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Krishnopur Development Project

Krishnopur is a remote village in the Sripur Union of Tahir Upazila in Sunamgonj District. A little more than one and a half thousand people, of whom 62% are aged 15 years and above, in 472 households reside in the village. The households are spread over the village, about 1.9 k in length and 0.9 km in breadth. Communication system within the village is rudimentary, so is the system connecting the village to outside. A narrow road, made of and fortified by soil, connects this village with the nearest market place, while internal the internal communication is base on uncovered walkways. The situation gets slightly better in monsoon as everything around the village is submerged and people can negotiate ravel with boats.

The village is characterized low level of education and economic activity. The village does not have any electricity. It does not have a school. The nearest health facility is about 15 km fro the village, it is difficult to get there when one gets there most of the time the facility is closed. A recent survey indicated that more than 75% of the school age children in the village do not go to a school chiefly because the nearest school is about 1.5 km from the village and it takes commuting by foot and boat to get there. The survey also indicated that more than 80% of adults (aged 15 years and above) are illiterate- the differential between male and female literacy being about 15 % in favor of the men. The main occupation in the village is agriculture, producing single crop in a year. The agricultural land remains uncultivated for about eight months of the year, four due to inundation and four as there is no irrigation facility in the village. Some villagers catch fish round the year, but as in every other place they can barely catch enough to meet their subsistence need. Some representatives from the village are planning to meet the Upazila Parishad and make them to agree to set up a school there in one year from the Governments development fund. Setting up of the school will require arranging for land, construction of school building, trained teacher, and formation of management committee for day to day running of the school. The villagers will need to have a few meeting with the Upazila Parishad (like they will with the Union Parishad below). However, the villagers feel that it is necessary for a critical mass (let us assume the threshold to be 70%) of the adults to become literate to get themselves integrated into the mainstream of development process. They have contacts with FIVDB and finds out that it requires learning materials valued at about TK. A for a literacy course for 20 persons. The eight month course requires a trained (cost Tk. B) facilitator who FIVDB can train and the facilitator receives an honorarium of Tk. C per month. A trained supervisor (Training cost Tk. D and monthly salary of Tk. E) can supervise six literacy course at a time. The villagers think that being literate will help them create a literate environment where they are better able to access life changing information and also be able to support their childrens basic education. The villagers are planning to set up an irrigation system involving a power pump and a drainage system. The procurement of power pump will cost Tk. F and its operation would require a trained handler at a cost of Tk. G per month for three months. The handler will require will require training and operation and maintenance which would cost Tk. H per person. The villagers estimate that the pump and irrigation canal, about 1 km long, would help bring approximately 60% of the villages 120 acres of cultivable land under irrigation and will result in a proportionate increase in the aggregated agricultural output. The villagers who plan to develop the road connecting to the village to the market, which will increase their mobility and allow them to set up business in the market, sell their goods in the market and their children will be able to go to the nearest high school. For this they will advocate with the Union Parishad presenting their problem, their proposed solution and the benefits it will accrue. If the persuasion is strong enough the Union Parishad is likely to finance the construction from its development fund. The villagers would need to form a committee, prepare their case and hold a number of meetings with the Parishad to get project approved.