Balaram Karmakar, a 65-year old person of Kotalipara in Gopalganj, became pauper losing last belongings in treatment of his wife and son. He paid debt selling ancestral house and two bighas of land. Being landless, he decided to shift to India. However, the local UP chairman secured him a house gifted by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Apart from the house, he has got two decimals of land. He operates blacksmith business at a corner of the homestead. He also earns money by rearing goats and chicken, apart from producing greens and selling it to the villagers. Now, he along with his physically challenged son Joydev Karmakar is leading a solvent life.
Balaram Karmakar is the son of Manaranjan Karmakar of Unshia village under Amtoli union in Kotalipara upazila.
Talking to press, Balaram Karmakar said “My father Manaranjan Karmakar was a renowned blacksmith of Unshia village. Our family was much solvent. After death of father, I shouldered household responsibility. To meet costs of treatment of my wife and son, I borrowed money. Later, I sold two-storey tin shed house and two bighas of land to repay the debt. I became tenant in my own house.”
He said disabled one out of his five sons lived with him struggling with poverty after sale of house and lands.
“I became frustrated losing own homestead and decided to shift to India. One and a half years ago, UP chairman secured me a house gifted by the PM. Apart from living in the home, I am earning money by cultivating greens and running blacksmith business. So, I am grateful to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. She has granted me a new life and new hope. I pray for good health, long life, prosperity and wellbeing of the premier.”
Enayet Biswas and Uzzal Farazi, neighbours of Balaram, said “Karmakar has made a U-turn getting home from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The home has changed the life story of Balaram who is an inspiration to every elderly, poverty stricken and frustrated people.”
Md Shahid Ullah Khandaker, former senior secretary, now entrusted with implementing development projects in Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's constituency Gopalganj-3, said “Daughter of Bangabandhu and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said nobody will remain landless or homeless. We have already handed over 235 houses to the landless people in Kotalipara. The premier will transfer 129 more houses through a virtual programme on March 22. With this, Kotalipara will turn into an upazila without landless.”
(Translated by Firoz Al Mamun)