A Decade of Negligence

Rangoli Devi is torn at the moment between the decisions she has to make. In the limited resources she has, she can either fix the roof of her hut; put food on the plates of her family or educate her children. Her family is one of 120 in Lututand Village in Dhanbad District, Jharkhand where families do not have access to any government schemes because their names are not on the all important Below Poverty Line (BPL) list. Watch Community Correspondent Halima Ejaz’s first ever video and see how you can help bring a meaningful change to the lives of 500 people. Till 2002 some families of the village featured on the BPL list which helped them get job cards, rations and access to government schemes meant to bring them housing, sanitation and reservations in private schools for children. When a new list was made in 2002 and again in 2007, the remaining names were not added; even existing names mysteriously vanished from the list and with that, their shot at a more secure life. For a decade now the residents have been worn down with the sheer apathy they’ve had to face. They’ve gone to the Block Office and Village Council office multiple times and still don’t know why their requests haven’t been processed. Their options of earning a livelihood are severely limited. Most don’t have land to farm on because the mines took those over; others work as wage labourers or migrate elsewhere. By not reaching such a vulnerable group, the government schemes have defeated their very own purpose of existence. “When the Block Development Officer visited our village council we all went and explained to him about how we weren’t benefiting from any of the government schemes. Since we aren’t on the BPL list, we can’t get food grains or get our ration cards nor can we get job cards made”, explains Champa Devi, a resident of the village. Since 2011, Halima has visited Lututand at least once a month in her capacity as an ASHA supervisor. While her main job is to make sure that maternal health facilities for the residents are in order, she’s also come to know the families and their problems well. She says: “For two years now, I’ve been seeing them carry on with their lives and seen the challenges they overcome to make sure that they can eat one meal a day. I’ve felt both angry at the absolute lack of consideration of the officials as well as helplessness. How could I have tackled this situation? I find that my work as a Community Correspondent can compliment my job as an ASHA worker. I finally have a means to fix so many of the issues I see around me. In the coming week, I am taking this video back to the community and will show it to them. This will help me rally support and give them confidence that our meeting planned with the Block Development Officer will be fruitful.”   Will you stand by Halima and the community and ensure that they get the benefits they’ve been promised?   Call to Action: Please call Santosh Kumar Garg, the Block Development Officer on 9471191628 and ask him to ensure that the residents start getting access to government schemes meant for them.    

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