35 Dalit families living in Dharsauna village were facing difficulties in availing of the IAY scheme. The families are daily wage earners and very poor to build permanent homes on their own. They did approach and apply several times to Village head for the benefit of IAY, however, according to them, the village head asked for Rs.15000 bribe each time. The families couldn't afford to pay this amount to him anyways, thus they were never selected for the scheme benefits. As a result of living in huts, these families were often exposed to harsh extremities of each weather which in turn invited health problems and further medical expenditure. Community Correspondent Shabnum Begum identified the issue while she was on a field visit for filming another video of hers in the neighborhood. She spoke to the families and asked their consent to film a video their issue as an initial step for problem-solving. The video was filmed by her and a community meeting was held. An application addressing the village head was written and signed by all community members present and it was decided that it would be submitted the next day by Shabnam and a few community members. The next day the application was submitted, however, the village head acted ignorant of the issue. Shabnum and community waited for a few days for any probable action step by the village head, but then since there wasn't any response from him, they visited the block office. A fresh application was submitted to the Block development officer by the community members and Shabnam. The BDO wasn't present in the office during the visit, however, the application was accepted at inward section of the office. Within a few days, things worked and the families were notified for the benefit of the scheme. The 35 families received rs.42,00,000 in three installments and the cost of labor was Rs.5,53,000. All the families now have their own permanent home live in especially this period of Covid lockdown wherein all the citizens are instructed to stay indoors in quarantine.
Dissent in Democracy: Community Correspondents Discuss the State of the Country on Gandhi’s Birthday
In recent times, there has been a clampdown on voices of dissent in India. On Gandhi Jayanti, correspondents shared their experiences reporting about issues that may ruffle feathers, and decided that Gandhi would have approved.
Many civil society organisations are questioning the deteriorating law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh.