A good number of women in char (landmass emerging from riverbed) areas of Teesta and Dharla rivers are now engaged in cattle rearing to bring solvency to their families.
Aklima Begum, 44, wife of Nehar Uddin of Char Kalmati on the Teesta river in Sadar upazila, said she gets up early in the morning and goes out with four cows and three goats for grazing them in the char area after preparing food for her six-member family and returns home at dusk every day.
“My two minor daughters also accompany me for rearing cattle in the char. It is our regular routine,” said another woman Nurjahan Begum, 47, of the same char.
“I also collect grass for a milk cow in the house,” she said, adding that rearing cattle in the char requires a lot of work.
“We have to walk eight to ten km in char areas for rearing our cattle every day,” Nurjahan said, adding that she gets two litres of milk from the cow daily.
Farmer Haider Ali, 48, of Teesta river char Dawabari in Hatibandha upazila, said, “I go to the crop field where I work daylong, while my wife Sanjida Begum keeps busy rearing cattle in the char area.”
“We get Tk 1.20 lakh to Tk 1.50 lakh from selling around 10 cattle every year and this is our major income which helps us mitigate poverty,” he said.
Another farmer Nazrul Islam, 55, of the same char area, said they also earn by selling cow milk.
Teesta river basin Rajpur Union Parishad Chairman in Lalmonirhat Sadar Mofazzal Hossain Mofa said char women are struggling to bring solvency to their families by rearing cattle. They are engaged in rearing cattle in the char area from dawn to dusk.
With the additional income, they are now sending their children to the local schools, said the chairman.
District Livestock Officer Saidur Rahman said over 30 families in char areas have four to ten cattle each and char women are now earning better from rearing cattle.
“Our veterinarians often visit char areas and give the women necessary advice onrearing cattle,” he said.