Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today urged all to continue keeping faith and confidence in Awami League (AL) in future, saying her party is only committed to providing the countrymen with an improved and beautiful life.
“The countrymen got independence casting votes for boat. Today, the landless and homeless people got houses due to votes for boat. —So I want to say everyone should keep faith and confidence in Awami League,” she said.
The prime minister said this while virtually announcing 12 more districts and 123 upazilas homeless and landless free distributing houses with lands to 22,101 more families under her dream Ashrayan project, designed and being implemented by her to alleviate poverty.
Joining the programme from her official Ganabhaban residence, she said the country has been progressing socio-economically under her government as the people voted her party Awami League to power time and again.
The premier said the AL government has been able to achieve the status of a developing nation and reduce the poverty rate to 18 percent from 41 as her party is in power since 2009 confronting all the men-made and natural hurdles.
She continued that the voting rights and democratic rights of the people had been snatched away after assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on August 15, 1975 and her party had again returned the rights to the people through struggle.
The prime minister said Ershad and Khaleda Zia brought the killers of Bangabandhu to the parliament through vote rigging following the footprint of military dictator Zia who enacted indemnity ordinance to stop trial of the killers and gave them posting abroad.
“We have prepared a digital voter list as none can steal vote again,” she said.
She also said the BNP-Jamaat clique did nothing for the welfare of the people rather they made their own fortunes through unbridled corruption.
That vested quarter (BNP-Jamaat) has still been trying to make the people captive for personal gain through arson terrorism, which they unleashed from 2013-14 aimed at halting the national election of that time, she added.
“We have an opposition party which is only engaged in killing general people, doing arson terrorism to gain their personal interest,” she said, urging the countrymen to remain cautious about them.
The prime minister called the affluent people of the society to join hands with the government’s efforts to make Bangladesh free from homeless and landless people.
“Our only target is to make sure none will remain homeless and landless in Bangladesh and many rich people can come forward to pursue the efforts so that none can be neglected in the society,” she said.
The premier at that time referred to rehabilitating 65 homeless and landless hawkers at a private initiative in a housing scheme at Barura Upazila in Cumilla.
She said with 12 more districts and 123 upazilas, now 21 districts and 334 upazilas across the country have become homeless and landless free under the Ashrayan-2 project’s second round in fourth phase.
She continued: “I am today declaring 12 districts and 123 upazilas homeless and landless free and extending good wishes to those who got the houses with lands. The houses will help increase their dignity in the society.”
The soul of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman will be happy from the heaven seeing her government efforts to change the fate of the people for which he had sacrificed his entire life, she said.
The prime minister called upon the beneficiaries of the houses to make sure cleanliness in and around of the houses and be economical in using electricity and water.
She said they have also rehabilitated transgenders’, gypsies’ (bedes), small-ethnic groups, patients of leprosy, slum dwellers, cleaners and insolvent freedom fighters with ensuring livelihoods aimed at giving them an improved life.
“We’re in such a way managing life and livelihoods for the people of every section. Our target is to ensure a beautiful life for every person,” she said.
During the programme, Sheikh Hasina exchanged views with the cross-section of the people that mostly include beneficiaries apart from local public representatives, and government officials.
The beneficiaries, connected to the programme virtually from Barasat Sonar Bangla Palli Ashrayan project under Terokhada upazila in Khulna district, Chakla Ashrayan-2 project under Bera upazila in Pabna and Amanullahpur Ashrayan project under Begumganj in Noakhali, prayed for long life and good health of the prime minister.
At that time, Sheikh Hasina took charge of the treatment of a house beneficiary blind woman Lily Begum, who was deserted by her husband due to her blindness.
The premier ordered authorities concerned to take proper measures for treatment of the visually impaired woman of a Bera upazila village in Pabna district.
Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah moderated the function.
A video documentary on the Ashrayan Project was screened on the occasion.
The 12 new landless and homeless free districts are: Manikganj, Rajbari, Mymensingh, Sherpur, Dinajpur, Thakurgaon, Naogaon, Natore, Pabna, Kushtia, Pirojpur and Jhalakathi.
While 123 landless and homeless free upazilas are: Gosairhat in Shariatpur district; Kuliarchar, Nikli, Hossainpur, Bajitpur, Mithamoin and Karimganj in Kishoreganj; Ghatail, Nagarpur, Mirzapur, Kalihati and Basail in Tangail; Shibaloy, Harirampur and Sadar in Manikganj; Sreenagar and Tongibari in Munshiganj; Goalanda in Rajbari; Sonargaon, Rupganj, Araihazar and Sadar in Narayanganj; Boalmari, Charbhadrasan, Bhanga and Sadar in Faridpur; Iswarganj, Haluaghat, Dhobaura, Gafargaon, Muktagacha and Sadar in Mymensingh; Sreebardi and Sadar in Sherpur; Islampur and Sarishabari in Jamalpur; Pekua, Ukhia and Teknaf in Cox’s Bazar; Hathazari and Anwara in Chattogram; Matlab Dakkhin and Kachua in Chandpur; Begumganj, Sonaimuri, Chatkhil, Senbug and Sadar in Noakhali; Nangalkot, Barura, Homna, Titas, Meghna and Burichang in Cumilla; Daganbhuiyan in Feni, Palashbari in Gaibandha; Badarganj in Rangpur; Bochaganj, Birganj, Chirirbandar, Parbatipur, Fulbari, Birampur, Hakimpur, Ghoraghat and Sadar in Dinajpur.
The other upazilas are – Pirganj, Ranisankail and Sadar in Thakurgaon; Domar and Jaldhaka in Nilphamari; Atrai, Badalgachi, Manda, Niamatpur, Porsha, Sapahar and Sadar in Naogaon; Tarash, Shahjadpur and Kamarkhanda in Sirajganj; Gabtoli, Adamdighi and Sadar in Bogura; Singra, Naldanga and Sadar in Natore; Chatmohar, Bera, Faridpur, Bhangura and Sujanagar in Pabna; Jhenaidah Sadar in Jhenaidah; Kaliganj and Satkhira Sadar in Satkhira; Jashore Sadar in Jashore; Khoksha in Kushtia; Dighalia in Khulna; Kalia in Narail; Pirojpur Sadar in Pirojpur; Jhalakathi Sadar in Jhalakathi; Kalapara and Galachipa in Patuakhali; Patharghata, Betagi, Taltali in Barguna; Beanibazar, Companiganj, Golapganj, Gowainghat and Zakiganj in Sylhet, Sreemangal, Moulvibazar Sadar, Kulaura, Barlekha and Juri in Moulvibazar, Shayestaganj, Bahubal, Lakhai, Habiganj Sadar and Madhabpur in Habiganj and Shalla and Dharmapasha in Sunamganj.
The total number of beneficiary families now stands at 2,38,851 under the Ashrayan-2 Project.
Earlier, the premier declared nine other districts- Madaripur, Gazipur, Narsingdi, Panchagarh, Joypurhat, Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Chuadanga and Magura – as landless and homeless free.
The Ashrayan project of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has so far rehabilitated 5,55,617 families with providing semi-pucca houses on two-decimal of lands with their ownerships alongside free connection of electricity, water supply and other required amenities.
Under the Ashrayan project and other programmes, a total of 82,9607 families have been rehabilitated so far since 1,997.
Experts came up with the opinion that the number of extreme poor and floating people has come down remarkably due to the prime minister’s dream project to rehabilitate marginalized people.
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman introduced the rehabilitation programme for homeless people in 1972.
Following Bangabandhu’s footprints, her daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina took the initiative to provide ownership of houses and lands to homeless and landless people through the Ashrayan Project in 1997.
The prime aim of the Ashrayan project is to eradicate poverty and improve the livelihood of marginal people apart from ensuring their economic and social security.