Contact Info

SAJIDA Foundation
OTOBI Center (5th Floor)
Polt- 12, Block- CWS (C), Gulshan
South Avenue
Gulshan-1, Dhaka-1212,

Tel: +8802-9890513
Fax: +8802-9863165

SAJIDA’s First Member: The Story of Amina Bibi

Amina Bibi was the housewife of an ordinary rural family of Shariatpur. Her husband Karamat Ali owned a small piece of land; his income was just enough to sustain them in the early days of their marriage. Over time they had six children which became financially burdensome and their living conditions began to deteriorate. Amina supplemented her family’s income by sewing quilts for neighbors. Their economic conditions were so poor that food and clothing during Eid were difficult to procure. On many days the couple had to live off of “maar”, the thick extract from rice, providing their children with the boiled rice that they could afford.

In 1997, all of their crops were washed away by the flood. After the flood of 1998, they were left completely helpless. Around this time, a relative of Amina encouraged her to move to Dhaka city in order to find work. Amina took the advice and came to Dhaka with her children. A relative arranged a part time job for her as a domestic servant in two houses; Amina also found work cooking for two dormitories. In between jobs, she broke bricks into chips on the road side. Her eldest daughter also found work in a garment factory to add to the family income. Amina rented a hut over water for Tk.150 per month where she slept with her children on a mat. Life was extremely difficult. Every day while going to work Amina would tie a rope around her baby so that her baby would not fall into the water below. One day her baby fell and it was then that Amina decided to move to a smaller hut at Bhalu Ghat, Lalbag at a rent of Tk. 500 per month. Even this was a low lying area and during rains they had to live on higher roads or take shelter in the house of a distant relative.

Around this time, Amina had an idea for a sari business. With the help of family investment, Amina was able to start such a business which provided her and her family additional weekly income. Amina worked hard and her business went well. She and her daughter saved all of their earnings. In 1990, her eldest daughter was married. Later that year, Amina was able to send her children to school and the youngest to a day care centre, giving her the opportunity to concentrate on her business.

Amina heard about SAJIDA Foundation at her child’s day care facilities. Following her interest in SAJIDA’s programs, in 1993, Amina visited SAJIDA’s office and met with the Director, where she was told about the organization’s micro-credit activities and was asked to find 6 other women in order to form SAJIDA’s first micro credit group. With relatively little trouble Amina found 6 group members and subsequently received her first loan amounting to Tk. 3,000.

Amina invested the entire loan on business expansion and earned profits as indicated below:

Item No. Purchased Cost Price Selling Price Net Profit
Saree 30 3,600 3,900 300
Lungi 10 1,150 1,250 100
Blouse 10 200 220 200
Total Tk. 4,950 Tk. 5,370 Tk. 420

The following year, Amina took out a second loan amounting to Tk. 5,000. At this point, her business progressed so successfully that she was able to quit her job as a domestic servant and move into improved living conditions. In subsequent years Amina received loans of Tk. 10,000, Tk. 12,000 and Tk 15,000 respectively.

In 1998, Amina was granted a special loan of Tk. 55,000. The financial assistance under SAJIDA’s credit programs transformed Amina’s life in the following ways:

  • She purchased .025 acres of land at Kamrangir Char for Tk. 87,000.
  • All of her children are attending school and receiving education.
  • She had the capacity to spend Tk. 42,000 for the marriage ceremonies of her children.