Afroja-2

Afruza was born to a poor farmer of Kuptala Union under Gaibandha’s Sadr upazila. She is the eldest of seven sisters. She had no brothers and that was always a cause of tension besides of course the fact that they were poor. Afruza’s father used to be stressed out all the time trying to make ends meet for his nine-member household. But despite all this, she might have fared reasonably well except that she had a few physical limitations. She had cut her feet badly when she was a child. She did not get proper treatment during that time, as a result Afruza could not able to walk properly.

Afruza was in a way forcibly married off at she was just 16,so that her father had a little less burden to bear. But these only worsened matters for her instead of helping it improve. She was neglected and ignored, and had to suffer mentally at her in-laws’ because of her limitations. It got so bad at one point that Afruza had to get a divorce. She had to struggle for her survival at every turn of life. Her father refused to take her in and feed her after the divorce. Afruza started working as a tailor to support herself. It was during her training as a tailor that Afruza came to know about Infolady. But her physical disability became an impediment here too. But Afruza overcame the challenges with her single minded determination which eventually also allayed the reservations of people around her. She became an Infolady in 2012. She bought a number of things with loans through this innovative initiative. Since then, she has never had to look back. Now, almost the entire household is dependent on Afruza. The very father, who did not even want to feed her, is now full of pride over Afruza’s accomplishment. She has married off two of her sisters almost completely through her own means.

At first the people did not like Afruza riding a bicycle around the village at all times of the day. But once people started reaping the benefits of her work, their perception also changed and they began to appreciate Afruza’s work. Her face that used to be filled with desperate hopelessness is now full of unbridled joy. She provides a number of services as part of her obligation. But she loves to take photos and work on photos.

Afruza dreams of her own house, once she has paid off her debts. She also dreams of a store where she will provide all kinds of services to the villagers.