Ashrayan Project -2: ‘I’ll invite the PM to our home!’
"I am Sheikh Hasina's Jannat!"
This is the sweet response of a nine-year-old whenever her name is asked.
Jannat's family, in Kajaldighi of Panchagarh's Boda upazila, was gifted a semi-pucca house and two decimals of land under the government's Ashrayan-2 project -- aimed at providing homes to the country's homeless people.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will officially inaugurate the second part of the project's third phase today.
"I used to see other people's homes and dreamed of having one of our own someday. The prime minister has fulfilled that dream. I love her very much and will invite her to our house in Panchagarh whenever I get the chance," Jannat, a third grader of Kajaldighi Government Primary School, told this correspondent.
Earlier, Jannat's father Rabiul Islam, a day labourer, had no other option than to live in a shabby tin-roof house built on government land with his wife and two children.
"My daughter has been so happy since we got our own house. She even cut out a picture of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina from an electoral poster and pasted it on the fence near our house.
"The deputy commissioner later presented her with a framed photo of the premier, which Jannat cleans regularly and keeps beside her pillow."
With her new home, Jannat can now focus on her dreams of becoming a doctor and serving the poor.
At least 60 other families of Kajaldighi have been benefitted the same way under the ongoing third phase of the project.
Meanwhile, 394 landless families in Tangail have also been given homes.
Karimon, a widow working as domestic help, said, "I am so happy to have gotten my own house and land without having to pay a penny to anyone!"
Ataul Gani, deputy commissioner in Tangail, said apart from clean water and electricity supply, the shelters were also provided with greenery, while sewing machines were distributed among residents to help them make a living.
Houses will also be built for the people who have become homeless and landless due to floods and river erosion, he added.
In the third phase, the government is to provide 67,800 semi-pucca houses to homeless families in different districts across the country.
Of those, 32, 904 houses have already been gifted, while 26,229 will be handed over on July 21. The remaining 8,462 houses are under construction.
In January 2021, the prime minister handed over 69,904 houses to homeless and landless families under the first phase of the project on the occasion of the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
During the second phase, in June last year, 53,330 houses were handed over.
The government has allocated Tk 4,028 crore for the construction of 1,85,129 houses in the current fiscal year.