762Published on March 21, 2022
Leprosy patients, who were virtually excluded from society, thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for integrating them back into society.
"People suffering from leprosy were loathed in our country. There was hatred in the eyes of relatives, neighbours, and onlookers. Then we came to Dhaka. We were staying at platform 8 at Kamlapur Railway Station. It was in the air that the Awami League leader was set to come. We thought if we met her, she might find a way out for us," they said in a visual report shared by Prime Minister ICT Advisor Sajeeb Wazed Joy from his verified Facebook account.
"As we went to meet her, a mat was spread. She came and, putting the mat aside, sat with us. We, 18 people, were given something to eat. She also ate with us. We discussed our habitat issue with her. She promised us that if she was voted to power, she would secure a shelter for us. Then when her party was elected in 1996, she started the housing project for us," they added.
Recounting how life has changed since then, they further said, "We were trained in sewing and candlemaking. We were offered a loan from social welfare. We were given treatment and medication for free. Our children were blessed with education. Some of them completed their BSC and some diploma. When we were suffering from leprosy, we had no life, no society. No one cared for us, no one loved us. After coming here, we were integrated back into society. We can get in touch with other people."
In the post, Sajeeb praised the poverty alleviation model, envisioned and realised by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, paving landless people the path for self-reliance, endowing them with shades overhead and sources of empowerment.
"So far, the government has built one house with land for about 4 lakh uprooted families on the initiative of Bangabandhu daughter Sheikh Hasina. Handing over houses to 1 lakh more families is underway," he observed.
Shedding light on further initiatives geared towards empowering marginal people, he said, "Ensuring the housing arrangements, the government is now taking various measures for their earnings. These families are becoming prosperous by utilising the facilities of the developmental infrastructure of Bangladesh."
"Besides government allowances are reaching the homes of the elderly, widows, the disabled, and the helpless. As a result, their children are returning from their early working lives. Free education and stipends have helped the new generation of helpless people return to school," he added.
The benefits of independence are reaching at every door, most of the marginalised people are now daring of dreaming for a better future, he wrote in the concluding remark.
His observations were also substantiated with a visual report incorporating interviews of the beneficiaries who thanked the prime minister for the series of measures transforming their lives.
Beneficiaries including people from transgender communities and ethnic minorities also spoke highly on the initiatives meant for including them in the society.