Villagers of Shahpur have not heard of govt housing schemes

Lifestyle Rural Karnataka

They reside in houses made from tin sheets

Villages in Shahpur taluk, Yadgir district, do not have proper houses. They live in dwellings made from tin sheets.

“We borrowed money from a person and built this house for Rs 1 lakh as we did not have a house to live in. Six persons live in this house. We do not have any facilities. Also, we are unable to pay the money as we do not have proper jobs. The government does not help us either. With do not know what to do,” said Sulthana, a resident of Rastapur village.

Nagaraj, a gram sevak from Hursgundgi said: “We had no other option than building our own houses with this material. We buy these tin sheets from Shahpur.”

Most of the people The Observer interviewed said they did not receive any funds from the government. Some did not even know about the existence of schemes to help them build houses. Those who have applied under schemes said they did not receive anything.

“I applied under a scheme three to four years ago but have not got anything. Many like me applied, but nobody got anything,” said Shiva, a resident of Saidapur village.

M.D. Sharmudhi, panchayat development officer, Rastapur village, said: “This is a very poor village. There are many other villages like this in Yadgir. We do not receive any schemes or facilities from the government. Most of the people in the villages are into agriculture or work as agricultural labourers. To build proper houses, a lot of money is required. So we build houses with tin sheets.”

Under government schemes like Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awas Yojana (PMGAY) and Rajiv Gandhi Housing Corporation Ltd, the rural poor get funds to build proper houses. PMGAY aims to provide rural India with proper housing by 2020.

Anil Bhaskaran, an architect and urban planner, said: “The distribution of wealth and resources in our country is unequal. There are people living a 25-floor buildings and there are people who do not have proper houses. This is unfair. The way the policies are formulated should be changed. When it comes to building houses for the poor, the government can introduce factory-made houses with basic facilities like water and electricity. With today’s technologies, plug- and-stay houses, which are more like caravans, are possible. Visions for the future should always include the poor.”

PMGAY, previously known as Indira Awaas Yojana (started in 1985) is a government scheme that aims to provide housing to the rural poor. Under PMGAY, financial assistance worth Rs 120,000 in plains areas and Rs 1,30,000 in highland areas is provided for the construction of houses. These houses are equipped with toilets, LPG and electricity connection, and drinking water.

The Rajiv Gandhi Housing Corporation Ltd was created in 2000 as a special purpose vehicle “to provide housing for socially and economically weaker sections of the society through effective implementation of Central and State housing schemes”.

There are various other schemes meant to provide houses to the rural poor, but they have not helped the residents of Shahpur taluk.


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