Till now, a total of 69,904 houses have been allotted to homeless and landless families under the supervision of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that not a single person will remain homeless in Bangladesh.
The premier made the remarks on Saturday while distributing homes to 66,189 families alongside rehabilitating 3,715 others in the barracks under the Ashrayan 2 Project as part of the government's pledge to provide houses to all the landless and homeless families on the occasion of Mujib Year and the golden jubilee of the independence.
The prime minister joined the inauguration program virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban and connected with 492 upazilas across the country.
"Within Mujib Year and the 50th anniversary of our independence, no one will be homeless in Bangladesh, my government is working to ensure it," the premier said.
"I had a wish to handover the homes to the homeless people in person, but due to Covid-19 pandemic I am not able to be present in person before you. However, on behalf of me, government officials will do it," she added.
Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Awami League, also thanked the people for their vote and said: "It was in our election pledge that we will give homes to the homeless people and now we are doing this because the people of Bangladesh chose me as the prime minister.
"It was a very tough job to complete almost 70,000 homes within a short time. Another 100,000 homes will be handed over soon," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said she was very happy as she managed to give such a large number of houses to the landless and homeless people on a day of winter, reports BSS.
Describing the ceremony marking the distribution of a large number of homes as the largest festival, she said: "Today, it is the largest festival. There is no such big festival like giving homes to landless and homeless people on such a large scale."
The prime minister, however, thanked all concerned including the local administrations and public representatives for managing to build such a huge number of houses by maintaining due standard in a short period.
Sheikh Hasina said that the souls of her father (Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman) and her mother and millions of martyrs who made supreme sacrifice for the country's Liberation War will rest in peace as such a huge number of people have got their own homes.
Referring to giving homes to the disadvantaged people in the society, such as dalits, harijans, transgender, tea workers and others, she said her government has been tirelessly working to ensure improved life for cross section of the people in the society.
The prime minister later exchanged views with the beneficiaries, local Awami League leaders, and public representatives who got connected to the program from Kathaltala village of Atalia union under Dumuria upazila in Khulna, Nizbari village of Kamarpukur union under Saidpur upazila in Nilphamari, Kartali village of Gazipur union under Chunarughat upazila in Habiganj, and Salla village of Baliadanga union under Chapainawabganj Sadar upazila.
A video documentary on the government's effort to rehabilitate the landless and homeless people was screened.
Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah moderated the function from the Ganabhaban end.
While exchanging greetings, Sheikh Hasina urged all the countrymen to find the homeless and landless people in their respective localities as the government has a target to provide homes to everyone marking the birth centenary of Bangabandhu (Mujib Year) and the golden jubilee of the country's independence.
Homeless people pray for PM's long life
The landless and homeless people who received houses as the gift of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the occasion of Mujib Year burst into tears, saying now they have their own addresses with shelter and praying for a long and healthy life of their premier.
"I am extremely happy ... I have never been able to construct a house in my life," said Parveen of Kathaltala village at Dumuria upazila in Khulna in an emotion-choked voice while speaking with the prime minister through video conferencing.
A sobbing Parveen said: "My husband gets no work. We spend our days without food again and again. We had no house. We never imagined we would have a house. You [prime minister] have given us a house and land. You will live long."
Trying to console Parveen, the premier said: "Do not weep. I think it is my responsibility."
She went on saying: "As the prime minister and daughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, I have decided to fulfil people's dream and work for the welfare of the people of the country. I have sacrificed my life to change the fate of the country's people.
"No people of Bangladesh will remain homeless and landless and I will ensure it. At the same time, I will also take necessary measures so that you – all the people – can find ways to secure your life and livelihood."
Freedom fighter Ashoke Das who was homeless a few days back and spent his life in misery also received a home. He also expressed his heartiest gratitude to the prime minister.
One beneficiary at Nizbari village in Saidpur upazila, expressing her gratitude to the premier, said she had no land and house "but daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has given me land, house, everything and I am overwhelmed with joy.
"I pray – may you [Sheikh Hasina] have a long and healthy life."
The beneficiaries also sang a Bhawaiya song that was written for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Besides, Md Nurul Huda, a CNG-run three-wheeler driver and beneficiary of Ikartali village at Chunarughat upazila, said he is used to living in the forest land with his family.
"You [premier] have given me a house with land that might allow me to spend a happy life with my wife and kids," he said.
Nurul Huda also prayed to Allah for a long and healthy life of the prime minister so she could help more destitute, homeless, and landless people in the coming days.
Largest govt housing project in the world
"This type of house handover program to almost 70,000 families is a first of its kind in the world," Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus said earlier.
The government has built 66,189 houses at a cost of Tk1,168 crore for the homeless people on the occasion of the Mujib Year. Each of the houses was built on two decimals of land having two rooms, one balcony, and one toilet besides having a connection of electricity and water.
The inmates of the houses will be given necessary training to ensure their earnings and after completion of the training they will get a loan from the government.
Besides, the Ashrayan Project under the PMO rehabilitated 3,715 families by constructing 743 barracks under 44 project villages at 36 upazilas in 21 districts during the Mujib Year.
Armed Forces Division is constructing barracks for landless and homeless families.
The Ashrayan Project has prepared a list of 885,622 families in 2020, including 293,361 landless and homeless families, and 592,261 families having 1-10 decimal land but no housing facility.
Ashrayan has also rehabilitated 320,058 landless and homeless families from 1997 to December 2020.
On the other hand, Ashrayan 2 project (July 2010-June 2022) has a target to rehabilitate 250,000 landless, homeless, and displaced families at a cost of Tk4,840.28 crore.
Ashrayan has already rehabilitated 192,277 landless and homeless families across the country from July 2010 to June 2019.
A total of 48,500 landless and homeless families have been rehabilitated in barracks and 143,777 families having own land (1-10 decimal) but no capacity to construct houses in semi-barracks, corrugated iron sheet barracks and specially designed houses.
In addition, the government also constructed 20 five-story buildings at Khurushkul in Cox's Bazar for 600 families, who are climate refugees as a special gift by the prime minister.
Armed Forces Division is also implementing construction of another 119 multi-storey buildings and related activities through Detailed Project Proposal (DPP).