Social safety net in Bangladesh: an empirical study on EGPP (Employment Generation Programme for the Poorest Poor) in santoshpur union of Nagashwari upazila under Kurigram district
AuthorHossain, Khandokar Zakir
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Unemployment problem is a major crisis for a developing country like Bangladesh. Rapid increasing population of our country and the limited source of job availability have made it more difficult to sustain in a better way. The EGPP is an ongoing program of Bangladesh that provides short‐term employment to manual workers during lean season over two cycles 80 days work is done. First cycle starts from the month of October to December and second cycle starts from the month of March to April. Among the beneficiaries workers 30% is secured for the women. The beneficiaries are needed to work 7 hours in a day and get Tk. 200( Two hundred ) each and they are bound to save Tk. 25 in their respective account which is not withdraw able till 1st July of each year. One Sarder is engaged to look after each project who gets extra Tk.50 per day. The Seasonal poverty is rampant in Monga prone and Char areas in Bangladesh. In these regions poor people remain unemployed and lead a precarious life during the months from October to December and from March to May, when there is very little or no farm activities. The objectives of the EGPP are to 1. To provide short‐term employment to the hardcore poor in times seasonal vulnerability and 2. To develop rural infrastructure by constructing various projects under EGPP. This research work aim to accomplish an empirical study on EGPP programme in Santoshpur Union of Nageshwari Upazila under Kurigram district. The objective of this study is to find out whether the EGPP programme is benefitting the livelihood of the poor people. Many poor people of our country specially the people of Monga prone areas of North Bengal become unemployed or jobless during the months from October to December and from March to May, when there is very little or no farm activities. The aim of this programme is to ensure wages to manage livelihood for the poor people in the lean season. From the research findings, it has been revealed that, food intake frequency of the EGPP beneficiaries has been increased, before involvement in EGPP 67.5% beneficiary among the interviewed beneficiary could manage to have meal twice in a day, and 25% beneficiary could manage to have meal once in a day and 7.5% beneficiary could manage to have meal once in a day and after involvement in EGPP the scenario has been changed the percentage of people those could manage to have meal once in a day has gone off and percentage of people who could manage to have meal twice in a day also reduced to 7.5% but sudden change due to increase of purchase capability above 92.5% people are able to have meal thrice in a day which shows very significant change in purchase power of the beneficiaries. The research also shows that significant improvement in the case of items of food intake, diversification in food items, quality of food intake, quantity of food intake. Moreover, the study also shows among the beneficiaries of EGPP after involvement in that programme rice borrowing frequency has been declined and purchase capability of cloths and medicine has been improved. Furthermore, it has been revealed that after involvement in EGPP programme social status or social acceptance of the poor peoples of the research has been elevated. However, the improvement of employment scope in the lean season of the poor people of Santoshpur of Nageshwori upazila through EGPP programme has been reflected by the respondent’s opinion on the question ‘opinion about EGPP Programme’ 60 percent’s opinion is excellent and 40 percent’s opinion is good. Finally, some recommendation are made at the last chapter that would help the programme authority and policy planners concerned with social safety net sector.