LAKSHMIPUR: After receiving keys and deeds of new houses, the homeless and landless people were overwhelmed with joy and happiness as they got permanent address at Charkalakopa Ashrayan Project under Ramgati Upazila in Lakshmipur District.
They expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for making true their long-cherished dreams of own home.
The premier joined the programme via video conference from her official Ganabhaban residence in Dhaka.
At Charkalakopa Ashrayan Project, 142 families on Thursday found their permanent address and a new identity of themselves and their next generations, reports BSS.
One of the beneficiaries of Charkalakopa Ashrayan Project, middle-aged Bibi Taslima took refuge to residence of her brother after being deserted by her husband around one and half years ago.
Taslima, a homeless destitute woman of Char Alexander under Ramgati upazila in the district, had to contribute to poverty-ridden households of her brother by working at other’s house.
“I led my life miserably with my small earnings under the shelter of my brother as my husband left me one and a half years back. It is very difficult to live at my brother’s house with my one son and one daughter. Moreover, they are also poor,” she said while expressing her happiness to the agency over getting the new house.
Another woman Kazal Rekha, 35, a mother of two daughters, also got a roof above their heads at the Ashrayan Project.
“Nearly five years ago, I lost my husband. Moreover, I had become homeless nearly three years ago as the Meghna devoured my husband’s home at Wabda Bazar area under Char Alexander. After losing my house, I used to stay at my father’s house with my daughters. This created difficulties to my father as he is also leading a poor life,” she said.
Thursday, she is feeling happy as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given her an identity which is essential for her daughters’ future.
The premier on Thursday handed over 26,229 more houses to landless and homeless families under the third phase of Ashrayan-2 Project.
A total of 67,800 more single houses are being handed over across the country under the third phase of Ashrayan-2 Project.
Among the 67,800 houses, 32, 904 single houses were handed over on April 26, 2022 while the rest 8,667 houses are being constructed.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also announced 52 upazilas, including all upazilas of Panchagarh and Magura districts, as homeless and landless free upazilas.
The premier exchanged views with some beneficiaries and other stakeholders connecting with five venues in the five districts.
The places are Charkalakopa Ashrayan Project under Ramgati Upazila in Lakshmipur District, Gaurambha Ashrayan Project under Rampal Upazila in Bagerhat district, Char Velamari Ashrayan Project under Nandail Upazila in Mymensingh District, Mahan Para Ashrayan Project under Panchagarh Sadar Upazila in Panchagarh District and Jangalia Ashrayan Project under Mohammadpur Upazila in Magura district.
Expressing the feelings of getting houses, some beneficiaries thanked the prime minister for providing them with home and thus securing their lives.
They prayed for long life of Sheikh Hasina and wanted her to see as the Prime Minister time and again, calling her as the touchstone of the development.
While expressing her gratitude to the Prime Minister, Nasima Akter, a beneficiary of the Charkalakopa Ashrayan Project, said after being deserted by her husband around 12 years ago, she had to maintain her livelihood through begging.
On the occasion, Deputy Commissioner of Lakshmipur District Md Anwar Hossain Akand said in the first and second phases of the Ashrayan Project-2, they handed over 1786 houses to landless and homeless families in the district.
He said the government has set a target to distribute another 1,442 houses under the third phase of the project.
Out of the houses, the government has already handed over 280 units while another 436 have been handed over Thursday, he added.
Works are underway to build the remaining of the 726 houses, he informed.
He expressed gratitude the Prime Minister for announcing Ramganj and Raipur upazilas as homeless and landless free upazilas.
Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus moderated the function while Project Director of Ashrayan-2 Project Abu Saleh Mohammad Ferdous Khan made a presentation.
Chattogram Divisional Commissioner Md Ashraf Uddin and Prime Minister’s Assistant Press Secretary MM Emrul Kayas, among others, were present at Lakshmipur end.
A video documentary was screened on how the landless and homeless people have developed their living standard after getting benefits that included training and money alongside the houses under the Ashrayan-2 Project.
According to the project details, a total of 1,17,329 single houses were constructed under first and second phases of the project while 1,85,129 houses were allotted till 2021-2022.
On January 23 in 2021, 63,999 homeless and landless families received houses under the first phase and 53,330 families got a roof over their heads under second phase of the Ashrayan-2 Project on June 20 last year.
At the third phase of Ashrayan-2, the government has raised the cost and brought changes in design to make the houses more sustainable and climate-resilient.
Now the landless and homeless people will get better quality tin-shed semi-pucca houses on two decimals of land.
The cost against each house has been increased to Taka 2,59,500 from Taka 1,91,000 to make the houses more sustainable.
The government is constructing the houses having strong great-beam, lintel and Reinforced Concrete Column (RCC) pillar for making the houses more sustainable.
Under the Ashrayan project, a total of 5,09,370 families have been rehabilitated till fiscal year 2020-21 from 1997.