The Indira Awas Yojana was put into place to ensure that those living below the poverty line could have the money to built roofs over their head. Beneficiaries receive up to Rs. 70,000 for the purpose.
While the official website of the scheme states that middle men and contractors are discouraged from entering the process, the reality is quite different.
Community Correspondent Kamal Purty brings a story from Khuntpani Block, Bayhatu Village, Jharkhand revealing the gross corruption that is affecting the lives of 10 families in the village.
Raju Pan, earns a living through a modest poultry business; he makes just about enough to put food on the plates for his family. His earnings however have not been enough to build him a house and he lives in his brother's house.
Raju and 10 other families had been counting on the money from the scheme to start construction work for their homes. The plans were put on hold even before they could see the money.
A ward member informed them that each family would have to pay a sum of Rs. 3,000 in order to receive money from the scheme. He defended himself on the pretext that the money wouldn't go to him but to officers higher up.
The villagers saw no option but to pay up. They later however rallied together to get their money back.
"If the government provides schemes for us, why should we pay?" asks Raju.
Kamal tells us that the villagers have now been returned their money as the block officers got whiff of the video he had made.
"The people at the office know my work. I had visited them last year for a similar case.
(see here: worked.http://indiaunheard.videovolunteers.org/iu-impacthomes-built-by-peoples-media/) I believe it is the same officers who have asked for money this time as well. It startles me that despite being caught out once, they go ahead and indulge in such corrupt ways," says Kamal.
Though the bribe has been returned, the families are yet to see money to build their houses. Kamal suggests you give the officers at the Block office a bit of a nudge.
Call to Action: Please call Sanjay Kumar, Block Development Officer on 09955423934 and ask him to make sure that the 10 families of Bayhatu get the money from Indira Awas Yojana to build their houses.
The elderly couple from Rajasthan had medical issues and could not look out for themselves.