Shahana Akhter spends her days on her little red scooter looking for small businesses. She works in BRAC’s microfinance programme, and has spent seven years distributing loans and collecting repayments to enable all types of entrepreneurship to expand.
In a world that can sometimes feel like it was made purely for men, the mother of two's work has earned her the title of a ‘Joyeeta’, the national platform that recognises women from all backgrounds for dedication towards social progress.
“The root of much abuse is child marriage. It has taken a considerable amount of time for people to understand that, and many souls have suffered unimaginably as a result. There is definitely greater awareness now, but it did not happen easily. We must continue to make sure no one allows it to happen.”
Khaled considers his work as the ultimate adventure, with a simple philosophy – always work for the greater good of the people around you. BRAC was his first job, and three decades have flown by since.
It is 5:30am in Kaliyakoir, Gazipur, and Nilufar Yasmin’s patients are waiting already outside, lined up beside a sign that says ‘BRAC Shasthya Shebika’. They are farmers and shopkeepers, and they have come to ‘Doctor Apa’ to get their daily dose of tuberculosis medicine before heading to work.