Since Tuesday morning, a chaotic situation prevailed in the heart of Diphu town over the distribution of CGI sheets by Department of Welfare of Plain Tribes and Backward Classes (WPT & BC). The extremely hopeful women reached the town early in the morning with an anticipation to return home with a bundle of roofing sheets in the evening.
Sources revealed that the department had planned that only 11 families will be given the sheets per day. Everything was going fine till Monday but on Tuesday morning the situation took a stiff mount. Hundreds of men and women gathered in-front of the KAAC CEM’s residence and his official residence to seek for his signature on their application in order to be eligible to become a beneficiary.
People are still wondering whether they were from urban or rural area. Were they really in need of the roofing sheets to have a roof over their heads? Who brought them here and how did they come to know of the scheme? All these questions are unclear to the public who have seen the women crying with pale and frustrated faces. Nobody kept the stock of how many rural and urban people actually received the sheets. Unable to calm the restless crowd, CEM himself had to appear before them and request them to be patient. Everyone thought that his assurance would calm the hearts of the people. But, repeated the same act on Wednesday- holding papers in hand and standing in the courtyard of the Municipal Super Market Complex at Rongbin Aklam, where the sheets were stocked. The officials informed them that the distribution was close for the time being until further direction from the CEM. However, the unsatisfied public did not want to listen and strongly demanded that they be provided the sheets.
The officials had to take the help of the police to control the mob. The police had to do lathi charge fire some blank shots. Suddenly, the news of an elderly woman being injured surfaced. Who is to be blamed? Who will take the responsibility? Many citizens of Diphu are clueless about how such incident could have taken place. Lack of discipline, absence of order and rule had given opportunity for such incident to rise. Apart from that, lack of proper and systematic planning for the distribution will have their own share of blame.
It is also a matter of concern as rumours have been spread all over that most of the beneficiaries were not at all eligible to obtain the facility.
What I want to say is, the chaos that happened yesterday could have been avoided if the concerned department approached the village headman, ask the name of eligible beneficiaries and distribute the materials in their respective villages. Because, according to rumours, many beneficiaries were not at all eligible to obtain the facility. The incident would not be so messy if the public were a little docile. In the same way, it would have been much better if the concerned department or authority was a little more tactful. It’s no use crying over spilt milk, but, as John Dewey says, failure is instructive and I hope that everyone have learned a good lesson from the incident.