The policy of eradication of poverty has much wider and deeper content than the policy for provision of employment. Such a policy should guarantee that a person be able to control his own fate. Programmes narrowly focusing on employment generation issue miss this point. Women constitute the neglected, often heavily abused, half of the society. Sometimes, for the sake of nicety of discussion, mentions are made about their physical existence, but very little in terms of concrete actions emerges from these discussions. This book presents the life stories of Jorimon, Aysha, Sakhina and a few other poor women of Bangladesh who came in contact with a credit project called Grameen Bank Project. Researchers from the project wanted to record the details of their lives as they narrated to them. Each story reads like fine work of fiction; too absurd a life to be real. But it is painstakingly real. Real not only for a few persons in this book, but for millions of Jorimons in Bangladesh. Can one break away from this life? Can a large number of them break away from this fife? Grameen was searching for an answer. Life stories of Jorimon and others in this book is a part of that answer. This book will help anyone who is interested in understanding poverty anywhere in the world, and will let them know that poverty tastes the same anywhere under the sun.
Atiur Rahman is the Executive Chairman of Shamunnay and a Senior Research Fellow at the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS). He was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of London. He has authored Beel Dakatia: Environmental Consequences of a Development Disaster (UPL) and Peasants and Classes: A Study in Differentiation in Bangladesh (Zed Books).