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Rupon Datta Chakma (26), Khagrachari

Most of the villagers are farmers in my village. I am one of them. This is my birthplace and I have been struggling to change my life since I started my life as a farmer. I read up to class eight and because of poverty, I had to join my father in order to feed my family by farming. I got married three years ago. I always wanted to do better for my family but life was always the same as the lives of my father and grandfather. I was doing the same and nothing was helping me to change our life. When I started receiving the training, I never thought this training would help me to change everything I knew. I have learned how to do a vegetable garden. I was taught to produce rice with proper care. I started vaccinating my livestock animals. I have received training about every aspect a farmer needs to know to continue his work and have prosperity. Once I was not able to cultivate a significant amount of rice for my family. Now I am producing the double of everything. I have a three-month old daughter. During my wife’s delivery, I was able to spend money for her caesarian operation. If I would not have the money, I could have lost my wife. Also in the past, I had to take out loans from different reasons. However, when I started earning double there is no reason to take loans any more. Now every month my earning is 25000 taka, whereas in the past it was hardly 8000 taka. Now I am able to save and live a healthy life with my family. I am using this money to change my house. Now I have solar energy. I grew up in darkness but I never wanted my daughter to face the same. It keeps me feeling very happy that I am creating a better future for my daughter, which my parents could not give to me. I work very hard in different aspects of work. It needs commitment and dedication to continue doing the work after receiving the training. My dream is to renovate my house, which I will do soon. I want to send my daughter to school and educate her as long as I can. Our main crisis is about water. We have no water. In winter, there is no water so we cannot continue to grow vegetables. That is a very hard time for us. All farmers of this community have to literally starve because of the scarcity of the water. I do not know how I can contribute to reducing the scarcity of water. But this is an unending queue. I also want people to know each, other. When I started working, I knew that I would have to continue to work and still face difficulty. Because of water crisis there will be difficulty in the very work we do. I also dream to have some capital for starting new work. So many deprived people who are still in the village can hardly eat. I sternly tell people their life will also change if the training continues to take place. My wife is also supporting me with the work I am doing. For us these are life-changing experiences. When villagers come to my house, they see how hard we are working. Everyone appreciates hard work and my dream is to have my own garden one day.