Shukkur Dewan saw so much in his life of 70 years. He even saw his wife and himself living in a neighbour’s cowshed after their son’s deception got them evicted from their own house.
But, before seeing handover of the house being built for him and his wife, at the directive of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Shukkur breathed his last on Thursday afternoon.
The Kawkhali village resident in Rangabali upazila died of cardiac arrest around 4:00pm at the house of his neighbour Shahjahan Gazi, said Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Mashfaqur Rahman.
Shahjahan Gazi donated a piece of land where a two-room house is being built for Shukkur and his wife Sahura Begum, 65.
The government’s disaster management department, under its ‘construction of disaster tolerant dwellings for the homeless’ project of Rural Infrastructure Maintenance Programme, is spending Tk 2.58 lakh for building a ‘disaster-tolerant house’ on the donated land, the UNO said.
A government process is also underway to allocate one acre of khas land for the couple, he said, adding that now, upon completion of the house and the land allocation process, both the house and the khas land will be handed over to the wife of the deceased, Sahura Begum.
After reports were published in different newspapers about the elderly couple’s living in a neighbour’s cowshed, the prime minister had asked local lawmaker Md Mohibbur Rahman to build a new house and allocate a piece of land for Shukkur and Sahura.
The Daily Star on October 25 ran a report headlined ‘Elderly couple living in cowshed for a month: They were evicted from their house after their only son secretly sold their house and left the village’.
About four months ago, Shukkur and Sahura’s son Mohammad Hasan tricked them into handing over all their property on 40 decimals of land in Kawkhali village.
The couple realised of their son’s deception only a several months ago when Hasan left home secretly and Shukkur’s brother Tajem Ali Dewan evicted them from their house, claiming that Hasan had sold all their property, including their agricultural land, to Tajem.
Since then, Shukkur and Sahura’s neighbour Shahjahan Gazi sheltered them in a cowshed. With all their four daughters married off and no other family member to care for them, their neighbours have been providing food to them.