Bihar Government is yet to pay compensation to Fire-affected households

A fire broke out at midnight in a hamlet in West Champaran district of Bihar unknown to its resident, burning three houses down to the ground, leaving its poor residents homeless and without any belongings. “We’ve lost everything in the fire; Rs. 10,000 worth cash and jewellery, 50 kgs of wheat, 1.5 quintals of rice, there is no place to live and nothing to eat,” Moda Devi, a victim of the fire. The three families of Anita Chaudhary, Manu Chaudhary and Aniruddh Chaudhary, whose homes went up in ashes, are engaged in agricultural work.

In the event of a fire or any natural calamity, the Bihar Disaster Management Authority is supposed to go to the affected area and undertake an inspection to see the amount of damage done. After ascertaining the seriousness of the damage, the authorities are supposed to give a deserving compensation to the affected families. However, Tanju, a Community Correspondent has observed that very few people are actually aware of these provisions. It has been almost a six months since the fire, however the Chaudharys yet wait for the authorities and their compensation. 

This is not an isolated incident. Over the past few months, Video Volunteers has uncovered several such cases in Bihar where fire has claimed scores of villagers but the compensation from Bihar Disaster Management Authority have been repeatedly absent. In 

Bihar has been paying a heavy price for climate change this preceding summer. Bihar’s rural and semi-rural areas have had many unfortunate events of fire. Due to lack of LPG, cooking gas, in rural India, most households use Chulha, a traditional clay cooking stove with firewood which emits ember.  Ember stoked by the hot, dry, western wind have led to fire incidents in the state which has destroyed about 22,000 homes and cattle sheds have been fully or partially in 2016.

Call the Circle Officer, Gunaha, Bihar on +91-9431826712 and request him to compensate the victims at the earliest.

This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent Tanju Devi.

Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. These stories are ’news by those who live it.’  they give the hyperlocal context to global human rights and development challenges. See more such videos at www.videovolunteers.org. Take action for a more just global media by sharing their videos and joining in their call for change.

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