Our community correspondents are embedded in their neighbourhood localities and they get to hear the slightest ruffles in their vicinity. This is such an impact story from Roopchandpur, Cholapur Block, Varanasi District of Uttar Pradesh India.
A case of nepotism and corruption came to the knowledge of Varanasi Community Correspondent Shabnam. It so happened that, for the community toilet of Roopchandpur, the vacant post of care-taker was offered to the daughter-in-law of the chief of the Panchayat, the local governing body, unlawfully.
Though on the surface it is a straightforward story, behind it is a tale of deceit and exploitation. The Village Committee decided that Ms. Anita Devi is the best candidate for the Care-Taker job as she is impoverished, widowed, specially abled and has one 4 year old son to take care of. But the Village Head removed her name from the proposal and kept his Daughter-in-Law’s name instead.
The whole village knew that she deserves to be the Care-Taker for the Community Toilet, the Daughter-in-law of the Panchayat Pramukh (Village Head) is considerably well-to-do in comparison to her.
Anita Devi, after being denied the job, decided to fight for her rights and Shabnam took up this case as a challenge, to give her the due benefits and to stop this base nepotism in the village.
Shabnam helped Anita Devi to write applications describing her plights to the Block Development Officer, Panchayat Committees, Community Development Officers and they even reached to the Deputy Commissioner with their requests. They kept revisiting these offices till they got a chance to meet the officials in person.
More than 6 months have passed doing these rounds of offices and by then, the new Panchayat Pramukh (Village Head) came to power. That position of Village Chief is on a rotation basis of 5 years. Seeing the injustice done to Ms. Anita Devi, he promptly removed the Ex Pramukh’s Daughter-in-Law and instated Anita Devi as the Care-Taker of the Community Toilet of the village Roopchandpur.
Please watch the video to see the resoluteness and gratefulness of Ms Anita Devi and her journey to becoming a respectful member of the society. Without Shabnam’s help, this issue would have lingered without any result.
Hope you will share this video to show the world that speaking out for injustice is a virtue. And that change is possible.
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