Jhorna Akhter, a leader that has been working devotedly through the URB project
A protesting woman is living in Dattabari slum of ward no 5 under Khulna City Corporation who is a nurse by profession. We know that the job of a nurse is to provide services. The reality of this is revealed inside her as she continues to serve the sick, she has extended a helping hand to the helpless, poor, day laborers living in the slums.
Shushilan consortium is implementing the Environmental Resilience Building with Citizens needs under Khulna City Corporation of Bangladesh, funded by USAID and technical support of Counterpart International in ward no 5 & 9 of KCC. The ERB project first formed 40 urban youth groups (per 20-member group) in the area. Jharna wrote her name as a member of one such group. Jharna was elected as president out of 20 members. Jharna began to lead the team. A general committee was formed with 40 such youth groups. From this committee a 15-member Executive Committee was formed. She was elected as the President in the committee.
Since then, she has been leading 800 people from 40 groups. She received leadership training under the project through which she could learn more about rights. After receiving this training, she took her leadership one step further and said that she participated in interactive discussion sessions at different times and became aware of the rights of members of different groups. Through the training she came to know how the drains of Khulna City Corporation must be cleaned every 7/8 days. She told everyone about their rights, demands and where to complain. She went to the councilor’s office on her own initiative and complained about the drain in her Dattabari slum and set an example when the drain was cleaned within 24 hours.
Jhorna Akter participated in all the activities organized by Sushilan under the project. She was also invited as a slum representative of 3 standing committees of Khulna City Corporation. She held a meeting at Khulna City Corporation on behalf of the urban youth platform and raised various issues at the ward level. She contacted different government departments to resolve the issues. Meanwhile, the mayor of Khulna City Corporation is working to make wards 5 and 9 model wards. A 25-members working committee was formed on behalf of the officials of various government departments, members of the civil society and the marginalized people.