Ashrayan project helps distressed families getting new life

Publish: 10:09 AM, June 23, 2018 | Update: 10:09 AM, June 23, 2018

RAJSHAHI -Khadiza Khatun, 48, now can sleep in almost happy mode every night as she got a new life eradicating her poverty.

After getting microcredit, Begum earns money regularly through vegetable cultivation and poultry farming. She was rehabilitated in Joynagar Ashrayan-2 Project under Durgapur upazila in Rajshahi district.

“We all rehabilitated families together are farming fish and rearing duck in pond inside the project area,” she added while talking to BSS in a smiling

Like Khadiza, 50 other homeless families were rehabilitated in five barracks of the project. Lalon Ahmed, another member of the project, says the present government is very sensitive towards the rootless people. “Now, we have got shelter as a result of the benevolent initiative of the government,” he added.

The rehabilitated families got scopes of improving their living and livelihood condition involving them in various income generating activities.

A total of 190 needy families were rehabilitated in 19 barracks of Chorai Ashrayan Project under Shingra upazila in Natore district. Sherena Begum, one of the rehabilitated members, said the families are engaged in rearing domestic animals at present. Most of them have started saying their long-lasting poverty and hunger goodbye.

Many poor and extreme poor people have got shelter, training and financial support with intervention of the project that contributes a lot towards
transforming them into self reliant in the region. “Once we lived under a shed on the roadside in Baganpara area. Now, we have got a permanent house to live,” said Shelekha Begum, 45, a housewife of Halidagachhi Project under Charghat upazila.

She also enjoys micro-credit facilities inspiring her to rear cow and poultry birds. Her eyes were filled with tears when she recalled her earlier
hardships. May Allah bless Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her government,” she said in an emotion-chocked voice. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched the ‘Halidagachhi Ashrayan Project II’ on February 8, 2014, which has already become popular among landless people of the upazila.

In 1997, Awami League government had launched the Ashrayan project. Thereafter, the government has launched the second phase of the project.

Monwar Hossain, 38, a farmer of Jhikra Thakurjhi Ashrayan Project in Bagmara upazila, said he along with other marginal people is farming fish and
vegetables on a cooperative basis.

“Now the government has given us a shelter. We are cultivating vegetables as well as rearing poultry. Our children can continue their studies at home
without any hassle as electricity is available here. Hossain said there are four ponds in the project where fish is cultivated under cooperative system. The poor and destitute people are happy getting shelter there, he added.

Additional Deputy Commissioner (General) Md Shalahuddin said 1,375 homeless families were rehabilitated under 22 schemes in different areas of
Rajshahi district in the two phases. He said the Ashrayan Project has not only given shelters to the poor families, but also created opportunities for the self-employment besides providing health services, sanitation, drinking water and education for children.

Nur-Ur-Rahman, commissioner of Rajshahi division, said 267 Ashrayan projects were implemented constructing 1,945 barracks on 937.47 acres of land in 56 upazilas in the division. Around 16,825 families were rehabilitated in the barracks. Besides, 2,084 houses were constructed for the homeless people in 67 upazilas and 20,940 other homeless people will be brought under rehabilitation in phases.

Rezaul Islam, Divisional Deputy Director of Directorate of Fisheries, informs 4.82 metric tonnes of fish fingerlings were released in the ponds of
102 Ashrayan projects in the current 2017-18 fiscal. Moloy Kumar Roy, divisional director of Department of Family Planning, says family planning and maternal and children healthcare services were provided to 37,413 people of 12,346 houses in 1,278 barracks.