Corrupt officials in rural Chattisgarh punish poor villagers for raising voice against corruption, deny them housing.
Bhan Sahu, the correspondent of this video is a village woman who has a small income and lives in a mud house. Like her, most people in her community are too poor to build a house on their own. Currently, the government has a policy to provide free housing to all the people who live below the poverty line, meaning, earning about 7USD a month. But Bhan Sahu says that although everyone in her community qualified for this scheme, nobody has been able to build a house yet because the money – Rs 35,000 – that was allocated to them for building a house, never reached them.
So where did the money go? The people in Bhan Sahu’s video tried to find the answer at different places, by visiting the local bank and other government offices that are in charge of implementing the housing scheme. But, instead of explaining why they did not release the fund, the government officials in charge got angry with the community for ‘daring’ to ask questions and deducted a part of the fund as a ‘punishment’. The villagers then approached Bhan Sahu – the only women in their community who has a camera – to do a report and get the issue out more widely.
Bhan Sahu says that such petty corruption is rampant in entire Rajnandgaon, which is – one of the most underdeveloped districts in India that has also seen large-scale violence by Maoist rebels who have been trying to topple the government. While the Maoists and the government blame each other for the lack of development, poor communities such as Bhan Sahu’ss’ suffer from not just underdevelopment, but also from corruption and the greed of government officials who go unpunished despite stealing the money from the poor and the needy.
Says Bhan Sahu, “People of my community are getting punished for opposing corruption. Yet we are not giving up.” You too can extend your support to Bhan Sahu and her community by writing to the district administration of at this address:
Sub Divisional Magistrate
You can also call the SDM at 07744- 226519 and email at firstname.lastname@example.org