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Didar


Didar a cooperative society established in 1960 at the initiative of eight rickshaw pullers and a petty shopkeeper of two villages, Kashinathpur and Balarampur of the suburbs of Comilla town. It was formed with small membership contributions and later grew into a large organisation. The main objective of the association was to create opportunities for income generation and financing education of the children of its members.

At present, the Didar is a cooperative of 1500 members. It is run by a 9-member managing committee. The association owns a brickfield, a mustard oil making mill, a cooperative store that sells everyday necessities at economy prices, a fertilizer and pesticides marketing store, three deep tubewells, three paddy and wheat crushing mills, and 21 rickshaws. It also runs a high school and a kindergarten. Didar members are active in community development activities, including tree plantation, fish culture and awareness about environment conservation.

The two villages where the Didar has been working since its inception are now almost free from the poverty trap. The agricultural production in the area increased by about four times. The area attained a literacy rate significantly higher than the national average. Also, the rate of unemployment in the area is much lower than the national average. In recognition of its contribution to community development, the Didar was honoured with the Independence Day Award in 1984. It also received award from the bangladesh academy for rural development. Md Yasin, the founder of the Didar received the Magsaysay Award in 1988. [Shamsuzzaman]