Nasrin Akhter, a resident of Dhanikhola Syndicate in Trishal, Mymensingh, never went to school as her day laborer father could not afford her school fees. She grew up with her two younger brothers in extreme poverty.
But, she has now become the savior of the family through Consumer Knitex Ltd, a garment industry established in the Raghamara area of Trishal, where she joined as a worker two years ago.
She earns about Tk 15,000 including overtime per month which helps her to alleviate poverty in the family. She married one of her colleagues a year ago.
“I got the job with the help of a friend of mine. About 3,000 people work in the factory. Most of them come from the same background as me. Now I have some economic freedom because my husband wins too. Although I got married, I help my father and my brothers,” Nasrin told The Business Standard.
Factories like Consumer Knitex have transformed Trishal’s mainly agriculture-based economy, creating job opportunities for thousands of people. In recent years, several factories have been set up in the region, including large investments. Women are also employed in these factories on an equal basis with men.
Md Tanzil Hasan, Associate Professor of Economics at Jatiya Kobi Kazi Nazrul Islam University and Executive Director of the Economic Development Research Organization (EDRO), said: “Industrialization has become a major force in the eradication of poverty and unemployment in Trishal. , it propels the wheel of the economy. The increase in monetary transactions has improved the standard of living in rural areas.
The trend of migrating to the capital in search of employment is also declining as people now prefer to stay in the region for employment opportunities, he added.
Big investments, huge job opportunities
Akij Ceramics Limited established a factory at Mokshapur Union of Trishal several years ago. It produces tiles, sanitary ware, particle board and BOPP for food packaging.
Md Mamun Akhtar, Administration Manager (HR) of Akij Ceramics, said: “Our factory employs approximately 4,000 people. About 40% of them are young men and women. We provide a raise, a provident fund, medical facilities, and health and life insurance services. for our workers. We have another factory nearby. Our total investment here is around Tk 3,000 crore.
Dabiruddin Spinning Mill Ltd has invested around Tk 2,000 crore in a plant in the Amirabari region. About 3,000 people are employed in the factory and 70% of them are from the region.
Md Selim Al Reza, Assistant Manager (HR Administrator) of Dabiruddin Spinning Mill Ltd, said, “We produce 120 tons of yarn every day which is used in different garment factories across the country.
“We provide all the services according to the rules for the workers. We have bus services for the workers who come from far away. The way of life of the workers in the village areas has changed a lot due to industrialization,” he said. he adds.
Md Bulbul Ahmed, Deputy Inspector General of Factory and Establishment Inspection Department, Mymensingh, said, “There are five to six major industrial establishments in Trishal, including Akij, Bhuiyan Paper Mill, Dabiruddin Spinning Mill, Rose Garments, etc More industrial establishments are setting up in this area. »
“We monitor the interests of workers such as the working environment and different other facilities. We have handled 54 complaints in the last year. We also organize meetings and awareness campaigns to make workers aware of their rights. We we visit factories very frequently,” he said.
Large factories, in addition to generating huge jobs, also played a role in creating self-employment opportunities.
Aminul Islam runs a novelty shop in front of Dresden Textiles Limited, beside the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway in Amirabari union.
He said, “A small market has been created around the factory gate. The land owner has built several shops here and leased them. I invested around Tk 4 lakh in this shop which I rented . Now I feed my family from the income of this shop.”
However, rapid industrialization also brought some problems to Trishal, especially environmental.
Shibbir Ahmed Liton, Secretary General of Paribesh Rokkha and Unnayan Andolon, Mymensingh said, “We have seen that industrialization has caused extreme damage to the environment. The Banar River already faces extreme pollution. We want planned industrialization. For this, the authorities concerned must take the matter seriously.”
Rising crime rate has also been a problem in Trishal, which has become a serious threat to the people of the area.
According to local people, one of the major crimes occurs during the process of land acquisition before the establishment of industrial establishments. Companies usually go to brokers without buying land directly from farmers. As a result, a powerful circle has arisen in the region that acquires land from farmers at a very low price by threatening them with muscle force.