Finally, a roof over their heads | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 24, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:48 PM, January 24, 2021

Finally, a roof over their heads

Abdul Jalil being landless was rooted to poverty of his ancestors.

It was that poverty that forced him to migrate from his birthplace in Noakhali's Begumganj to Habiganj's Chunarughat in 1973. He was just 31.

Since then, Jalil mostly worked as a day-labourer, growing crops in others' lands to earn a living for his family.

But he couldn't earn enough to build a house of his own in all these years.

Yesterday, Jalil's family was given a two-room tin-roofed concrete house built on a khas land in Chunarughat under a government initiative to provide landless and homeless people with land and homes on the occasion of Mujib Borsho.

"Now, I am thinking of leasing in some arable land here to start farming," Jalil said.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the handing-over of houses to some 66,189 beneficiary families all over the country via a video conferencing from the Gono Bhaban.

Mujib Borsho marks the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Jalil said after migrating to Chunarughat in the early 1970s, he started to live in a small house built on a forestland.

In 1982, he was evicted and then, until 1989, he lived in other people's houses before finding another house on forestland.

Jalil said he and his wife had to raise his six children amid uncertainty over finding a permanent shelter for themselves.

He said his grandfather was a poor farmer with a few bighas of land in his possession in Begumganj and his father was even poorer and used to have as little as about one bigha of arable land.

Now at the twilight years of his life, Jalil has finally found the shelter he needed for his family to thrive.

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