Nimapara: Even though the Union and the state governments have introduced several welfare schemes for the poor and landless, many poor families in rural pockets are yet to avail the benefits of the welfare measures.
Chhandarani Sinha, 52, a landless widow of Bhodara village under Nimapara block, is yet to have her own shelter. Chhandarani and her two sons—Goutam and Gopal—have been taking shelter in a toilet built under Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) for last four months. Cyclonic storm Fani had damaged Chhandarani’s thatched house on a piece of government land near the office of Bhodara gram panchayat, sources said.
Chhandarani claimed that she had applied for a piece of homestead land from the state government. Besides, she had urged local sarpanch, political leaders and officials of Nimapara tehsil to help her avail a homestead land, but to no avail.
“We heard that the state government is providing four decimal of homestead land to landless people. I have applied for the land several times at Nimapara tehsil. But we are yet to get the land. I have my voter identity card, Aadhaar card and ration card but I am struggling to get a plot for housing purpose,” rued Chhandarani who works as daily wager along with her sons.
According to Chhandarani, she had applied for a concrete house under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. However, the panchayat authorities rejected her plea citing that she did not have a land in her name.
The hapless widow revealed that she had constructed a toilet under the SBM around five months ago. However, the authorities concerned are yet sanction the money to her.
Many locals including Bhodara sarpanch Binapani Swain, meanwhile, urged the Chief Minister, revenue minister, local MLA, state Chief Secretary and Puri district Collector to allot a piece of homestead land to Chhandarani.
When contacted, Nimapara tehsildar Kamaljit Das said they have launched a probe to ascertain whether Chhandarani has any landed property in her name or not. “Once the probe is over, we will include Chhandarani under the Vasundhara scheme and allot her a piece of land. However, we have provided her house damage assistance as her hut on government land was damaged by the cyclone,” Das added.