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Nasima Akter: From Girl’s Guide to UP Member

NasimaAkter is one of the courageous women leaders who started theirjourney to be a member of UP from general seat. She was so keen to contest inthe UP election that she sold her ornaments of marriage to buy nominationpapers and also to bear the expense of election campaign. Though she could notwin from the general seat in 2003, she was successful to be a member from thereserve seat in 2011 from Tebaria Union, one of the UP’s of  Natore Sadar. It was so unfortunate thatdespite working hard and doing many development works, Nasima could not win inthe 2016 election as many of her voters were intimidated and refrained to castvotes, agent was thrown out of polling stations and local political leadersgave threats. But Nasima did not loose heart and again started concentrating onwelfare activities in her locality. Even now a day, Nasima is the name ofdependency to many of the community people of the Tebaria.

From the childhood Nasima had the immense interest to seeher as leader. In this purpose,  sheinvolved with Red Crescent, Girl’s Guide from the very beginning of school lifewhich enhanced her leadership. The knowledge and skills on leadership she gotfrom Red Crescent, Girl’s Guide gave her the confidence to contest from generalseat in 2003. But her journey towards the first election has not been easygoing. As a woman, Nasima faced many challenges when she started electionpreparation. When she approached her husband for the financial support she wasrebuked by the husband and advised not to contest in the election. Finding noother way, Nasima decided to sell her ornaments to meet election expendituree.g. buying nomination paper, election campaign.

Most of the male candidates used to mock at her and womenof the community were of the opinon that women should not contest from thegeneral seat. Religious leaders also spreaded negative propaganda agansit her.However, she was lucky to find a local political leader who inspired tocontinue her election campign and advised to keep good relations with politicalleaders. She acted according to the advice of political leader.

Her tension was creeping as election day was gettingcloser day by day. Finally, the most awaited day came but the day did not bringgood news for Nasima. All her dedication, money of ornaments, advice of political leader nothing could change herfate. Unfortunately Nasima was defeated by 7 votes. After hearing the resultshe became ill. But after some days she overcome the trauma of failure electionand again started working for poor and unprivileged people e.g. taking sickpatients to local hospitals and clinics, solving problmes of schools.


In between 2003 and 2011 Nasima was doing social welfareand development work. After passing a long time with the people, she felt thatthis year people will not disappoint her. With this belief, she started toprepare herself to contest in the 2011 election. But this time she contestedfrom reserve seat rather than general seat. This time the villagers of Tebariadid not disheart her. The long cherished desire of being a people’s leaderfinally came true after 8 years. The next five years for Nasima was the uniquechance to serve and fulfill the need of the community. In this time she solvedelectricity problem, repaired many roads of schools, villages etc with her owneffrort. But the relationship with the UP was never good and she had to fightwith the Chairman for her rights. She had to pass her last five years in suchunfavorable atmosphere. However she tried her best to address the need ofcommunity despite anagonistic environment in the UP.

The UP election of 2016 was knocking at the door. Withmuch confidence she started preparing for the election as reserve seat member.But she was worried and anxious about the impact of the first time partisanelection. She feared that, influence of political parties would be very high inthe current election. Her fear came true as she was threaten by politicalleaders of ruling party not to contest in the elction. But she was successfulto submit nomination as a member of Bangaldesh Nationalist Party (BNP). Shefaced many challenges during the election day. For example she was not allowedto cast her own votes, many of her voters were intimidated and refrained tocast votes, got low support from local administrations.

Like 2003, the dream of Nasima was broken again. But shedid not lose heart and confidence. Again she started doing welfare activitiesand planning how to win the next election.

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