Scheduling an interview with Shahana Begum was a bit difficult. Lastly, she could give us time on a weekend. Shahana was excited, talking about her new life, "since I am in the factory's general services team, my daily routine is tightly scheduled. Sometimes I lose track of time calculating overtime of others," said Shahana with a laugh. Shahana wanted to be a college teacher and worked as a schoolteacher at Al-Gawsia KG and Junior High School in her village.
Being a schoolteacher earned her respect in the community, but it did not pay enough to cover her family expenses. She needed extra money to support her family. That is why she decided to join Uttoron training, hoping this will get her a respectful job with a higher income, and Uttoron did not dishearten her.
Shahana is from Goznaipur Union of Deopara village, Nabiganj upazilla, Habiganj. With her parents, five sisters, and one brother, she has nine members in her family. She came to know about Uttoron project from public announcements. She received three months of technical training from TMSS Technical Training Centre under the Uttoron project and completed six months of job successfully.
Shahana currently works at Habiganj Textile Mills (STL) in PRAN-RFL Industrial Park, Habiganj. She works under the direct supervision of the Compliance Coordinator. "I took training on Electrical Installation and Maintenance (EIM) but observing my capabilities, my current supervisor picked me to work in her team." She starts her day by punching 301 workers' cards around the factory. Managing the attendance registrar, calculating overtime of workers, preparing salary sheets, keeping records of workers on the job training or leave are some of the routine jobs of Shahana. She also does some quality control work or other tasks assigned by her supervisor. "How do you manage everything?". She answered sharply, "very simple! I make a task list at the beginning of the day and follow that. At the end of Uttoron training, I attended a pre-employment workshop. There was a session that taught us how to be a good worker- listing your tasks at the beginning of the day was one of the suggestions, and I follow that religiously."
She is working full-time right now but did not give up on her hope to become a college teacher one day. She admitted herself into the National University. Her supervisor knows about her study and supports her. "My supervisor assured me that I would be allowed to take a day off before and during exams", added Shahana while explaining the situation. Since National University classes are closed for the pandemic, she had no class in the last one and a half year, so it does not hamper her work. My college faculty members are also well-aware of my situation and support me to keep my spirit up.
Shahana has set an example in her union. Many girls from her community are interested in getting training like her. She has already set a goal for herself to become a floor in-charge within one and half year. She is fully determined and putting her total effort into it. "Being a local female worker with skills training I have the full potentials in reaching my career goal. It never occurred to me that I can't do this, and I know I will achieve it and with mercy of Allah and prayers of my well-wishers I will get there one day".