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Blind Monu Miah’s dream comes true for Ashrayan Project

Elderly Monu Miah, a blind since the age of twelve due to typhoid, became homeless just after the independence as the mighty Meghna devoured his home in Chandpur district.

Monu Miah had to lead a miserable life along with six other family members after losing his home. He used to stay on streets and beg to ensure food for his children. At last, he started begging in Moulvibazar district town and living at a slum near the town.

“I lost my two eyes at the age of 12 due to typhoid. I lost my home after the Liberation War in erosion of river Meghna. Later, I didn’t have any home of my own. I led a very miserable life along with my wife Ambia Begum and two sons and three daughters,” Monu Miah told BSS correspondent during a field visit to the ‘Ashrayan Prakalpa’ site at Maijpara under Chandighat of Moulvibazar district where Monu Miah has been rehabilitated.

Recalling the hardship throughout his life, Monu Miah became emotional and broke into tears, saying, “I had a dreamt to ensure at least shelter for my children. But I was unable. Though my two sons have become adult, they are also unable to turn their father’s dream into reality.

He, however, is now one of the fortunate people who got a two-room semi-pucca house of their own on 2 decimal lands under the first phase of the ‘Ashrayan-2 Prakalpa’ at Maijpara under Chandnighat union of the Moulvibazar district.

Monu Miah and his wife thanked the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and said they are praying for the Prime Minister and her family members every day after namaz.

The Prime Minister had undertaken the Ashrayan project in 1997 and 3,73,562 houses have so far been given to homeless and landless families under the Ashrayan project run by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

Ashrayan-2 Project Director Md Mahbub Hossain said the government prepared a list of 885,622 families in 2020, of which 293,361 families are landless and homeless and 592,261 families have 1-10 decimal land but no housing facility.

Deputy Project Director of the Ashrayan-2 Mohammed Jahedur Rahman said the government is working relentlessly to ensure quality homes for the homeless people under the ‘Ashrayan Project’.

Under the Ashrayan-2 project, a total of 1,18,380 landless and homeless families have been given two-room semi-pucca tin-shed houses on two decimal lands so far, he informed.

Out of those houses, he said, around 0.2 percent houses got damaged due to heavy rainfall, flooding, natural disasters and flaws in construction works in different areas.

“We have taken immediate steps to renovate the houses. We have also strengthened further our monitoring activities. Since the outset, we have zero tolerance policy against any irregularities and negligence in this project,” he mentioned.

Jahedur Rahman said Ashrayan is the largest humanitarian project of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

He informed that administrative actions have already been taken in the areas where allegations were raised and at the same time they would do everything including repairing or reconstruction to those houses which were not built as per the approved design.

He said the government is providing all civic facilities, including school, mosque, temple, electricity and drainage system under its different projects.

While visiting the Maijpara Ashrayan under Moulvibazar sadar upazila, Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Sharmin Rahman said they have already handed over 40 houses to the landless people.

“We are observing the rest of their needs. Step by step, we are meeting all needs through different projects,” he added.