Owning a home on a piece of land is indeed a dream of a middle-class person in Dhaka city. But, is it the same when it comes to buying a plot for their own grave? It may sound a bit unusual to think about this when someone is alive.
The MIS Holdings has come up with an opportunity for Dhaka residents to book burial plots. It is also offering discounts ranging from Tk10,000 to Tk20,000 at its stall at the ongoing REHAB Winter Fair.
It is also taking plot bookings for couples or for an entire family.
At the beginning of 2018, the MIS Holdings developed the graveyard named Rawdatul Jannah on 200 bighas of land at Purbachal nearby Kuril Bishwa Road, on the outskirts of Dhaka. There are 80,000 burial plots.
Burial plots at Rawdatul Jannah are sold for three periods – 10 years, 20 years and permanent. The company has so far sold 300 plots, said Md Shoyaeb Hossain, owner of MIS Holdings.
It costs Tk3.50 lakh for a permanent grave, Tk2.40 lakh for 20 years and Tk1.30 lakh for a period of 10 years.
The amount covers all expenses required until the burial of the deceased. All information of a dead person will be preserved in a database.
"I took the initiative after watching an interview of a Bangladeshi expatriate woman with BBC News. I have no intention of doing business with it. It will run by a charity fund," Shoyaeb told this correspondent.
Talking about that interview, three years after burying her father at Azimpur graveyard, the woman had come to Bangladesh to offer prayers at his grave. But what she found was another person's name in his father's grave. Later, she returned to London and talked to the BBC about this.
"It hurt me a lot. After that, an idea of establishing a graveyard came to my mind and I succeeded to do so," he said.
Many people are visiting the stall of Rawdatul Jannah at the fair organised by the Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB). Some were seen booking plots while some others were inquiring about the plot booking process yesterday.
A visitor named Habibur Rahman said, "It is a very commendable initiative as there is a scarcity of burial land in Dhaka where a grave needs to be replaced with another one every three months."
Officials of Rawdatul Jannah said the graveyard has been divided into eight sectors. Every sector has five blocks and each block has separate lanes. It will be easy to find a grave.
Dhaka has eight government graveyards, but they have room for a small number of graves.
The Azimpur graveyard can house around 30,000 graves and the Banani graveyard has a capacity to accommodate 22,000 graves.
These graves can be leased for different tenures – from five years to 25 years. One has to spend up to Tk15 lakh for a piece of burial land.
Didarul Islam, an official of the MIS Holdings, said, "We are getting a very good response at the fair. People have appreciated the initiative as a good one."