We came across a very positive piece of news in yesterday’s daily sun that ex-enclave people are enjoying a better life, thanks to the government initiatives. This year on July 31 the new citizens of the country will mark the 4thanniversary of the historic enclave-exchange between Bangladesh and India. The people in those areas are gearing up to celebrate the day with much fanfare and festivity as they are imbued with a sense of hope and aspiration.
Why should not they be optimistic about future? After decades of languishing in the enclaves which saw no light of civilisation, the residents are now at the epicentre of a flurry of development activities. The 111 former enclaves, home to some 37,000 people, have got a new look in the past four years as the government along with different private and non-government organisations (NGOs) is implementing various development activities covering infrastructure, education, health and sanitation. The government has already implemented a range of development projects worth Tk 200 crore for providing them with employment, scope for self-employment and access to better health and education facilities.According to official sources, almost all families of all former enclaves have already got power supply, hygienic sanitation and safe drinking water. Construction of roads, bridges, culverts, haat-bazaars, drainage systems, educational institutions, community centres, digital sub-centres, police camps and houses for the homeless have also been completed.
Speaking to journalists, residents of different erstwhile enclaves expressed their joy and happiness for a life they never imagined.
They conveyed their profound gratitude to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for implementing the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) with India and giving them a new lease of life, a life of hope for the future.
Before the LBA agreement, thousands of people on both sides of the border lived in absolute poverty with no freedom of movement for long 68 years. But now the situation has changed for the better. They can now breathe freely in their own country. They even exercised their right to franchise in last parliamentary elections.
Earlier students of the enclave had to go to school hiding their identity. Now they can freely attend classes in their own school. All these put together have also brought about a positive mindset of the young who are preparing themselves to be worthy citizens of the country. The credit and applause is due to none other than the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, whose vision has already given a prestigious place in the comity of nations.