31-year-old Arath Takri lives happily with his wife, Sunita, in Tayaput village, Laxmipur Block of Koraput District. During the Palli Sabha (village meeting), his name was selected as one of the beneficiaries of the Indira Awas Yojna – a government housing scheme for “Below Poverty Line” population in rural India. He was very pleased and excited after hearing the news that he was entitled to financial assistance to construct a house under the scheme, but his happiness was short-lived. He found that his name had been mysteriously replaced (at the Block level) and another person of his village had been nominated to avail the same benefit. This was a big surprise to him. He was in a fix and did not know what to do and how to react to this sudden and unforeseen event. After a deep thought process, he finally decided to fight for his entitlement. He and his wife summoned the courage to personally go to the Block Development Office and lodged a complaint. Despite many follow-ups at official level, no substantial progress was made in his case and Arath felt that all his pleadings fell on deaf ears.
He came to know about the grievance redressal system-SAMADHAN through one of the community volunteers trained and mobilized by SOVA, a partner local NGO implementing Samadhan in Koraput District, Orissa. SOVA had run several awareness campaigns at village level. Arath met the SOVA volunteer and discussed his grievance. He followed the advice of the volunteer and formally lodged a complaint via sending a short text message (SMS). His grievance reached the District Administration quickly – in the month of February 2012 – and was swiftly forwarded to the concerned department, District Rural Development Agency (DRDA). Soon after, a proper inquiry was set up by the DRDA and the earlier decision was restored. Arath is now entitled to financial assistance to construct a house in his name.