RANGPUR: Massive supports and sincere efforts of the government have been rapidly improving living standard of the erstwhile enclave people changing their fortune in last four years.
Everything started changing in former enclaves since implementation of the historic Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) as per Mujib-Indira Accord of 1974 with exchanging 162 erstwhile enclaves between Bangladesh and India on August 1 in 2015.Around 38,000 former enclave inhabitants living in 111 erstwhile enclaves in Bangladesh started enjoying taste of freedom for the first time since that day ending nightmare of long 68 years. Additional Divisional Commissioner (General) Md. Zakir Hossain said the government soon allocated Taka 200 crore when different departments, NGOs and other organisations started implementing massive uplifts for mainstreaming erstwhile enclave people, reports BSS.
“All families living in 111 former enclaves inside Bangladesh, including 12 in Kurigram, 59 in Lalmonirhat, four in Nilphamari and 36 in Panchagarh, got electricity, hygienic sanitation and pure drinking water facilities within one year,” he said.
Infrastructural developments like constructions of roads, bridges, culverts, hats-bazaars, drainage systems, educational institutions, community centres, digital sub-centres, police camps and houses for homeless were conducted in former enclaves.
The government departments provided training, loans, inputs and assistance to unemployed youths for income generations and allowances to widows, elderly citizens, disabled people, sub-stipends to female students and other facilities.
Talking to the agency, Superintending Engineer of Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board at its Rangpur Zonal Office Engineer Manabendra Lal Mustafi said electricity has been provided to every house in all 111 former enclaves.
“The socio-economic conditions of former enclave people have improved following setting up of power-run small scale cottage industries, factories and enterprises creating employments for male and female youths,” Manabendra added.Talking to the agency, residents of erstwhile enclaves expressed happiness and deep gratitude to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Naredra Modi for implementing the LBA in 2015.
Among 111 erstwhile enclaves in Bangladesh, the biggest one Dashiarchhara is situated under Fulbari upazila in Kurigram with about seven square kilometres in area and inhabited by around 7,000 people.
Like others, Aminur Rahman, Abdul Hamid and Ali Haider of Kalirhat Moholla in Dashiarchhara said people of all erstwhile enclaves have got new life after remaining like stateless citizens for 68 years.
“We have got citizenship, land ownership, hygienic sanitation, smart cards, health and e-services, voting rights, roads, bridges, culverts, educational institutions, resource and learning centre, assistance under social safety-net programmes and everything,” Hamid said.
Students of class ten Moushumi and class nine Pervin of Dashiarchhara Junior Girls’ High School said they are happy to freely attend classes after becoming prideful citizens of Bangladesh since 2015.