Every human being deserves to have a roof over their head, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina understands this.
But Bangladesh has long faced a severe challenge on this front, with thousands of people losing their homes and their lands from floods and other natural calamities.
It is, then, a most laudable initiative for the government to initiate plans to construct 2,500 cluster villages across the country to ensure housing for all.
Some 11 cluster villages have already been inaugurated by the prime minister, and it is a positive sign that the others are well on track.
Indeed, the nation should get behind the ambitious but entirely achievable goal of ensuring that not a single person in Bangladesh remains homeless by the time the nation observes its golden jubilee of independence in 2021.
The scheme to construct cluster villages in phases under the Ministry of Land is nothing if not grand -- the aim is to rehabilitate some 50,000 homeless and landless families across the nation.
While, realistically speaking, the cluster village initiative may not be enough to ensure the long-term goal of sustainable housing for every Bangladeshi, it is certainly a noble and smart step in the right direction.
The plan will also go a long way towards reducing some of the tremendous pressure on Dhaka city, which is currently choking under over-population and unplanned growth.
With cluster villages throughout the country, there will be less reason for the poor to seek out housing in dangerously unhygienic slums in the capital, which lack even basic sanitation or waste management facilities.
The PM’s vision of cluster villages across the country, then, will not only immeasurably improve the lives of the rural poor, it could also change the face of the capital.