The village of Maizbhandar is very old. Its roots can be traced as far back as the year 1425 with the earliest settlers in the village being migrants coming over from Saudia Arabia. It is a part of the Nanupur Union council that is located in Fatikchori, Chittagong. It takes approximately around two hours on clear roads to reach Maizbhandar from Chittagong city. The road leading to Maizbhandar offers a tranquil and beautiful environment filled with lush greenery that can be a welcome relief at times in contrast to the rough and exhausting city life. One landmark that is bound to grab attention is the Maizbhandar Darbar Sharif that comes into once you enter Fatikchori, something that attracts many unique visitors from all over the country. It is dedicated to the late Ziaul Haque Maizbhandari upon whose memory the village Maizbhandar gets its name.
The lives of villagers have prospered well over the years. It is at times difficult to comprehend the change that has occurred in their lives, especially when one looks upon the situation of the same family during post 1971. There also many villagers who have gone on to work in the Middle East thus sending in valuable remittances back to the village that has been in instrumental in improving the lives of the villagers. In fact, it can be said that there is average of 1 person from every family who is working abroad. There are also some entrepreneurs operating in the village manufacturing food products like chanachur, biscuit, etc. Most of the villagers are expectedly farmers whose major crops include rice and chilli. Some of the locals have also set up carpentry shops to boost their livelihood. For shopping, there is the Nanupur Bajar nearby where all types of food and basic necessities are available. It takes around 10-15 minutes on foot to get to the Bazar.
There are 5 banks within village and its surrounding areas where villagers can make deposits or take loans. The income disparity is pretty low although there are one or two families who fall in the extreme poverty line although there is always donations coming in to help support these families.
The Darbar Sharif of Maizbhandar has also played a pivotal role in the village’s development. As stated earlier, it attracts visitors all over the countries which in turn has helped boosted the local shops. In fact, some say traffic to the Darbar Sharif was a prime mover behind the development of roads around these parts. However, despite all the positive changes, there is always the problem of floods that remains a constant thorn in the lives of the villagers. This is a problem that is increasing in frequency due to illegal construction work that is going around the village which is in turn changing the village landscape for the worse. The situation will continue to escalate if the authorities do not take preventive measures.
Chittagong is getting industrialized at a very high rate these days. There are a lot of offices, restaurants, schools, etc. opening around making city life pretty hectic these days. As such, the situation can be said to be pretty similar to that of Dhaka. As industrialization has moved in, so has moved in the demand for quality family outings or office picnics at beautiful locales in or around the city. However besides the Patenga beach, Chittagong does not offer much. As result, it would be great for the dwellers of Chittagong if picnic spots were to open up around the city. At a distance of 2 hours away from the city, Maizbhandar would provide an ideal picnic spot with its idyllic village surroundings. Companies looking out for HR outings may put this up to good us to boost up the morale of their employees through these picnics. It would prove to be an ideal substitute against the dearth of beaches and sea side resorts that Chittagong seems to offer.
Strength: I already have a village home that can act as the resort or housing facility. The infrastructure is more or less established giving the picnic spot a good base to start off from. Weaknesses: A nature resort has not been tried out in Chittagong before so the inexperience in this filed may come to bite back later.
Opportunities: This would be the first village oriented picnic spot in Bangladesh. As a result, the hype surrounding the undertaking would be enough to lure in potential customers here. Threats: There already some established holiday/picnic spots around Chittagong and they may prove to be a bummer when the project will finally take off.
The following table shows the capital investment needed to kick off this venture. Land Development
Swimming Pool Complex
Water Supply (tubewell)
The staff costs are estimated to be at around 40,000 taka. The charging rate for picnics would be around 2000 taka per person or 50,000 taka if people were to take a corporate package involving a lot of people and food per person would be priced at 500 taka.
This a plan that has a lot of potential. Maizbhandar is a prime spot for such a project since its only two hours away from the main city. As such, building in such a plan would lead to great success for the investors.
Courtney from Study Moose
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