Madina Akhtar

Madina Akhtar used to be an ordinary housewife living in a small village in Netrakona District, now she is a well established Duck Rearer and an Elected Union Parishad member. How was it possible?
Obviously, behind these achievements her dedication, hard work and boldness in taking decisions were the major factors. But to get the right result of her hard work and dedication, Madina needed supports. She received supports both from her family and from outside.
Her husband supported her all the way and another major contributor to her success was the SLIPP (Sustainable Livelihood of Poor Producers) Project of Traidcraft Exchange, a British charity organisation.
From the project, Madina received trainings and learned about vaccination. She started with only 20 ducks with a monthly income of only Tk. 600. Now she earns over Tk. 13,000 per month.
Madina Akhtar improved her life style. Now she lives in a tin-shed house, instead of a straw and bamboo house. All her children are studying. Her husband works in her farm and she also hires two seasonal labourers.
However, her path to success was not covered with roses; she had to go through the ups and downs of life. In 2010, she suffered huge losses as her ducks were struck by a severe and rare disease caused by tremendous heat and when she gave vaccine due to poor quality it did not work.
Madina absorbed the shock through the income she generated from other agricultural activities, which she started in 2009 by using profit from duck rearing. Madina also used her group savings at that time, the group savings were formed under the SLIPP project.
Her success in business inspired her to become the Executive Committee Member of Netrokona District Duck Rearers Association. Now her group members and neighbouring producers follow her cultivation practice and seek her advice for both production and social problem solving.
In 2010, she participated in the Union Parishad election and became an Elected Union Parishad member, winning more than 50% of the total vote casted in that Union Council election. Her nearest competitor scored 400 less votes. Now Madina is a community leader and a local government representative.