Hawking brings smile on Tahmina’s face

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She was just sitting on a small tool and talking to her customers. Two customers bought bananas from her. She had no time to talk to anybody that time. Finally, after half an hour, the woman became free and talked about her life and works.

The 55-year-old street vendor Tahmina Khatun along with her husband Rafiqul Islam, 58, sells seasonal fruits in front of an electronics showroom beside Tejgaon Police Station in the city. Tahmina said they are currently selling bananas. But few days later, they will sell mangoes as the season is approaching.

The woman entrepreneur said, by selling bananas, she earns around Tk 400 to Tk 600 a day. And it is sufficient for the maintenance of her family.

Tahmina and her husband work at their footpath shop by rotation. Her husband Rafiqul Islam works at the shop from 9am to 5pm and Tahmina works alone at the shop from 5pm, which continues till 11pm.

Hailing from court area of Rajshahi city, Tahmina and Rafiqul came to Dhaka 11 years back. They have three sons. Their eldest son also runs a footpath shop in Rajshahi city. Another son works at a departmental store at Farmgate. And youngest son aged 11 studies at a primary school.

Tahmina said she is happy with her life. “I am very happy as I am self- reliant. My husband helps at my work. I along with family members live in Dhaka city with hopes and dreams. I have no anxiety about my life. I am a happy woman,” she said.

She said they were extremely poor just 11 years ago as her day-labour husband struggled to run their family.

“My husband was unable to meet our daily demands as he earned a little. At that time, we decided to come to Dhaka city. I thought that here (Dhaka) I could earn along with my husband,” Tahmina said.

She continued: “And my decision came true. Now I’m earning for my family. Though it is not enough for my family, I am happy with my present condition.”

When asked about her future plan, the successful woman said she has a plan to go back Rajshahi city and she will run a small grocery near her house.

“We want to spend rest of the life there (Rajshahi) and we will do it soon,” she said, adding she has already deposited a handsome amount of money with bank.

Mostafizur Rahman, a photojournalist of an English daily, said that he regularly buys bananas from this woman. “Her business strategy is very good and she is well-behaved. That’s why, I always purchase banana from this woman,” he said.

Rahman said she thinks everybody should buy commodities from such businesswomen to encourage them in becoming self-reliant.

Courtesy: Golam Rosul, BSS

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