10 Jun 2024, 18:49

Ashrayan makes lives of Shukha, Ratna in Ukhia cheerful  

COX’S BAZAR, June 10, 2024 (BSS)-Life doesn’t give chances to change the destiny, but when gives chances many people are failed to utilise it.

The stories are little bit different for Sukha Barua and Ratna Dhar of an Ashrayan Project at Adarsha Gram at Hajom Road in Ukhia.

One of these two women is husband deserted, while another one is widow.

When their lives were encircled by darkness and frustration, the Asharayan Project, a unique initiate of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave them second chances to rebuild their lives. 

And they properly utilised that chances to change their destiny. Now, they are self-reliant and earn their own livelihood as well as spending happy lives. 

Shukha Barua, who was left by her husband as she has no money after few years of marriage, used to live on working as domestic help for others through experiencing miseries with two kids. 

“But, my life is started to turn back when I got a house from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” she said as she used to stay at dilapidated rented house in poor condition in different places of Ukhia.

In 2002, Shukha Barua received the house as gift like 88 other families under the Ashrayan Project at Adarsha Gram at Hajom Road in Ukhia.

After getting the house, she started to think that how could she change the destiny of her life and found out a way to utilise the small places adjacent her house. 

“I started to cultivate different types of vegetables and daily essentials on seasonal basis,” said Shukha Barua. 

Not only in her house, but also she started to cultivate the vegetables and other essentials like turmeric, ginger at the unutilised placed of other’s houses, she added. 

She continued, “I yielded a good outcome, resulting I didn’t need to buy any vegetables for me, rather I could able to give some of produced crops to my near and dear ones.”

Shukha Barua said that in this year so far, she sold vegetables of Taka 12,000, while dried up 25 KGs of turmeric although produced over 100 KGs. 

Seeing the success, many women came to her and wanted to learn cultivation methods from Shukha Barua. 

“So far, I taught 35 destitute women how could they yield well harvest of vegetables,” she said, adding, “Now, I have reset my motto of life and spending my days to train up other destitute women.”  

Expressing her gratitude to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Shukha Barua in a tearful voice said that “I couldn’t be self-reliant if the premier didn’t give this house to me.” 

“My previous life was full of hate, but my present life is happier,” she said, mentioning that her two kids now studying at school which she dreamt to make them higher educated. 

Another woman, Ratana Dhar who was a widow, also changed her destiny centring the house of Ashrayan project. 

Ratna said that her husband died 27 years back and then she used to stay here and there taking shelter of land lord for working as a domestic help. 

But, the story of changed destiny was come when she also got a house from the Prime Minister in 2022 under the Ashrayan Project at the same area in Ukhia.

Taking loan of Taka 5,000, she bought a goat from local market, and now she has 10 goats. 

Ratna said that she has already repaid the loan and saving money to start a new business.

She said that she also produce seasonal vegetables and others to meet her own family necessarily, resulting she don’t need to buy any vegetables from market. 
Ratna, mother of three sons, said that two sons have already become adult and self-reliant while the younger son is staying with her.

She said that her younger son has opened a watch shop in nearby market and plans to expand it with her help. 

Also expressing her deepest gratitude to the Prime Minister, Ratna said “It was not possible if the premier don’t give a house to her. This house has changed my destiny.”

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina tomorrow will provide 18,566 more houses and lands to landless and homeless families as part of her determination to ensure housing for all.

She will distribute homes among the homeless and landless families under the fifth phase of the Ashrayan-2 Project.

The prime minister will open the distribution programme joining through a videoconference from her official residence Ganabhaban in the morning. She is scheduled to connect with Kaliganj upazila of Lalmonirhat, Charfashon upazila of Bhola and Eidgaon upazila of Cox’s Bazar district.

At this stage, a total of 70 upazilas including all upazilas of 26 districts will be declared free of homeless and landless people.

With these, a total of 58 districts and 464 upazilas of the country will be homeless and landless-free.

On March 21, 2023, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handed over 39,365 more houses under Ashrayan-2 project to landless and homeless families in the fourth phase of the Ashrayan-2 project while 63,999 houses were distributed in the first phase, 53,330 in second phase and 59,133 in third phase. 

With the distribution of more houses, the total number will stand at 2,34,383 under the Ashrayan-2 Project.

Under the project, the landless and homeless people will get good quality tin-shed semi-pucca houses on two decimals of land.

Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman introduced the rehabilitation programme for homeless people in 1972.

Following the footprints of Bangabandhu, His worthy daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina took the initiative to provide ownership of houses and lands to homeless and landless people through the Ashrayan Project in 1997. 


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