Country Reoport

BANGLADESH
Project Dignity
A Project Dignity member of IDF, Bangladesh
Project Dignity is a replication of Grameen Bank's Struggling Members' Program that is designed exclusively for beggars. It intends to get beggars off the streets by creating new opportunities for them through interest and collateral free flexible micro loans. Ten partner NGOs of the country - CWFD, DSK, IDF, MAMATA, MSS, PADAKHEP, Hitaishi, BAWSE, SAP-BD & OPCA - in collaboration with Grameen Trust, are implementing this project.

Started in 2006, Project Dignity has now come a long way. In 2006 alone, there has been significant progress in terms of member outreach and success of partner NGOs. Till December 2007, a total of 1,654 members have joined the program. For the period April 2006 - December 2007, TK. 2,121,000 was lent out. During the same period TK. 893,539 was repaid while savings amounted to TK. 193,623.

So far 46 project Dignity members have left begging and nine members joined mainstrem project as regular members. Although their number is small, but this definitely illustrates the fact that the project has started fullfilling its ultimate objectives - helping the beggars to leave their undesirable profession and get rehabilitated in the society honorably.

Next year, Project Dignity aims at reaching out to a larger number of beggars from all over the country and it is hoped that more members will stop begging altogether.