Home for the homeless

25 July, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Bangladesh is a densely populated riverine South Asian nation that has always survived tropical storms, flooding, tidal surge, riverbank erosion, landslide and other natural disasters. But nowadays, climate change is accelerating the old forces of destruction, turning a large number of people homeless. There are around five million homeless people in the country, according to separate surveys commissioned by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics and Planning Commission’s five-yearly plan. The number of the homeless people is on the rise due to recurring natural calamities. Being displaced from their village homes, the hapless people lead a sub-human life elsewhere. In Dhaka city, we can see many homeless people who live in the open or roadside, pavements, in pipes, under flyovers and staircases, or in the open, near the places of worship and railway platforms et cetera.

Solving the problem of homelessness is a human imperative. Our Prime Minister, being the Mother of Humanity, has come forward to tackle the issue, a humanitarian crisis of our time. On Thursday, she inaugurated 20 five-storey structures constructed in the first phase of ‘Khurushkul Ashrayan Project-2,’ the world's biggest climate refugee rehabilitation project at Khurushkul, on the outskirts of Cox's Bazar resort town, through videoconferencing from her official Ganobhaban residence. Some beneficiaries, mostly the victims of the 1991 devastating cyclone, have been handed over keys of the 456-square foot flats. The incumbent government has set a target for the nation – every homeless person will have a house. "In the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation, our goal is that not a single person in Bangladesh would remain homeless," announced the PM. In this context, she reminded that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had a dream that Bangladesh would be a hunger-and poverty-free country and her government is on the track to fulfil this dream. The Premier also expressed her noble intention to provide homes to the homeless in flood and riverbank erosion. Although this is a tough task, but the PM’s firm determination to provide abodes to the homeless will surely make it possible.