So far, eight women have taken training from Jyotika's weaving training centre
Jyotika Chakma has been providing training to local women on weaving garments and handloom items, with a belief that it can make them self-dependent.
She established a weaving training centre at her village in Dighinala upazila of Khagrachhari about four months ago.
So far, eight women have taken training from the centre.
Mother of three children, Jyotika, who lost her husband three years ago, earns her livelihood by cultivating paddy.
She set up three looms at a fenced house near her home at North Boradom, seven kilometres off Dighinala sadar.
During a visit to the area on Thursday last week, this correspondent found Jyotika, Dristy Chakma and Jayantika Chakma were weaving "gamchha" (a thin traditional cotton towel in Bangladesh) in the three looms.
Jyotika's daughter Ruposi Chakma was cutting yarn in a spinning wheel. Many women of the village came there to see the weaving of the handloom item.
While talking to the correspondent, Jyotika said she set up three looms in July this year with a cost of Tk2 lakh as she wanted to do something good for the rural women.
Then she appointed a trainer with a monthly salary of Tk5,000 and took her first training from him. She learned the skills within 15 days and took an initiative to impart training to other women of the village.
"In the meantime, five women have learned weaving cloth in the looms free of cost. I feel really good about doing something noble for the rural women," she said.
Jyotika's daughter Ruposi Chakma said, "I have learned the technique from my mother. We have bought thread from Rangamati. It gives us pleasure that the destitute women of the area are learning weaving here."
About 35 "gamchhas" from these looms so far have been sold at Tk80 per piece, and Tk40 for each "gamchha" has been given to the trainee women as honorarium, said she.
Trainee Jayantika Chakma said, "I have been taking weaving training for the last 10 days, and I can weave 'gamchha' now. I think this work helps me become self-reliant."
Some of the women who came there to take training said they were earlier not aware of the initiative. But when they came to know it, they went to Jyotika's house to see and learn weaving.
Lisha Chakma, a member of the Dighinala Union Parisad, said destitute women of the area are becoming self-dependent with the initiative of Jyotika.
Progyan Joyti Chakma, chairman of the parishad, also lauded the initiative.
Deputy Director of Women Affairs Directorate in Khagrachhari Mohiuddin Ahmed said that the Women Affairs Directorate will arrange microcredit facilities with small interest rate and non-recurring fund with a view to expanding the activities of women entrepreneur Jyotika.