Tragedy haunts landless, homeless people

OUR CORRESPONDENT | Friday, 25 June 2021

Here are heart-rending and tragic tales of two wretched and ill-fated people living amid great sorrows and sufferings due to abject poverty, being homeless, landless, and also shelter-less.

The first story narrates the miserable life of a marginal fisherman named Jamal Miji (29).

Jamal Miji is a resident of Vatialpur village in ward no 9 in Faridganj upazila sadar.

He has been living for over 10/11 years in a shanty on the slope of the abandoned Zila Parishad Road.

He is married to Salma Begum (23) and they have a 5-year-old daughter named Amena Begum.

His elderly father Loni Miji (65) and old mother live beside his shanty in another worn-out house. Loni Miji, who is also too poor and landless, has retired from labour work.

Talking to this correspondent at his home, Jamal said he and his family members cannot live and sleep in peace in the worn-out shanty as the entire house, beds, and pillows get wet in rainwater falling through the holes of old corrugated tins gifted by neighbours.

He nets to fish in the almost-dead Dakatia River fully filled with big-sized water hyacinths for years together due to which country boats can hardily ply there.

With the sale proceeds of netted fish, he runs his family somehow.

Sometimes he has to pass days half-fed because of sickness-induced joblessness.

He is suffering from gastritis, ulcer, heart disease, etc. said his wife Salma Begum and his elderly parents.

Jamal said he knows that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is giving the house to the homeless people but he is yet to get it. He cherishes a strong desire to get it so that he and his family can live and sleep in peace there. He is eagerly waiting for it.

He added when it rains accompanied by strong and gusty winds, he and his family members feel panic lest his worn-out house should raze to the ground. So he has tied his house with ropes to the nearby trees.

Suman Sheikh (40), Uttam Majhi (35), and a few other neighbours also echoed the same sad and tragic tale of Jamal Miji.

They have also called upon the government to extend help with dwelling houses to landless and homeless Jamal Miji.

Contacted, Ward's Councilor Sajjad Patwary Tito told the FE that his Paura Parishad is yet to receive any message from the government regarding houses to be distributed among the homeless. If he gets any order regarding this, he will think about Jamal Miji.

On the other hand, UNO Sheuli Hori told the FE that if she gets written information with the recommendation from poura councilor regarding Jamal Miji, she will include his (Jamal's) name in the list of dwelling houses in the next phase of the government project.

On the other hand, there is yet another tragic tale of a physically challenged husband-deserted destitute woman.

She is Parvin Akter (38), daughter of late Nurul Islam Sarder and a resident of Montola village, ward no-9 under Subidpur East Union in Faridganj Upazila.

Since her birth, her both legs are lame and zigzag.

Blessed with a small kid, she is landless, homeless, and also shelter-less. She has been working as domestic help for her survival since her parents died over 30 years ago.

She was married to a mentally imbalanced man, Ripon Mia, who one day went missing around 5/6 years back.

Since then she has been living in the worn-out house of her elder brother who works in Sylhet as a porter.

Sometimes, she along with her small son has to sleep at night outside the house under a polythene's tent when the elder brother and his family come home to spend a few days.

Talking to this correspondent, Parvin said, "I am so unfortunate and unlucky in the world. I have none to help me but Allah in the world."

She has no house to live in. No landed property too. Nor she gets any government allowance as a physically handicapped woman. Sometimes she gets relief rice. So she has to live amid pent-up feelings, silent sobs and cries, and much sorrows and sufferings.

Locals Billal Sarder, Mizan, and Hossain Miji of the village said as physically handicapped since her birth, Parvin really deserves government allowance and a house.

Contacted, local UP member (Ward No 9) Nasiruddin Patwary told the FE, "Actually, Parvin is my relative. She deserves a card as a physically challenged woman and also a house. I will try to stand by her."

Contacted, UP Chairman Maulana Md Sharafatullah told the FE, "At first Parvin should get a card of physically challenged woman and later I will try to get her a new house from the government."

When contacted, Faridganj UNO Sheuli Hori said, "If the local UP members and chairman do not give her (Parvin's) name, what can I do?"

"Still I will look into the matter and try to help this destitute physically challenged woman."

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