Compensation promised by the state government has started to reach the survivors of the Malin landslide, who are still living out of temporary shelters.
On the list are 12 individuals who are sole claimants to the compensation. This sudden windfall has led to another problem: how to handle the money prudently.
“Some of them are in their early twenties. They are not listening to wise counsel and are spending the money on unnecessary purchases,” points out a villager who rues the fact that the youngsters are not listening to the elders. “They are buying expensive mobiles or two wheelers.’’
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The sum in question is substantial. The state government has paid Rs 5 lakh to each survivor, with an additional Rs 2 lakh from the Central government and Rs 1.5 lakh from the tehsildar fund, which works out to Rs 8.5 lakh for every deceased person in the family.
They will be able to withdraw 10 per cent of the compensation they receive, while the remainder has been parked in a fixed deposit for five years.
“We have been counselling them but the final call is theirs. If the survivor is in their late thirties or forties they are more responsible, but we have noticed that those in their twenties are spending the amount without thinking of any investment,’’ said the official.
Moreover, he adds that there are youngsters who were studying or working who have left their work and live on the amount or interest from the fixed deposit and the initial amount withdrawn.
“Unless there is some kind of training in the village and they are employed, the amount will be frittered away,’’ says another resident.
There are others who are minors and who are aware about the amount but are not sure how and when to withdraw it. Fourteen-year-old Pravin Shelke who stays with his aunt says that he has a passbook and would want to use the amount for his further studies. ‘I want to study to be a doctor,” he says when asked. He lost his parents, grand parents and two sisters and a compensation amount of Rs 75 lakh is parked in the fixed deposit.
But not everyone thinks like Pravin, point out villagers who after a year show the ground reality between the haves and the have-nots in the temporary shelter.Some of the villagers revealed that many have taken to liquor addiction and there are others who while away the time in the village without doing anything due to the huge bank balance that has come their way.
“They had nothing and suddenly they have become lakhpatis and so they have to be guided,’’ said a woman resident in the camp.
Gramsevak Sanjay Jhanjare said that even as there are camps counselling these youngsters it is essential that the administration provides some job opportunities in the village rather than give them temporary jobs outside the village. “If these youngsters are employed within the village they can look after the fields as well as work in the village itself rather than going for six months and quitting the job and coming back. We have had NGOs counselling these youngsters against any addiction or spending money on vehicles. However, without any option these persons indulge in such activities,’’ said Jhanjare.