A 28-year-old woman carrying newspapers on her bicycle and going from door to door to deliver those in different areas is a common sight in Rajbari town every day.
Jumu Rani Das is wife of late Jibon Kumar Das of Binodpur Railway Colony area under Sadar upazila of Rajbari. Their son Aranay Kumar Das, 14, is a Class IX student at RSK School.
Jumu, daughter of Noni Gopal Dey of Ashapur village under Madhukhali upazila of Faridpur, married Jibon Kumar Das in 2002. He was a hawker cum agent of seven newspapers. He died in June last year.
She is running her husband's business as he had told her before his death that she and their son will not starve if she ran the business.
“I took over the business in January 2017 as my husband was suffering from kidney disease,” she said.
“My father-in-law started this business and my husband continued it. My son also ran the business while I and my husband were in Dhaka for three months for my husband's treatment,” added Jumu.
“My husband told me to run the business as our son was too young to run it and we had no savings to maintain our family and treatment of my husband. So I came back from Dhaka after three months and started selling newspapers with my son,” she added.
“At first, I was not accepted easily, but I did not lose my belief as my husband told me to run the business. From January, 2017 to September, 2018, I sold newspapers by walking in different areas of this town,” Jumu said. “Now I sell newspapers riding a bicycle. My son taught me how to ride it. I sell 100 newspapers daily,” she said.
“I get up from bed at 4:30am and cook food for my son as he goes to school. Then I call the driver who carries newspapers in a car. At 5:30am I collect the newspapers from the car. Now I have good relations with my customers, who also help me run my business, she” said.
“My monthly income is Tk 10,000 as a hawker cum agent of newspapers. My only dream is to make my son highly educated,” said Jumu.
“She has established a unique example in our society,” said Uttom Kumar Datta, 42, a trader in Fulbazar area of the town.
“I think she has been doing a very good job for our society, and it will inspire other women to go ahead,” said Alauddin Sheikh, 48, owner of Nasrin Garments in the town.