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‘Now we have our own home’

Ashrayan-2 Project

by tbhdesk

PM to declare 12 districts as homeless- and landless-free

To handover handover 22,101 houses Wednesday

Salma Begum, a resident of the Kachihata Sardar Dighirpar area in Begumganj Upazila of Noakhali, said she was born in a small mud house by the side of the road in Chandraganj.

“I have been hearing since birth that we are refugees. I used to cry and pray to the Almighty Allah for the ability to buy land. I did not want to be on the list of the homeless until I died,” she told Dhaka Tribune

“Allah heard my prayers. Through Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Almighty has arranged land and a home for me. The prime minister has made my dream come true. I don’t want anything else in this life,” she added.

In addition to Salma, Shiuli Begum, Alam Hossain, Momena Khatun, Kahinur Begum, Ledu Mia, Bibi Kulsum, Fatema, Arif, Zakir, and many others have also seen their fortunes changed through the provision of homes under the Ashrayan project.

A total of 50 houses and landless families have been accommodated in the Kachihata Sardar Dighirpar area. Among them 45 families are from Chandraganj, four families from Gopalpur Uni, and one family from Alaiapur. The houses were handed over in stages after a draw.

On a visit to the Ashrayan project area yesterday, it was seen that each house has two rooms with a balcony, kitchen and toilet. Free electricity connections are provided in every house. There are four deep tubewells and a submersible tap system for water supply.

Besides, about 300 trees have been planted by the upazila Forest Department. A family garden has also been planted.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will declare 12 more districts homeless- and landless-free with the handover of 22,101 houses under the project Wednesday. The districts are Manikganj, Rajbari, Mymensingh, Sherpur, Dinajpur, Thakurgaon, Naogaon, Natore, Pabna, Kushtia, Pirojpur and Jhalkath.

She will speak on the occasion virtually from Ganabhaban, and residents of the project area were seen tidying up their new homes ahead of the event.

Fatema Begum, a widow and house recipient, said the land and home made her feel as if she had gone to heaven. She was busy cleaning it with her three daughters.

“My husband regretted his lack of land until his death. He died with a lot of pain in his heart. I have raised three daughters with great difficulty for the last seven years. I could not send them to school due to lack of money. But Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina can understand our pain and suffering. We have been given a house with free land,” she added.

Autorickshaw driver Ledu Mia said he had been living with his sick wife and son for 52 years on land belonging to someone in Gopalpur Union.

“Now, I have an address. From now on, I can say that I am a resident of Begumganj Upazila. I know how humiliating and painful it is not to have a piece of land in this world. May Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina live for many years. There is no end to our gratitude for her,” he said.

Alam Hossain, a bricklayer, said: “Even a month ago, my family and I did not have any fixed residence. I did not know what to do. I used to pick bricks and at the end of the day, I drank and would lie on the side of the road . Today, I am the owner of a house. I can tell you the address – I’m a resident of Begumganj.”

Other residents were also elated at the prime minister’s initiative.

Chairman of Begumganj Upazila Md Baharul Alam said: “I am very happy to arrange shelter for so many people. Thanks to the prime minister for giving me this opportunity.”

He said it was very difficult to find the required land for the project.

“This land was bought for about Tk1.5 crore. It was very difficult to get so much land all together, but we did it. There is still some work left. The roads in front of the houses will be cast in RCC. Arrangements will be made for water purification, because the water in this area is very high in iron. These activities are still ongoing,” Alam added.

Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Yasin Arafat said: “Around 50 to 200 houses have been constructed for the homeless in four unions. All types of facilities are provided in each project area. The issue of distance to schools and colleges for studies is also being looked at. I hope that we can make the prime minister’s unprecedented initiative a success.”

With the inclusion of these 12 districts, the total number of completely homeless- and landless-free districts will be 21.

A total of 63,999 houses were distributed in the first phase on January 23, 2021, while 53,330 homes were distributed in the second phase on June 20, 2021. A further 59,133 houses were distributed in the third phase during the Mujib year.

With the distribution of another 22,101 houses, the total number under the Asharyan-II scheme will stand at 238,851.

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