Field Story Details

Fortune in bottles
November 30, -0001
otherwise gloomy, mud hut. Seven people – six males and a female – sit there melting glass bars in the heat of the lamp fire. Within the magic of their deft hand, the bars turn into delicate small bottles for homeopathic medicines.

Parina, the only female, around, is thoroughly engrossed in her work: she has to make 14,400 bottles before the week turns, from where she can pocket in a profit of Tk 1,000.

“I can’t slacken my work place”, Parina says without looking up. “Because I don’t want to go back 10 years – back to the dark days of being a widow.”

After the death of her husband, Parina and her four children were left penniless. She had no way of survival other than work as domestic help for one meal a day.

“Then one day I tried to get enrolled in the RMP work and luck favored me.” “I can’t forget the day I got the job”, she recalls.

“With my first wage, I bough a chicken and had a feast with my children after a long time. I put aside from whatever small amount I earned and soon had enough to buy a cow”.

When the RMP work term ended her son advised her to set up a homeopathic bottle-making factory. The son learnt the skill from a neighboring village factory. “I thought: Why not. It could be a good venture,” relates Parina. “So I spent my savings on this factory”.

In the beginning, she went to the market with her products, but her son has now taken the burden off her shoulder.

As her business flourished, Parina appointed six workers on weekly basis. She bought 15 katha of land, more cows and goats, and built her own house. Inside her home, a television, a showcase, beds and chairs vouch for her prosperity.

“I am now a well-respected person in the village. My masters, those who engaged me as a maid, now call me to village arbitrations.”

The RMP has changed the course of Prina’s world, but she wants to push even further on her own.

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