Tragedy strck Sundar Shyam's family when his 70-year old mother died in a freak accident as the fire broke out at his home. Since he and his wife were working in the fields of Gendupur, a village in the Gaya district of Bihar. The fire took away Sundar's mother and his house, leaving him and his family without a roof.
While he mourned the death of his mother, the government delayed compensation to him by almost two years. In 2014, the compensation for a kin of the person who perished in fire was Rs 1.5 lakh rupees. This amount has been since revised and raised by Rs. 4 lakh. When in 2015, Sundar met Amit Kumar our community correspondent in Bihar, he told Amit the tradegy and the compensation that had been denied to him.
Amit was moved by the injustice and made a video on the issue. He then showed the recorded evidence of delay to the concerned Circle Officer Suman Kumar who ensured that the due compensation will be given to Sundar. Due to Amit's push, Sundar then filed an application to Suman and the process was once again started in 2015. "The head office in Gaya reverted back to stating there were some formalities that were left out. We did the needful and resent the application," informs Suman.
In 2016, after a wait of two years, Sundar finally received the compensation. With that money, Sundar has started rebuilding his house. "A life that is lost, doesn't come back but the money has helped us rebuild our lives again. We have some relief for us and our children," says Sundar.
The incident is a reminder of the power that a video has to push people into action when shared with the world and the government. Amit shares his experience of helping communities into action, "It is all about the approach. If one interacts with the government officials with courage and intent, there will surely be a change.
This video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent Amit Kumar.
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.
Many applications later, hundreds of people continue to suffer.
Formal applications to get new beds have been sent thrice to the local administration. But the situation hasn't changed.