reducing Risks and Vulnerabilities||31 Oct’14
|Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad
|Dr. Meehir Kanti Mozumdar
General Body, PKSF
|1) Mr. Md. Hasan Khaled
General Manager, PKSF
2) Mr. Zahirul Alam
Executive Director, IDF
Nutrition Security for the Poor
|Sl. No||Title of the Seminar||Date and Time||Chief Guest||Chairperson||Presenter/s|
|14||Nutrition Security for the Poor||01 Nov’14
|Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad
Mr. M. M. Niazuddin
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
|Mr. Md. Abdul Karim
|1. Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus
Ministry of Power, Energy & Mineral Resources
2. Professor Nazma Shaheen
Institute of Nutrition and Food Science
DFID Country Representative Visits PKSF
Ms. Sarah Cooke,Country representative, Department for International Development (DFID) Bangladesh visited PKSF on 14 October, 2014. She led a team that included Ms. Shahnila Azher, Team Leader, Private Sector Development, Mr. Graham Gass, Team Leader, Extreme Poverty, Mr. Arifur Rahman, Livelihood Advisor, Mr. Roqibul Islam, Programme Manager and Dr. Reazul Islam, International Team Leader of Project Coordination Unit of PROSPER. The DFID team made a courtesy call to Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF. There, they briefly discussed on the issues of bilateral interest.
Then the formal meeting took place with PKSF’s higher management and representatives of some selected Partner Organisations (POs). Chaired by the Managing Director of PKSF, the meeting was attended by Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director (Operations-1), Mr. Golam Touhid, Deputy Managing Director (Operations-2), Dr. Taposh Kumar Biswas, Director (Research), Mr. Mohammad Hasan Khaled, General Manager (Audit) and Mr. A.Q.M. Golam Mawla, General Manager (Operations) and other higher officials of PKSF. Representatives of the Partner Organisations included Executive Directors of Uddipan, CODEC and Wave Foundation and Director of Jagoroni Chakra Foundation. Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, MD, PKSF made a brief introduction. He referred to the historical relationship between Bangladesh and United Kingdom and commended UK Government’s sustained support in the development efforts of Bangladesh. Mr. Karim expressed his sincere gratitude for the DFID support in extreme poverty alleviation programmes: PROSPER (PRIME & LIFT) and the Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF) initiatives of PKSF.
This was followed by a presentation by Mr. Golam Mawla on PKSF, especially on activities related to extreme poverty and climate change. The presentation specially noted how PRIME, through its micro-credit based financial and non-financial supports, helped over half a million households in alleviating their extreme poverty situations. It emphasized that PRIME model should be replicated to address the other extreme poor families across the country towards meeting the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda.
Ms. Cooke especially thanked PKSF for generating an in-depth database on the state of extreme poverty of Bangladesh and emphasized the need for the best utilization of the available PRIME data to design future extreme poverty programme not only for PKSF but Bangladesh as a whole. The DFID team noted that they are now in a phase of formulating new extreme poverty programme, where PRIME lessons would be very useful. The DFID team members also emphasized on the need of integrating PRIME lessons with the lessons of other similar programmes of Bangladesh. The DFID team appreciated the activities of PKSF especially those under PRIME. It enquired whether PKSF can participate in multi-donor funded possible future extreme poverty alleviation intervention of DFID. PKSF’s response was affirmative in principle. Mr. Karim mentioned that initially PROSPER programme itself was a multi-donor project. In addition, PKSF has already implemented such programme. Finally, Ms. Sarah Cooke thanked PKSF management and its working partners. The meeting was followed by lunch hosted by the courtesy of Dr. Q. K. Ahmed, Chairman, PKSF.
A Workshop titled “Formulation of Annual Work Plan & Assessment of Work Progress of ENRICH Programme” held at PKSF auditorium on 25 August, 2014. Dr. Md. Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director (Admin & Finance) of PKSF presided over the event. Mr. Md. Mashiar Rahman, General Manager (Operations) and the team leader of ENRICH programme with his team along with union coordinators/focal persons from110 Partner Organizations (POs) were present in the workshop.
Dr. Jashim in his welcome speech said, “ENRICH is a programme by which people will become enriched. It’s a programme harmonized to develop the human being only”.
He informed that, in continuation of the success of the ENRICH programme, steps has already been taken to extend the programme in another 100 unions. The extension plan has already been started in 87 unions and gradually the remaining 13 unions will also be brought under the operational net of ENRICH.
He also said that for the extention and smooth running of the ENRICH programme we have allotted a total of Tk.44 crore in FY 2014-15.
Mr. Mashiar Rahman presented the keynote paper.
Taking part in open floor discussion representatives of POs raised different issues related to field level implementation. Mr. Mashiar responded all the queries in the open discussion session.
Mr. Mashiar told the participants to take a new initiative to ensure hand-hygiene before taking foods and after using toilets. For which he suggested a handy formula of collecting and keeping a 1 litre bottle having a small hole on the cap to dispense the detergent mixed water worth Tk 1 beside every toilet and dining area. He also proposed to plant a “Sajna” and a “lemon” tree in every house to fulfill the nutrition demand of the household.
All Union coordinators and focal persons spontaneously supported his proposals and committed to implement those. Mr. Mashiar also suggested to create a garden in the yard of every family in ENRICH unions to make that an “ENRICH-HOME”.
Dr. Jashim Uddin in his concluding remarks said, “ENRICH emphasizes on the works related to the improvement of peoples living standard. Therefore, the development works of the POs will become more visible through ENRICH’s implementation”.
He hoped that the objectives for which the ENRICH programme came in to being will be achieved through the successful implementation of the programme by the POs.
Finally he gave the vote of thanks to the audience and wishing them safe return to their work place and announced the end of the workshop.
PKSF organizes a Seminar on “Post 2015 Sustainable Development Agenda: Global and National Perspectives”
A seminar on “Post 2015 Sustainable Development Agenda: Global and National Perspectives” was held on 9th September in PKSF Bhaban, Agargaon, Dhaka. Mr. Md. Shahidul Haque, Foreign Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, GoB; Mr. Md. Nojibur Rahman,Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forest, GoB and Ms. Paulin Tamesis, Country Director, UNDP Bangladesh attented the seminar as distinguished discussants. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSFpresided over the seminar. Officials from different Government and Nom-Government Organizations, Development Partners, Partner Organizations (POs) of PKSF, Electronic and Print Media representatives and PKSF officials participated in the seminar.
In this seminar, the set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals, proposed by the UN Open Working Group as of July 19, 2014 were reviewed. These post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals were determined by taking into account different national realities, capacities and levels of development and national policies and priorities. Also while formulating the SDGs, the foundation laid by the MDGs has been taken into account.
Very patient comments were made by the designated discussants as well as by commentators from the floor. The seminaremphasized on participation among government agencies, non-government organizations and other key actors to achieve the goals. A full report is being prepared.
Workshop on ‘Finance for Enterprise Development and Employment Creation (FEDEC) project: Achievements, Impact and Lessons learned’
The closing workshop of Finance for Enterprise Development and Employment Creation (FEDEC) project was held on 27 August 2014 in PKSF Auditorium, Agargaon, Dhaka. This workshop was arranged to share the achievements, impact and lessons learned from the recently completed (31st March 2014) project, implemented by PKSF. The honorable State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Planning, The Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Mr. M A Mannan, MP was the Chief Guest in the workshop and the Secretary, Bank and Financial Institutions Division, Ministry of Finance, Dr. M Aslam Alam attended the workshop as Special Guest. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF presided over the workshop. Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF gave valuable speech in the workshop. Mr. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director, PKSF was also present in the occasion. The workshop was attended by around 400 officials of PKSF, POs, Government and other organizations.
An Independent Consultant, Mr. Mahbubul Islam Khan, gave a presentation on “FEDEC Project: Achievements, Impact and Lessons learned” at the beginning of the workshop. In his presentation, Mr. Khan described the FEDEC’s success and impact in expanding MEs. He concluded his presentation mentioning that lessons learned from the project can be useful for any initiatives for developing ME sector in future.
With different interventions of the FEDEC project, microenterprises of the project participants have expanded remarkably and created wage employment for about 3.51lac people in last five years. POs of PKSF disbursed around 15,500 crore taka to entrepreneurs during the project period. Around 6 lac microentrepreneurs throughout the country received financial and technical supports from the project.
Participants from the Partner Organizations (POs) also shared their experiences in implementing the project at field level. They mentioned that Value Chain Development Supports in combination with financial services made the project a grand success.
Mr. Nicolas Syed, Country Program Officer of IFAD thanked PKSF for implementing the project successfully. IFAD will continue its support, he hoped.
Mentioning the background of introduction of PKSF’s Microenterprise Program, Mr. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director of PKSF stated that Microenterprise Program expanded manifold with the help of FEDEC Projcet. FEDEC project can be treated as the milestone in the development endeavor of PKSF in expanding ME sector.
Managing Director of PKSF Mr. Md. Abdul Karim gave a short description of Project activities and expressed his satisfaction on successful completion of FEDEC project. The Managing Director mentioned that one of the PKSF projects funded by IFAD titled ‘Microfinance for Marginal and Small Farmers (MFMSF) Project’ has achieved Development Impact Honors Award from the US Department of the Treasury. FEDEC project has also created an excellent example of high quality project implementation.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF mentioned that, through this project, PKSF for the first time implemented various sub-sector development activities following Business Cluster Approach. Training and other technical supports along with financial services can be more effective in reducing poverty sustainably. FEDEC project is an example of perfect combination of technical assistance with financial services. He also mentioned that PKSF has identified around one thousand business clusters throughout the country, on the basis of which, it will take more sub-sector development activities in future with the core objective of laying a sustainable foundation for Microenterprise based rural industries.
The Secretary of Bank and Financial Institutions Division, Ministry of Finance also appreciated FEDEC’s success. He said more rigorous data collection and analysis would highlight the excellent outcome of the project.
Honorable State Minister in his speech praised PKSF and its Partner Organization for successfully implementing the FEDEC project. He opined that FEDEC project was very successful in achieving equity and growth together, which is very important to expedite poverty alleviation. The success of FEDEC project bears a clear indication that Bangladesh is in the right track in reaching the target to become a middle-income country. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will continue its supports to implement this type of development activities in Bangladesh, he expected.
The ENRICH programme is currently operating in 43 unions of 40 districts. This programme has been extended to another 100 unions in FY 2014-15. Health, Nutrition & Educational assistances will be implemented in these newly added unions.
Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, the Managing Director (MD) of PKSF has inaugurated the ENRICH programme in 3 different unions and visited the activities of “Learning & innovation fund to test new ideas (LIFT)” in Matiranga upazila of Khagrachari district during his visit from 21/08/2014 to 24/08/2014.
Mr.Golam Touhid, DMD (Operations) & Mr. Md. Mashiar Rahman, GM (Operations) accompanied the Managing Director during his visit.
The 21st of August, the Managing Director inaugurated the basic training programme for the Health Assistants & Teachers of a PO “Prottashy” at Charandip union of Boalkhali upazila in Chittagong. Mr. Khandakar Nurul Haque, UNO of Boalkhali upazila; Monowara Begum, Executive Director & other high officials of Prottashy were also present in the inaugural session.
At the same day, the MD disbursed a cheque of Tk.5.00 Lac to build a Latrine complex at the premises of “Baitul Lekka Zaam-e-Mosjid & Ebtedayee Madrasha” at Uttar Mekhon union of Hathazari upazila under ENRICH’s community development programme implemented by a PO of PKSF “Ghasful”. Mrs. Ishrat Jahan Panna, UNO of Hathazari upazila; prominent Islamic scholar Allama Sayeed Md. Nurul Munawar; Executive Director of “Ghasful” & other renowned people of the society were also present there.
On the 22nd of August, the Managing Director visited the activities of “Learning & innovation fund to test new ideas (LIFT)” being implemented by “Integrated Development Foundation (IDF)” in Matiranga upazila of Khagrachari. He also laid the foundation stone of a training center for the programme participants. UNO of Matiranga upazila; Executive Director & other high officials of “IDF” were also present in the ceremony.
On the 23rd of August, he delivered a speech as the chief guest in the launching ceremony of ENRICH programme of “MAMATA” at Borkol union of Chandanaish upazila. Mr. Mezbah Uddin, District Commissioner of Chittagong; Mr. Ishrat Reza, UNO of Chandanaish upazila; Alhaj Rafiq Ahmed, Executive Director of “MAMATA” & other renowned people of the locality were also present there.
Later on the same day the Managing Director inaugurated the ENRICH programme of “Integrated Development Foundation (IDF)” in Satkania union of Satkania upazila. Eye camp, health service camp & tree plantation programme were also arranged. The Managing Director launched the tree plantation programme by planting a tree at the entrance of “Korianagar Bohumukhi High School”. Mr. Shariful Islam, UNO of Satkania Upazila; Mr. Syed Mahfuz-un-Nabi Khokon, President of Satkania Press Club; Mr. Ohid Siraj Chowdhury (Shapan), Chairman of “Korianagar Bohumukhi High School” & also the Director of Chittagong Chamber of Commerce & Industries (CCCI); Executive Director of “IDF” & other renowned people of the locality were also present there.
Mr. Fahri Burak, TIKA Expert, Republic of Turkey Prime Ministry has shown his country’s interest to provide financial assistance to PKSF for agricultural development. In this connection, a meeting was held on 25 June 2014 at PKSF Bhaban. The meeting was attended by Turkish representatives; Mr. Selim Reza, Join Secretary and Mr. Nowsher Ahmed Shikder, Assistant Chief of Economic Relations Division (ERD). Mr. Goalm Touhid, Deputy Managing Director (Operations-2); Mr. A.Q.M. Golam Mawla, General Manager (Operation); Dr. Sharif Ahmed Chowdhury, Deputy General Manager (Livestock) and Ms Tanvir Sultana, Manager (Operations) of PKSF were also present in the meeting. The meeting was presided over by Mr. Goalm Touhid. A brief presentation on PKSF’s overall activities and a project Proposal was made in the meeting. The meeting discussed the Project proposal in detail. The meeting was followed by a courtesy visit by the team to Mr. Abdul Karim, Managing Director of PKSF. Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director (Operations-1) was also present in the meeting.
Asia Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA) ‘s 64 EXCOM, 19th General Assembly and its Subsidiary Meetings were held on 18-21 May 2014 at Radission Hotel, Dhaka Bangladesh. Mr. Abdul Karim, Managing Director of PKSF joined the 64th Executive Committee (EXCOM) Meeting on 18 May 2014. Recently PKSF has enlisted as a new member of APRACA. In 19th General Assembly meeting Mr. Golam Touhid, Deputy Managing Director (DMD) of PKSF has received a membership certificate from APRACA on behalf of PKSF. During the period of 20-21 May 2014 Mr. Akond Md. Rafiqul Islam, General Manager (operations)-CC; Mr. Dilip Kumar Chakravorty, Assistant General Manager (Operations) and Ms. Tanvir Sultana, (Operations) actively participate the Regional Policy Forum on Risk Management for Smallholder Farmers and Communities organized by APRACA at Radission Hotel, Dhaka Bangladesh. On 22 May, 2014 a delegation of APPRACA joined in a short meeting with Mr. Touhid, DMD of PKSF at PKSF Bhaban.
U. S. Treasury honors innovative agricultural financing Microfinance for Marginal and Small Farmers Project (MFMSFP) of PKSF in Bangladesh
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), an apex development organization, was established by the Government of Bangladesh (GoB) in May 1990, for sustainable poverty reduction through employment generation. PKSF in line with its mandate has always endeavored to satisfy the credit need of the poor people of the country. In this context, considering the unmet demand for the farmers’ community, who were not served by banks nor NGO/MFIs, PKSF, with the financial support of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) implemented a 5 years (2005-2011) project named “Microfinance for Marginal and Small Farmers Project (MFMSFP). The project was implemented through 35 Partner Organizations of PKSF in 113 Upazilas spread over 14 districts of the north-west and north-central Bangladesh.
The project intended to improve livelihoods of poverty-stricken cash-starved marginal and small farmers by increasing and diversifying on and off farm production mainly by providing them access to microfinance services, building their capacity on adopting/adapting improved farm technologies and practices and linking them with markets and sources of technical services. Over the project’s lifetime, the Microfinance for Marginal and Small Farmers Project (MFMSFP) assisted more than 200,000 producers to become active microfinance clients. The majority of them are women who were previously excluded from microfinance coverage in Bangladesh. Today, innovative financing and agricultural technologies tested by the project have been made available to more than 800,000 marginal and small farmers across the country.
In recognition of work to give 200,000 marginal and small farmers in Bangladesh for excellence in supporting expanded access to vital financial services the United States Department of the Treasury selected the “Microfinance for Marginal and Small Farmers Project (MFMSFP)” as winner of “Development Impact Honors Award- 2014”. This award recognizes exceptional development projects supported by the Multilateral Development Banks.
MFMSFP was one of only the six projects that were chosen for an award out of a large number of applications that were submitted from all over the world. Projects were judged competitively based upon their focus on priority sectors, innovation in overcoming previous difficulties, quality of preparation, focus on beneficiaries, quality of results, effectiveness of risk mitigation and generation of lessons learned.
“We could not have done this without effective partnerships on the ground and especially without the farmers themselves, who were willing to try something new in order to improve their lives and those of others in their community”, said Golam Touhid, Project Coordinator of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF).
Nigel Brett, IFAD Country Programme Manager, accepted the award on behalf of Fund’s President Kanayo F Nwanze. It was presented by Jacob J. Lew, Secretary of the U.S. Treasury during a ceremony in Washington D.C. In accepting the award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on 23 July, IFAD highlighted the key role of PKSF in ensuring success. It was the commitment, the expertise, and the dedication of the PKSF and its staff that made the project a success and that led to lasting change for thousands of rural women and men.
Hoonae Kim, Director, Asia and the Pacific congratulated Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) through a letter on the success of the MFMSFP project funded by IFAD.
Managing Director calls on the Hon’ble President of
The People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
Managing Director of PKSF and President of Bangladesh Scouts Mr. Md. Abdul Karim led a team of Bangladesh Scouts to Bangabhaban on 2nd July, 2014 and met the Honorable President of Bangladesh His Excellency Mr. Md. Abdul Hamid. The team included the Vice President of Bangladesh Scouts Dr. Sadique (Secretary, Ministry of Education), Habibul Alam Bir Protik, Chief National Commissioner Abul Kalam Azad (Senior Secretary in Prime Minister’s Office) and International Commissioner Dr. Mozammel Haque Khan (Senior Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs).
The delegation briefed The Hon’ble President about various activities of Bangladesh Scouts and invited him to open the next Scout Council on 14th July, 2014. He accepted the invitation and wished the scouts movement all success.
A workshop was organized on July 13, 2014 to mark the implementation of ENRICH in further 85 Unions at PKSF Bhavan. Presided over by Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF, the opening session of the workshop was attended by Md. Fazlul Kader, DMD (Opeations), Dr. Jashim Uddin, DMD (Admn. & Finance), Mr. Golam Touhid, DMD (Operations), other senior officials of PKSF and 84 representatives of the Partner Organizations.
Dr. Jashim Uddin, DMD offered the welcome and closing speeches. In his opening words, he stressed on the futuristic vision of the ENRICH programme and traced the movement ahead of this venture from the initial 21 Unions to its increasing coverage in the recent times. He also moderated the open forum session in which the participants made interventions to reflect on various aspects of the implementation of ENRICH.
Prior to that a working paper on “Implementation and Reimbursement Procedure of Healthcare, Nutrition and Education Programme under ENRICH in extended 85 Unions” was presented by Mr. Mashiar Rahman, General Manager, PKSF. The presentation dealt with some important technical and practical issues related to successful implementation of ENRICH in the new 85 Unions.
Md. Abdul Karim, MD, PKSF underlined the unique character of ENRICH as a distinct model contributing to sustainable development aimed at bringing in positive changes in the lives of the poor. He, however, referred to the chronic resource constraints and emphasized on the optimum utilization of limited resources. He also hailed the pro-active role being played by the PKSF Partner Organizations.
In the open floor session, various context-specific problems in the implementation of ENRICH were raised and the participants had the opportunity to share diverse experiences. However, the leading mood of the workshop has been the pronouncement of the commitment to work hard to make ENRICH a nation-wide reality.
A high profile delegation of the Department for International Development (DFID) visited the Programmed Initiatives for Monga Eradication (PRIME) activities during 25-26 May 2014. The delegation included Country Representative of DFID in Bangladesh Ms. Sarah Cooke, Chief Economist of DFID Mr. Stefan Dercon, Extreme Poverty Team leader Mr. Graham Gass, Team Leader of Private Sector Ms. Shahnila Azher, Senior Economic Adviser Mr. Stuart Davies, CLP Team Leader Mr. Matthew Pritchard. The team visited in a hard to reach ‘Manush Mara Char’ branch of RDRS in Chillmari Upazila of Kurigram district. The team was accompanied by the Deputy Managing Directors of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader and Mr. Golam Touhid and General Manager Mr. A Q M Golam Mawla along with higher officials of RDRS Bangladesh.
It may be mentioned that Since 2006 PRIME has been involved with the poverty alleviation of about 535,000 extremely poor households in 50 Upazilas of North-western and South-western region of Bangladesh.
The delegation visited group activity of PRIME ultra poor households under Manush Mara Char branch of RDRS. They witnessed the Income Generating Activities (IGA) of PRIME members that includes perch system goat rearing, model homestead vegetable cultivations, vermi-compost, beef fattening, tailoring etc. They also observed on-going satellite clinic activity under the Primary Health Care Services of PRIME. Deputy Managing Directors of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader and Mr. Golam Touhid and General Manager Mr. A Q M Golam Mawla elaborated the ongoing activities under PRIME and how it is reducing the vulnerability of the extreme poor in the environmentally and geographically challenged locations. The delegation also investigated household-level asset accumulation and collected evidences of economic progress of ultra poor households under PRIME programme.
A follow-up discussion between the DFID delegation and PKSF was held about PRIME on 26 May 2014 in the RDRS Guest House. Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader shortly briefed about the PKSF and its integrated development programme for sustainable poverty alleviation. He enlightened on programmes support fund, special fund and disaster management fund which are disburse on flexible condition at the beneficiary end by partner organization (PO). He also pointed out that PKSF is now dealing with better access to education, health and other assistance to enhance household’s standard of life. This was followed by a presentation on PRIME by Dr. Sharif Ahmed Chowdhury, DGM (Livestock) & PC, PRIME. It covered progress of PRIME programme implementation and its impact on PRIME beneficiaries. Mr. Golam Touhid, Deputy Managing Director, PKSF; Mr. A Q M Golam Mawla, General Manager, PKSF and Professor M. A. Baqui Khalily, Executive Director, Institute of Microfinance (InM) and representatives of DFID also participated in the discussion.
Managing Director (MD) Md. Abdul Karim of PKSF, went to Wagga Union, Rangamati for a 2-day visit, from the 15th to 17th of January, 2014. There the ENRICH Programme is implemented by Integrated Development Foundation (IDF), a Partner Organization of PKSF. The MD visited various activities and microenterprises under ENRICH. He was accompanied by PKSF’s General Manager (CC) Akond Md. Rafiqul Islam.
On this visit, the MD gave advice to the people of the Partner Organization on how to improve the activities they have undertaken, possible solutions to problems they may be facing and further suggestions as to what direction to look in next. He emphasized the importance of access to health care, ensuring education, expansion of agricultural activities such as the cultivation of environment friendly Joom, establishment of sanitary latrines, ensuring continuous water supply, organizing skill development trainings, continually generating employment opportunities, supplying vegetable seeds for cultivating vegetables in the home yard, establishing adequate bridges and culverts, etc.
In Bot-toly Village, the MD inspected bashok plantations. Here he met bashok cultivator Mr. Sanjeeb Tanchonga. He has sold about 240 kg bashok to Square Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Mr. Tanchonga expressed concern over fair pricing of bashok plant to which the MD assured him that the ENRICH Unit would ensure that he received the best possible prices.
The MD also visited Dolniapara to inspect the installed sanitary latrines throughout the village. Having seen that there were still many latrines yet to be installed, the MD called for prompt action to ensure the latrines should be completed by the end of January 2014.
Two microenterprise projects were also inspected; one is Baby Chakma’s dairy farm, and the other is Shukhanu Chakma’s mushroom plantation. Both individuals are entrepreneurs of rural micro credit and have excelled in their undertakings. The MD asks the ENRICH Unit and IDF to provide all technical and financial assistance possible to further their development.
In addition, the MD met 12 female members of IDF who are engaged in small housing businesses, dress making businesses, poultry farming, small transportation businesses, shops, rice businesses, cosmetics businesses, etc.
As his visit neared an end, the MD was taken to Boroisori to inspect the water supply project under ENRICH. Through this project the daily need of water of this union is met. In addition, a tank has been built in the peak of a hill, in which water from the Karnafuli River is stored. This tank supplies water to 125 families, local shops & offices, which has solved the water crisis for these people. The MD was pleased with the success of the project.
On the occasion of the inaugural ceremony of PKSF’s Silver Jubillee on 11th May, 2014, at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center, ENRICH held a conference for the hundreds of health volunteers and teachers of its health and education programmes.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF, chaired the event and Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF delivered the opening and closing words. Hosting the event was Dr. Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director (Administration and Finance), PKSF. Also present were PKSF’s Mr. Md. Fazlul Kader, Deputy Managing Director (Operations-1), Mr. Golam Touhid, Deputy Managing Director (Operations-2), members of PKSF’s staff and over 2000 ENRICH programme volunteers.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, founder of the ENRICH Programme, welcomed the health volunteers and teachers. He said that the goal of ENRICH was to ensure and protect the human dignity of every individual from birth. This is not simply a matter of financial means, but more importantly a matter of every individual’s rights. He believes that the nation should become a community working together towards its sustainable development, where all men stand shoulder to shoulder. Together, Dr. Ahmad believes, Bangladesh will alleviate illiteracy, illness and disease, malnutrition and all other aspects of poverty.
The conference called on the health volunteers and teachers to discuss their experiences in the field, the effects of the programme on the target people, existing problems faced by the volunteers and possible solutions, and the future development of the ENRICH programme to better serve the poor in a sustainable manner. The conference provided a platform upon which these service providers could be acknowledged and allowed them to share their thoughts.
Sunday, May 11th: On the occasion of the beginning of PKSF’s 25th year, PKSF celebrated Silver Jubilee at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre. The day-long event consisted of two parts: the inaugural ceremony of PKSF’s 25th year in the morning, and the ENRICH Conference in the afternoon. Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF presided over the day-long event. Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF was also present.
At the inaugural ceremony, Mr. Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, MP, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Finance, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh was present as the Chief Guest and Advocate Mostafizur Rahman, MP, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh was the Special Guest. Members of PKSF’s Governing Body and General Body, PKSF’s Deputy Managing Directors, all PKSF officials and staff, and PKSF’s Pos with their staff came along to celebrate this joyful occasion.
The ENRICH Conference in the latter part of the day showcased the success of PKSF’s flagship programme, ENRICH. The conference was attended by teachers and health volunteers of the ENRICH programme. They expressed their gratitude to PKSF for providing a platform for them to share their views. They also expressed their thoughts for the future development of ENRICH and shared encouraging words to continue ENRICH and PKSF’s endeavours.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation and the popular TV Channel ATN Bangla in this connection on May 5, 2014. The signing ceremony took place in the office of ATN Bangla. The brief signing ceremony sparkled with some extra-ordinary glare with the presence of the Chairmen of both the renowned institutions. Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF exchanged the document with Dr Mahfuzur Rahman, Chairman, ATN Bangla. This TV Channel, widely popular both at home and abroad will help promote the media exposure of the innovative and inclusive activities of PKSF and thus would highlight PKSF’s increasingly positive role in the comprehensive development activities of the country. Initially signed for one year though, both the organizations hope just not to renew the agreement but also to renew and reinvigorate their mutual role from their individual perspectives to change the lot of the toiling masses.
It may be further mentioned that PKSF has been pronouncing its presence in the satellite through a weekly programme, being telecast on another popular TV Channel, Banglavision, for the last three years. That programme, known as Unnayane PKSF, has already drawn attention of people of diverse sections. While the present show was designed in the form of conversation to disseminate information, the forthcoming one in ATN Bangla will be structured on documentary presentation and discussion.
Dr Jashim Uddin, Deputy Managing Director (Admn. & Finance), PKSF signed the MoU on behalf of the Foundation, while the signatory for ATN Bangla was Dr Mahfuzur Rahman, Chairman, ATN Bangla.
The ultra-poor have faced self, social and institutional exclusion in Bangladesh due to lack of confidence and lack of access to the right resources. In 2002, PKSF designed a microcredit programme custom-fit to the needs of the ultra-poor, featuring low interest rates and flexible repayment methods. The programme reaches the many ultra-poor living in coastal regions, haor, char, draught and flood prone, and economically backward areas.
May 3, 2014, PKSF Bhaban: PKSF and the Agriculture Labourers’ Rights Forum hosted a seminar on the Ultra-Poor: Their Current Situation and the Path Forward, discussing the situation of the ultra-poor in today’s economy, the need to restore them to functioning and contributing members of society, and the necessary steps required to bring them out of the low productivity trap and ensure sustainable livelihoods for them. PKSF’s Chairman further urged other development organizations, both public and private, to get involved in this endeavor, and reassured the ultra-poor guests present to not lose hope. Commerce Minister Mr. Tofail Ahmed, MP attended the occasion as the Chief Guest. Also present were the Information Minister, Mr. Hasanul Haq Inu, MP and Social Welfare Minister, Mr. Syed Mohsin Ali, MP.
The ultra-poor have faced self, social and institutional exclusion in Bangladesh due to lack of confidence and lack of access to the right resources. In 2002, PKSF designed a microcredit programme custom-fit to the needs of the ultra-poor, featuring low interest rates and flexible repayment methods. The programme reaches the many ultra-poor living in coastal regions, haor, char, draught and flood prone, and economically backward areas.
On March 09 2014, H.E. Mr. Iyad Ameen Madani, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), visited PKSF. H.E. Amb. Tarek Bakheit, Director in the Political Affairs, Mr. Salahuddin Mahmud, Professional Officer in Political Affairs, Mr. Mohammed Elnaghi, Deputy Chief of Protocol, Mr. Ali Hima, Protocol Officer, along with Mr. Md. Shahidul Islam, Bangladesh Permanent Representative to OIC, Mr. Tarik Ahsan, Director General (International Organizations), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. A.B.M. Sarwer-e-Alom Sarker, Host Officer to OIC SG and Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs were also present with Mr. Madani.
Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF, Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director, PKSF and other senior officials of PKSF hosted the meeting in which a presentation on PKSF was made.It was followed by extensive conversation between the two sides on the topic. H.E. Mr. Madani showed special interest in PKSF’s poverty alleviation / income generating activities, monitoring systems and rates of service charge. Mr. Madani was also thoroughly impressed by the ENRICH Programme and expressed interest in possible replication of such a model including possible support to PKSF’s Micro-enterprise programme.
After a thought provoking discussion, Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad presented H.E. Mr. Madani with a PKSF Crest and commended him for his wonderful work in public service.
The 187th Board Meeting of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) was held at the PKSF Bhaban on 10 February, 2014. The meeting was presided over by the Chairman of PKSF Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad. Among the members of the Governing Body- Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Managing Director PKSF; Dr. A. K. M. Nur-Un-Nabi, Mr. Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled, Dr. M.A. Quassem, Barrister Nihad Kabir attended the meeting. The meeting reviewed the progress of regular activities of PKSF. It also discussed various events to be organized by PKSF as part of its celebration of the silver jubilee of the establishment of PKSF.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurates PKSF’s Development Fair 2013 on the occasion of 23rd Anniversary of PKSF
H. E. Sheikh Hasina, Hon’ble Prime Minister, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, inaugurated PKSF’s Development Fair 2013, held in the Grand Ball Room, Hotel Pan Pacific Sonargaon, Dhaka on 13 February 2013 at 10:30 am. She declared it open on the occasion of 23rd anniversary of Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina graced the inaugural ceremony as the Chief Guest. Air Vice Marshal (Rtd.) A K Khandker, MP, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Planning and Dr. Hasan Mahmud, MP, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Environment and Forests attended the occasion as Special Guests. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chaiman, PKSF presided over the function.
The Prime Minister said, “Our aim is to eradicate poverty and not to nurture it. We do not want people to lead a disastrous life due to the cumulative burden of loan”. She mentioned that microfinance transactionshave increased by 70 percent in the last four years. The total outstanding microcredit stood at Tk 18,000 crore when her government took office in 2009, and now, the figure is Tk 30,000 crore. PKSF has disbursed $2.08 billion ($14366.69 crore taka) to partner organizations, since its inception in 1990. Sheikh Hasina noted that some 90 lakh families directly receive PKSF’s services through some 6,000 branches of its associate organizations across the country. She also pointed out that the microcredit system originated from the traditional banks’ reluctance to lend to the poor. However, now these banks feel initiated and the expansion of these banks’ financing for the small borrowers is quite visible in her Government’s period. And microloans by banks rose by an astonishing 117 percent to Tk 3,200 crore, compared to the state in 2008, she added. Microfinace has made a strong headway under the present government. Initiatives have been taken to further strengthen the PKSF as it has consistently been playing a special role in alleviating poverty and empowering people, Sheikh Hasina said.
The Prime Minister handed over scholarships to 3 (three) meritorious students of Ultra Poor PKSF beneficiaries—Mr. Liton Hossain (Savar, Dhaka), Mst. Shamima Akter Shimu (Mithapukur, Rangpur) and Mst. Aklima Khatun (Kaliganj, Shatkhira) from three categories of SSC, HSC and Post Graduate/ Graduate levels respectively. She also offered the recognition of merit to Srimati Dinobala (ESDO: Best creative entrepreneur), Lalmonirhaat; Ms. Shefali Begum (SDS: Best Farmer), Shariatpur and Ms. Zinat Sultana Smrity (JCF: Best small entrepreneur), Kushtia.
PKSF’s Managing Director Dr. Quazi Mesbahuddin Ahmed narrated PKSF’s journey since 1990 and it’s horizontal and vertical coverage across the country. Air Vice Marshal (Rtd.) A K Khandker, Minister, Ministry of Planning and Dr. Hasan Mahmud, Minister, Ministry of Environment and Forests applauded PKSF’s different initiatives and achievements. Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, Chairman, PKSF elaborated on the Foundation’s pro-active role in combating poverty, income erosion of the poor as well as contributing to the factors that offer them human dignity.