• Thursday, Sep 29, 2022
  • Last Update : 09:24 am

Mujib Borsho brings fortune to ethnic minorities

  • Published at 12:14 pm February 6th, 2021
Till now, a total of 69,904 houses have been allotted to homeless and landless families under the supervision of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Sheikh Hasina virtually handed over houses to a total of 69,904 homeless and landless families on January 23 marking the birth centenary of Sheikh Mujib

An intensified campaign during the ongoing Mujib Borsho brought an extra fortune for around 8,000 ethnic minority families nationwide as they are getting a home under the government initiative.

This is one of the special initiatives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to provide homes for vulnerable ethnic minority people, alongside the landless and homeless families across the country.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman dreamt of a Bangladesh where everyone will have a house of their own, while the country that he founded now spearheads a campaign under his daughter’s leadership to ensure a permanent home for all, as a part of Bangabandhu’s birth centenary celebrations.

Sardar Saren spent 65 years of her life in a makeshift shanty erected on a piece of government land.

This elderly member of Santhal community, one of the oldest ethnic groups to settle in Bangladesh, found a permanent home in Morabostapukor area of Kandia union under Gobindaganj upazila in Gaibandha.

“I have been living in the neighbourhood here since my birth, having no piece of land of my own. As a day labourer with six family members, I did not have the ability to procure any land either,” she said.

Saren emotionally recalled the days when her family of six, including two widowed daughters and a grandson, languished in the hut that was constantly damaged by the rain and storm.

Saren looked back to the shabby hut while she now walked towards her new nearby home – a concrete house with tin-shed – built for the ethnic minority community under the premier’s initiative to improve the living standard of ethnic minorities living on plains.

This is a two-room accommodation with a kitchen, a toilet, and a veranda on a two decimal of land, entirely under her legal possession.

Sheikh Hasina virtually handed over houses to Saren and fellow recipients on January 23, along with ownership documents of two decimals of land to over 69,904 homeless and landless families, to mark the Mujib Borsho.

According to officials concerned with the project, a total of 4,500 families, belonging to different ethnic minorities in rugged south-eastern hill tracts, are provided permanent homes by now.

Works are now underway to allocate permanent accommodation for vulnerable families of different ethnic minority communities on plain lands throughout the country.

Like Sarder, a total of 50 families of the Santhal community who were leading a similar life, were rehabilitated in the Morabostapukur area of Gobindaganj upazila of Rangpur district.

“It’s just like a daydream that I’ll now live in a semi-solid house with all the facilities. None but our affectionate prime minister Sheikh Hasina realized our pain. It is not merely a house, it’s an address [identity] as well,” Saren said.

Gobindaganj upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) Ram Krishna Barman said: “A total of 70 families of different ethnic groups have been rehabilitated under the prime minister’s office’s (PMO) initiative.”

PMO Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah said marking the Mujib Borsho, Sheikh Hasina is giving a total of 3,500 houses as gifts to landless and homeless people of ethnic minority groups who live on plain lands across the country.

Along with houses, the school-going children of the ethnic groups are also given bicycles and stipends, so that they can get access to education easily, he added.

Apart from the ethnic minorities living on the plain lands, the PMO secretary also said the ethnic minority groups living in the three Hill Tracts districts — Rangamati, Bandarban, and Khagrachari — were given identical homes with the same facilities.

During a visit to Rangpur, BSS found that a total of 25 families of “Taruni Das” community were rehabilitated with tin-shed houses with two rooms and solid floor, under the project at Ghanirampur Borogula village of Taraganj upazila there.

Sabitri Rani Das, who had lost her husband four decades ago, was living in a clay hut for the last 40 years with her two sons.

As a member of Taruni Das community, who usually makes their livelihood by selling bamboo-made products, she was leading a miserable life with her little income coming from the cottage industry.

“It was very hard to manage daily essentials with the only income from cottage products. Building a new house was a luxurious matter for us,” Sabitri said.

A wide smile illuminated her face as she talked about this, being the owner of a new permanent home.

“Our fate has changed now. We’re very grateful to our prime minister,” Sabitri added.

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