Staff Correspondent: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday handed over 53,340 more houses to the landless and homeless people, reiterating her pledge to give shelter to everyone.
“Our target is to provide a shelter to every person as none in any area of the country will remain landless, homeless and shelterless,” she said in a house distribution ceremony among the landless and homeless people.
The Prime Minister inaugurated the distribution of tin-shed pucca houses on two decimals of land free of cost under the second phase of the Asrayan-2 project on virtual platform joining from her official Ganabhaban residence in the capital last morning.
She said that the government has been giving houses not only under the Ashrayan project, but also under various programmes of the ministries.
The government has been working tirelessly to bring all the people under the housing scheme, she said, adding that various ministries alongside the Ashrayan projects are working to give everyone a shelter following the Father of the Nation’s footsteps.
She added: “Life of the person, who is living beside the roads, footpaths, rail lines defying the rain and storm, will change if he gets a house and there is no more big happiness than getting a house to him and it brings a smile usually on his face.”
The Prime Minister said that they had earlier on January 23 last given around 70,000 houses to the landless and homeless people in the first phase of the Ashrayan project and this time 53,340 more people have got home under the project.
She added that since assuming office in 1996, her government has given so far 4,42,608 houses to the homeless.
The Prime Minister said that the people of various quarters particularly the government officials and business people have got inspired with the government Ashrayan project and extended their helping hands to this endeavour.
She said it’s a matter of joy that the spirit of providing houses to homeless has arisen among the people of the country.
She said the interest of giving houses to the people has once again proved that “human beings are meant for human beings.”
Today, the highest 12,436 houses were given in Rangpur division, while 10,547 in Chattogram, 7,630 in Dhaka, 7,172 in Rajshahi, 7,153 in Barishal, 911 in Khulna, 2512 in Mymensingh and 1979 in Sylhet division.
According to the lists prepared under the Ashrayan project, the number of homeless and landless families (under class-K) is 293,361 in the country, while the number of only homeless families (under class-Kha) is 592,261.
A theme song on the Ashrayan project was played at the house distribution ceremony.
PM’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus, who moderated the function, gave a powerpoint presentation on the project that he described as an inclusive development model formulated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The Premier later exchanged views with the beneficiaries of the housing scheme who were connected from different parts of the country.
Mentioning that Bangladesh is a land of natural calamities – cyclone, tidal surge, river erosion and flood, Sheikh Hasina said her government has been providing houses to the people who are falling victims to such natural calamities.
She said the government had made shelters for 4,000 people of the Cox’s Bazar who lost houses in 1991 cyclone.
The Prime Minister called upon all the countrymen to find out homeless and landless people around them and inform the government of the matter to help them get houses from the Ashrayan project.
She said the slum dwellers have been living in the most unhygienic condition, adding that the government has initiated a project to construct multi-storey buildings to facilitate them to live in a flat in healthy condition paying the same what they are currently giving as rent for shanties.
Spelling out the initiatives in brief, the premier said, “We’re working to improve life of the hardcore poor to include them in the mainstream of society.”
The main purpose of the country’s economic policy is to supply necessary money to the grassroots people at the villages and arrange livelihoods for their overall development, she added.
The Prime Minister further said that her government has been trying to improve the life and livelihood of the grassroots people with limited resources as it is the Awai League’s policy and they are to do so.
Due to the government’s efforts, she said, the lower income group people are gradually learning to stand on their own feet.
She also said that the government has fixed the target to make the country free from poverty and for that the government is doing everything necessary.
The Prime Minister once again called upon all to maintain the health guidelines that include wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining social distance to check further spread of the coronavirus so that none has to face death anymore.
She reiterated her pledge to bring the people under vaccination, saying that her government has already collected the jabs of the Covid-19 and efforts are on the way to collect more vaccines from multiple sources.
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