Ashrayan makes dreams come true for thousands of homeless

Published: 22 Jan 2021

Online Desk

Septuagenarian Rahmat Ali had become homeless nearly a decade ago as river Ghorautra, a tributary of Mighty Meghna, devoured his home at Bajitpur upazila in Kishoreganj district.

Ali, a day-laborer, had to lead a miserable life along with four other family members after losing his home. He used to stay at his poor relatives’ home for some days. His wife Sakhina Begum worked as housemaid at neighborhoods, reports BSS.

Later, he stayed beside streets and sometimes he used to help farmers in harvesting and managed accommodation at their homes.

“I used to work as a boatman sometimes. I lost my home in river erosion in Ghorautra. Later, I didn’t have any home for my own. I led a very miserable life along with my wife and two daughters,” Rahmat Ali told BSS on Thursday.

He was devoid of his fundamental right of getting shelter.

Now the government’s Ashrayan Project came as a dream for elderly Ali who is going a get a two-room semi- pucca house for his own on the land of 2 decimal land like thousands of other homeless people.

As part of the government’s campaign to bring all landless and homeless families under housing facility, all preparations have been taken to hand over 66,189 houses to homeless and landless families across the country in the first phase on January 23 on the occasion of the “Mujib Borsho” under Ashrayan-2 Project.

Like Ali, 60-year-old Ambia Begum, who lost his homeless day-labour husband six years back, is also going to get a house at Dhigirpar union under Bajitpur upazila in Kishoreganj district.

“A total of 25 homeless families will get houses of their own at Dighirpar union.

The houses have been built in cluster and each house is built at a cost of Taka 1.71 lakh,” Kishoreganj Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shamim Alam told a media briefing on Thursday as a group of journalists from Dhaka visited the project at Dighirpar.

Prime Minister’s Deputy Press Secretary KM Shakhawat Moon was present on the occasion.

“Under the Ashrayan Project-2, around 70, 000 homeless and landless families are going to get houses on 2 decimal land each at a time. It’s an unprecedented incident in the world.

It will create a history of humanity in the world. It has been possible because of the farsighted and dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” Shakhawat Moon said.

A total of 8,85, 622 families across the country have been listed under the project and those families will be handed over the houses in phases.

Sexagenarian Runa Begum, a street beggar, had no hope of living in a house of her own in her entire life as she used to beg to live from hand to mouth. She stayed at Brahmanpara under Rupganj upazila in Narayanganj district.

But the Ashrayan project has made it possible to provide a house to her.

“I never thought I will get a house of my own. I am very grateful to Bangabandhu’s daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

I am very happy now,” she told BSS on Wednesday at ‘Mujib Barsho Village’(cluster houses under Ashrayan project) at Darikandi village under Murapara union at Rupganj upazila in Narayanganj district.

Achhiya Begum, 80, used to live at her daughter’s in-laws house. After losing her day-laborer husband thirty years back, she had no home of her own.

“It was not respectful for me to live with daughter’s in-laws house. I felt shy to live there but I had no option. Now I am getting a house of my own. I am very happy now,” she said.

Like Achhiya, 20 families will get houses at Murpara union.

“A total of 66,189 houses will be handed over to homeless and landless people on the occasion of the Mujib Borsho under the Ashrayan Project-2 in first phase. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the distribution of houses among landless and homeless families virtually at 10:30am on Saturday,” Project Director of Ashrayan-2 Md Mahbub Hossain told a press briefing on Wednesday at Murapara.

He said Ashrayan Project has prepared a list of 8,85,622 families in 2020, of which 2,93,361 landless and homeless families and 5,92,261 families having 1-10 decimal land but no housing facility.

Besides, Ashrayan Project rehabilitated 3,715 families by constructing 743 barracks under 44 project villages in 36 upazilas in 21 districts during the Mujib Borsho, said the project director.

Meanwhile at a press briefing at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Thursday, Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus said some one lakh more houses will also be distributed among the homeless people in the next month.

He said Ashrayan has also rehabilitated 3,20,058 landless and homeless families from 1997 to December 2020, adding, “Armed Forces Davison is constructing barracks for landless and homeless families.”

Dr Kaikaus said the government also constructed 20 five-story buildings at Khurushkul in Cox’s Bazar for 600 families, who are climate refugees, as a special gift by the Prime Minister.

“Armed Forces Division is also implementing more 119 multi-storey buildings and related activities through Detailed Project Proposal (DPP),” he added.

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