Sunday, June 16, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Everyone deserves a roof over their head

Food and housing are fundamental rights

Update : 18 Jan 2023, 10:20 AM

While Bangladesh, as a nation, has undeniably come far in terms of its economic standing, equally undeniable is the fact that our development has not been entirely equitable.

This lack of democracy in our development has inevitably resulted in a deep-rooted wealth gap, paving the way towards more and more people finding themselves without a roof over their heads.

To that end, certain initiatives from both the government and the private sector which have sought to build housing for the un-housed have definitely gone a long way -- projects such as Ashrayan have handed over tens of thousands of shelters to the un-housed, for example; and now we can add Standard Bank's donation of Tk4 crore to the “House with Land for the Homeless People” project as announced by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

These are indeed laudable initiatives that we hope will not result in some tangible, positive impacts being made to improve the situation for the countless destitute Bangladeshis.

However, and rather unfortunately, considering the number of people who would benefit from public housing, such initiatives usually only cover a fraction of those in dire need of affordable places to live, especially in cities.

Food and housing are fundamental rights that every citizen in every country is entitled to -- there is no reason for Bangladesh to not be able to provide them for all its citizens. 

At the end of the day, housing initiatives can only go so far to fix this most pressing of situations, and even when they do they usually come with their own set of drawbacks. To ensure that everyone in Bangladesh has a roof over their head, we need to ensure that our future development is made in an equitable manner that takes the needs of the impoverished into account.

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