In the year 2011, Birish Parya was given a grant on behalf of the rest of the village to construct a well in his village, Kusmahi by the MGNREGA scheme. This is a common practice used where one individual receives money for a project which they distribute to others who work on it.
Upon the completion of the 1st round of the project, Birish received an amount of Rs16,000 which he gave out among fellow workers. But the rains played spoilsport and the well could not be completed.
Determined to finish what had been started Birish decided to fund the construction himself in the hope that he would receive the money from the scheme at a later date. A year later, there is no sign of this money.
The MGNREGA scheme aims to provide people from landless families employment by giving them work under projects that simultaneously build infrastructure for the community. In this case, the village has got neither infrastructure nor the promised employment.
Subhagya Devi Birish's wife despairs at the economic status of their family.
"Come look in my house, you wont find a thing that is of any worth. Where do poor people like me go?"
16 families from Odisha's Sundergarh district were paying taxes for a piece of land allotted to them 22 years ago through government schemes. But in reality the land was allotted only on paper. They did not even know the location of the land for which they had been paying taxes...