Ranju was standing beside the school wall watching people queue to receive their relief but her name was not in the list. At an age of 26 she had become widow with a mother of one-and-a-half-year-old daughter. She only thinks about her daughter’s future.
Her house was washed away in the flood and now the mother and child lives with her husband’s relative at Dezoo Chapori village in North Lakhimpur, Assam. She helps in house work but always worried as anytime they can ask her leave the house.
“We wanted to raise our daughter by giving her quality education but our dreams remained as dream”, exclaimed Ranju. She used to stay happily with her husband Madhav Prasad Sharma and daughter in their house close to the river but never thought that the same river will take their house one day.
“Madhav had a medical shop which was their only source of livelihood. After his death, the shop is closed and whatever income used to come has stopped,” narrated Ranju with tearful eyes.
Every one affected by flood has their own story of pain which only brings back the moments of deprivation, confusion, hurt, loss and psychological trauma.
Ranju came to know about the complaint box installed at the distribution point for grievance redressal, so she dropped her application in the box mentioning her case for support. The village committee along with Caritas India personnel reflected on the application and considering her vulnerability had decided to extend emergency relief support to her.
“I will use this money for the admission of my daughter in school and reconstruct my house” said Ranju. She further plans to reestablish her husband’s closed medical shop to become independent so she can provide good education to her daughter.
The complaint redressal mechanism of Caritas India during emergency is an effective step to invite community to submit their confusion, complains and feedback for redressal and improvement. It not only creates space for community to express their views but also brings accountability, transparency and participation.
Every day after distribution of relief materials, the village committee and Caritas India personnel sits with the community and open the complaint box to hear the issues and unanimously decide for its redressal.