Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's "Ashrayan Project", under which homes are built for homeless and displaced people, has played a key role in achieving the goals of poverty eradication, hunger eradication, gender equality and women's empowerment, among others, India's leading English-language magazine India Today writes.
Her innovative Shelter Scheme to transform Bangladesh into a developed and prosperous country by 2041, has been able to bring about positive changes in inclusive development by aiming to provide houses for landless, homeless, and marginalised people in 64 districts of the country, writes the magazine in its April 15 issue.
Whereas examples of low-interest loans for land purchase are found in several countries around the world, Bangladesh becomes the first country to offer free land ownership with houses to its marginalised citizens in order to bring its backward communities into the mainstream, India Today notes.
"Beneficiaries under this scheme are not only provided with accommodation, but they are also provided with various training, daily allowances during training, and loans after training to make them economically self-reliant," the report states.
"The scheme includes empowering women by giving them half ownership of land and houses, providing free electricity connection, providing clean water by installing one shallow tube well for every 10 families, and providing food assistance under three months of VGF to the resettled families initially," it reads.
The India Today report also lauded PM Hasina's development model, known as the "Sheikh Hasina model".
The "Ashrayan Project" is a unique example of how a house can be a major tool for overall family welfare and social development.
In its report, India Today highlighted the experience of two beneficiaries of the project.
For 30 long years, Moksedul, a brick kiln labourer, waited for a house that he could call his own.
His long-held desire has been granted, as he has been assigned a semi-furnished house in his own name.
Moksedul told India Today that he can live very well with his family now.
Meanwhile, sixty-five-year-old Piara Begum is a resident of Patharghata in Barguna who lost her family home to the river 30 years ago.
She used to live with her husband on the banks of the river until he died of cancer 16 years ago.
"Finally, Piara Begum's misery has come to an end after she is allotted a house built by the Bangladesh government on the occasion of 'Mujib centenary' under the 'Ashrayan' scheme'," India Today writes.
"I have been suffering all my life. I never dreamed of a house. Now, I have got a semi-furnished house with land. The prime minister has given me a house. I am very happy. As long as I live, I will pray for the prime minister," she told India Today.
The "Ashrayan" project was undertaken in 1997 under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. And since its inception, approximately 5,07,244 landless and homeless families have been rehabilitated at various stages under this shelter initiative.
Through this initiative, landless people have been given access to semi-finished housing and two decimals of land.