‘Stories from those who live it’ is tag line that we often use to describe the work of our Community Correspondents. Today’s story is one of those unfortunate tales– nature’s wrath combined with the government’s haphazard plans and those caught in the middle are people, just like you and me, trying to get on with the business of living. Community Correspondent Shankarlal Raikwar reports from his village, Chhilla in Uttar Pradesh where the heavy rains of 2013 left 19 families, including his, without a roof over their heads and with other heavy losses, especially for the farmers. “For how long could we have sat around waiting for government compensation? 3 walls in my house collapsed. I took a loan, sold whatever grains I had and organised some money to get my house built again. Others in the community have also salvaged whatever they could to get some semblance of order back to their lives”, says Shankarlal. Brij Lal who supports a family of 7 by farming will be turning to wage labour since he lost his entire crops. There has been no news on the compensation front for him. The heavy rains and floods in Uttar Pradesh affected some 3.5 lakh people across 20 districts of the State. The state government has released Rs.8399 Crores as compensation for families. Yet, it is evident that most people in this village have hardly received any money. A revenue officer paid a visit to the village sometime in September. He walked about officiously, scribbled something in his book and never returned. After Shakarlal made this video, he made a visit to the District Magistrate’s office. That resulted in 6 of the 19 families being paid compensation between Rs. 1,800 and Rs. 2,100. Shankarlal says that the amount is hardly adequate to even build a mud house. So what now? Should the families just forget about Government aid or should they keep fighting for what was promised to them? Call to Action: Please call the District Collector, Mr. OP Verma on 09454417549 and ask him to make sure that the remaining families get fair compensation for their damage.
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