Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said that her government plans to provide a better life for stranded Biharis in the country on humanatarian grounds although they had opted for Pakistani citizenship after Bangladesh’s indepenence.
“We want to see a human being as a human being. May be they didn’t want to live here, but where they will go now. Their next generations took birth in this country. We have to do something for them,” she said.
The PM said this while addressing an inauguration programme of road infrastructure and drainage system onstruction and development (phase-1) of newly created 18 wards of Dhaka North City Corporation, reports UNB.
The programme was held at Kanchkura High School field of 44 Ward under Dhaka North City Corporation while she joined it from her official residence Ganobhaban.
Talking about stranded Biharis the PM said that not only in Dhaka, Biharis are living in various areas of the country.
“They wanted to go to Pakistan and take Pakistani citizenship after the Independence. But Pakistan never accepted them,” she recalled.
In this connection, she said that many organisations collected huge amount of money for them. But their fate did not change at all.
“They are now living in Bangladesh with their children and grandchildren. They are living an inhumane life in the small spaces in Geneva Camps,” she said.
The prime minister mentioned that Biharis are very much hardworking and they are skilled in many crafts.
“For that I wanted to arrange a good accommodation for them and engage them in the jobs in which they gained their skill and manage their livelihoods,” she said.
She said that this can not be done in Dhaka, for that a convenient good place is needed where there are industries or scope of jobs for them.
“We have to do that creating scope of employment for them. They could get a good humane life at least. That’s what I want,” she said.
Hasina also criticised the mentality of the people of the country who think that life is meaningless if anyone do not have any land or flat in capital Dhaka.
“This kind of thinking must be driven away from the head,” she said.
She said that communication system of the country has been improved a lot.
“We are developing rail, road and air communications, people easily can go back to their home after completing their job. We are developing the communication system in a planned way,” she said.
Hasina said that with her personal initiative shefound out a piece of 10-bigha land in Gulshan area where a playground will be developed.
“Nothing else, only playground,” she said firmly.
The PM again requested the people of the country to maintain austerity in using electricity and water as the government is providing huge amount of money as subsidy in these utilities.
“We are giving huge subsidy, these are all the money from the taxes of the people,” she said.
She said that the government is providing the subsidy to improve people’s living standard.
Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister Md Tazul Islam, Chief of Army Staff General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed, Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Md. Atiqul Islam and Local Government Division Senior Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed also spike at the programme.