Bangladesh Makes Strides Towards a Homeless-Free Nation Through Project Ashrayan

Bangladesh Makes Strides Towards a Homeless-Free Nation Through Project Ashrayan

Bangladesh has achieved a significant milestone in its mission to eradicate homelessness and landlessness in the country. In the spirit of “Mujib Barsha,” a grand campaign initiated during the celebration of the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the government has successfully rehabilitated a staggering 3.8 million landless, homeless, and helpless families.

The initiative dates back to 1997 when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina made the first move, and it has come a long way in its commitment to creating an inclusive society and uplifting the underprivileged sections of the population. Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the government embarked on a transformative journey to realize the dream of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s “model of inclusive development.”

The ‘Ashrayan Project,’ established under the Prime Minister’s Office, has been instrumental in the implementation of the rehabilitation program. In March 2020, during a discussion meeting organized by the ruling Awami League at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina vowed that “no one will be homeless or landless in the country during Mujib’s year.”

To fulfill this promise, local administrations identified approximately 900,000 homeless and landless families across the nation. Subsequently, the ‘Ashrayan-2’ was launched to provide semi-finished single houses to these families, along with a deed of ownership of two centuries of land for each household. The impact of this endeavor has been profound, with beneficiaries totaling an impressive 3,856,505 individuals, averaging five members per family.

Addressing the recent accomplishments, Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary, Tofazzal Hossain Mia, highlighted the monumental progress achieved in the last three years alone. Over 1.3 million people have been rehabilitated and granted ownership of houses and land, empowering them to break free from the shackles of homelessness.

The program has transformed the lives of countless families, bringing 211 upazilas (sub-districts) and nine districts to a state where homelessness and landlessness are virtually non-existent. To mark this remarkable achievement, on March 22, 2023, an additional 39,365 families will receive houses and land ownership, propelling Bangladesh further towards its noble goal.

The government’s multifaceted approach includes various programs such as the Disaster Resilient House Project under the Ministry of Disaster Management and the Guchchagram Project under the Ministry of Lands. These initiatives, combined with the ‘Shelter Scheme-2,’ are vital components in the overall strategy to ensure every citizen has a place to call home.

Furthermore, the government’s dedication to creating a comprehensive database of those in need has been essential to its success. In 2016, district administrators meticulously compiled a list of landless, homeless, and impoverished individuals. This invaluable data has served as the foundation for targeted assistance, facilitating the identification and support of beneficiaries.

The recent agricultural census conducted by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics also shed light on the scale of the issue, revealing that there were approximately 4.03 million people across the country without land or experiencing homelessness. The government’s efforts have brought hope and transformation to a substantial portion of this vulnerable population.

As Bangladesh continues its journey towards progress and prosperity, the ‘Shelter Scheme-2’ stands as a beacon of hope, symbolizing the nation’s commitment to building an inclusive society for all its citizens. With Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s unwavering dedication and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s visionary legacy guiding the way, Bangladesh is well on its way to becoming a model for the world in eradicating homelessness and embracing humanity.

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