Women's training centres become dilapidated
The rural women's training centres in the district have been lying abandoned in a dilapidated condition since 1988.
Some of their lands are being grabbed by the locals as the authorities concerned are indifferent to the matter.
District Social Service Officer Md Mominur Rahman said 25 centres were built between 1981 and 1984 in four upazilas in the district. Of them, 15 are in Kotchandpur, four in Moheshpur, three in Shailakupa and three in Harinakundo. No centres were built in Sadar and Kaliganj upazilas at that time.
Built by the Department of Social Services for the development of village women, training on handicrafts and sewing was given by instructors of the department.
Officials of the department said the training programme was run under a project by Palli Matri Proshikkhon Kendra for four years.
After the end of the project in 1988, the training centres were unused and became dilapidated gradually. Some have been occupied by land grabbers.
While visiting a centre at Fulbari village under Kotchandpur upazila, this correspondent found that the centre was built on 16.05 decimals of land and a portion has been occupied by the locals.
Widow Mamtaj Khatun is living in one corner of the land while Alauddin is living on the opposite side on the same plot. Mamtaj said she has no land of her own, so she lives there.
The local ruling party men opened a party office at Harindia village centre. Ward Awami League President Rafiqul Islam said the centre was abandoned, so they are using it as their party office.
In another centre at Jalalpur village, 12.05 decimals of land out of 16.05 decimals have been grabbed. Brick houses have also been built there.
Jahura Khatun, who took training on sewing from Harindia village centre, said she was given loan from the department.
Salma Khatun of Fulbari village said her husband was unable to maintain his family. After taking training she took loan and brought solvency to her family.
Social services officer Mominur said the women who got training from the centres can become self-reliant through using their skills.
He said will look into the allegation that some people are using the centres and occupying the lands. He said they would take necessary action against the land grabbers and illegal users of the centres.