The population of Bangladesh is primarily rural, with 85 per cent of its 135 million people living in rural areas. Most of the rural people mainly depend on land which is both fertile but extremely susceptible. Most of the rural households live in extreme poverty. Chronically poor people who are often illiterate may also suffer from food insecurity and serious illnesses or disabilities. Women are amongst the poorest of the poor, especially when they have to earn themselves, such as widows or wives of men who have migrated in search of employment. They suffer from discrimination due to their gender and have scarce income-earning opportunities. Fishing communities in rural villages are one of the poorest and most disadvantaged in the country.
Another reason of rural poverty in Bangladesh is the extreme climate as a large proportion of the country is vulnerable to flooding. Bangladesh’s rural poor population is subject to extreme annual flooding that destroy crops, homes and livelihoods. Illiteracy remains another major reason for poverty in rural Bangladesh.
Eradication of poverty in Bangladesh is a vast and multi-dimensional challenge. Almost 43% of the people living in villages are poor. We know that Poverty is a cause of a lack of education, as well as an effect. There is no doubt that education contributes to social and economic development in society. It has been established that education and literacy are most vital for improving the lives of people living in poverty.
Touching Souls International, a nonprofit New York based organization has been trying to fight poverty in rural areas in Bangladesh with their charity work. They have been working since last 25 years and running various projects to find out the causes and eradicate poverty to improve people’s lives in the rural disadvantaged villages of Bangladesh. This charity organization is running 2 schools to give free education to children in the villages and offers scholarships to students of grade 5 to 12 to help pay for their education.
The principles of Touching Souls International, to eradicate rural poverty by empowerment of poor by education, health and nutrition development, financing to utilize their own resources, running awareness programs to overcome special social problems and hurdles, is facilitating the socio-economic progress and creating scope of additional income in the family gradually leading to removal of poverty in rural Bangladesh. .