Field Story Details

My trade as a hawker is now quite accepted in the village
November 30, -0001
Parveena slides the bad off her shoulder in the courtyard, while eager men and women gather around her. She fishes out saris and trousers, T-shirt and blouses. Villagers check on the price. Two of them buy a sari and a T-shirt.
She slings the bag over her shoulder again and sets out for the next neighborhood. A typical evening for the hawker woman.

Married off when only in class seven, Parveena was expected to lead a housewife’s life.

“But my in-law tortured me everyday for dowry,” she says. “One day, my husband kicked me out. I was carrying my second child. My in-laws did not let me take my two-year-old son along.”

Her days of hardship began, and she worked as a maid from her mother’s home. Sometimes she stitched kantha. In the meantime, she gave birth to her second child.

“I was desperate for money,” she says. “Then I came to know about the RMP and applied for a job. When I got it, I was relieved.” While working on road maintenance, she received training in business management.

With her savings from the RMP pay, Parveen bought 3 kantha of land for Tk 15,000 and leased 1.5 bighas.

This year she earned Tk 34,000 from the paddy she grew. Parveena also took the job of a cook at a local NGO for Tk 900 a month. She bought three cow and five goats too. She turned her mother’s tin-shed into a brick structure.

With her savings and entrepreneurship Parveena thought of a new venture. She bought some bangles, hairclips, and hair bands and started selling them to the villagers. She became a hawker woman, ignoring the initial disapproval of some villagers.

Today, she goes to the town alone to but the goods and sells them in the afternoons after her RMP work. She rakes up a sale of Tk 2,500 a week and makes a profit of Tk 300.

Parveena now sends both her sons to school. She never returned to her husband, and she bears the children’s education cost. “My trade as a hawker is now quite accepted in the village,” Parveena says proudly. “They don’t have to go to town, I bring the town to them!”

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