Cluster villages aimed at rehabilitating homeless people under planned rural facilities visibly earned them a dignified life restoring their confidence to plan for a better living.
Some 50 families were accommodated at one of the nationwide 155 such cluster villages at Mollahkandi Guchhogram, who were previously living a miserable life in makeshift shanties in the neighbourhood losing their homes in river erosion and effected by cyclone.
They are day-labourers, rickshaw-pullers and landless farmers.
“I had no house, no shelter one year back . . . I felt really worthless but now I’m living with my two kids and wife in a tin- shed house,” said Mizanur Rahman, a rickshaw-puller of Munshiganj.
Fifty families including Rahman’s once arranged their accommodation at the cluster village at Mollahkandi while officials said a total of 6,942 families were rehabilitated in 155 such planned villages across the country while works were underway to set up 107 more villages by next year.
“The present government has a plan to set up 262 cluster villages (Guchhogram) across the country to provide shelters to 10,650 landless and homeless in river-erosion and flood-affected people across the country,” National Project Director of Gucchogram and also a joint secretary of land ministry Md Hasan Imam told BSS.
He said project management unit, Gucchogram (CVRP) is working to implement the project at 188 upazilas of 61 districts (except three hilly districts) with Taka 187.2908 crores financial support of Japan Debt Cancellation Fund (JDCF).
In line with the Awami League engineering’s manifesto, the project director said, the government has taken such step to establish 262 Gucchogram to rehabilitate 10,650 families.
Under the Adarshawgram (ideal-village) project-1 and 2, introduced during the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Government, a total of 1,507 ideal villages were established for 71,032 homeless people.
Hasan Imam said with a view to developing socio-economic condition of Gucchaograms’ people, the government is working to ensure livelihood for the rehabilitated families by providing facilities to enhance their income and introducing micro-credit programme there.
He said the government is providing maximum Taka 10,000 to each family as micro-credit through Bangladesh Rural Development Board (BRDB) and Taka 400 to each family for planting saplings of trees.
Started in January, 2009, the Gucchogram project is expected to be completed by June 2013.