Chandra Banu: Never Too Late

When Chandra was a girl, she lived in a char (riverine island) so remote that she did not have any access to education. In her village there were no schools, or even opportunities to learn in an informal setting. She lived most of her life without even knowing how to write her own address

It was not until Chandra was 40 years old that she had an opportunity to learn, and she was eager to take advantage of it. When Friendship’s education program was implemented in her char, she did not hesitate to get involved.  She applied for and was admitted into a course at the Friendship Adult Literacy Center.  After eight months of study and practice, this previously illiterate woman had graduated with basic skills in reading, writing and numeracy.

Empowered with these new skills, Chandra was inspired to become an entrepreneur.  She discussed the idea with her husband, and together they made a plan to gather funds and open a local convenience store in their village.  Today, Chandra runs the store, selling snacks, supplies, and household staples like eggs and oil.   She also manages the accounts for the business.

This one woman’s courage to begin her education as an adult has improved the lives of herself and her family.  When she was afforded the opportunity, she eagerly acquired new skills.  Her perseverance enabled her to then use her education to propel her career. Her business brings in extra income for her family.  The added income means less stress for the family, and because of that they are much happier and better off. Chandra can proudly take responsibility for having such a positive impact on her family’s lives, and for being a role model for other women who want to do the same for their families.

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