CANACONA: Sixty-three-year-old Maximan Braganca is cycling from pillar to post to restore his century old ancestral house, which, he says, might come crushing down any time.
Maximan and his wife are knocking the doors of each and every Government agency to save their house from collapsing for the past many years. With no help coming from anywhere they fear that their house might cave in during this monsoon season. They fear the very house which was once the jewel in the locality and had given them many reasons to celebrate, might someday spell a death knell if the needed repairs are not carried out urgently.
Braganca, a resident of Sadolxem in Poinguinim village panchayat and a BPL card holder with no source of income, has to depend on help from others in the village as his only earning economic activity of angling fish cannot meet the expenses of medical bills of his ailing wife who had fallen from the roof of their house a few years back.
He says, "My house had partially collapsed on October 2, 2009 in the Canacona floods. However, in spite of informing the Mamlatdar office no one came to inspect my house and I didn't receive any financial help or compensation from the authorities".
"As we are from very low economic strata the officers in the concerned departments don't consider our proposals and even after we submitted a file for house repair under Indira ashra yozna few years back we didn't receive any information from the RDA and if we enquire now they say that the scheme is stopped," said Maximan’s wife Mary.
The house now has broken roof tiles and rusted tin sheets and with no option left the Braganca couple fear that their earthen house might come crushing down in the coming rains. If it happens in the night, he says, it might disastrous to the family who also has a 25-year-old daughter in the house. The mother went on to request the concerned authorities to offer a government job to her commerce graduate daughter at least on humanitarian grounds.
When Herald queried them about other social welfare schemes they said that neither of them are aware of the schemes run by the state Government.
Senior citizen and a social activist from Sadolxem Ervilho Barreto said that he is trying to complete the formalities for social welfare schemes wherever they are eligible and expects support from the concerned departments. “I am also in talks with locals apart from government officials who look after repair schemes to come to the rescue of the Braganca family so that they can at least build a temporary room to shift and avert any danger to their life in case the house collapses,” said Barreto.
When Herald contacted the social welfare office at Canacona the officials said that since this family is from general category they cannot be fitted in some prevailing house repair schemes but they informed that in this situation the village panchayat has to take a resolution saying that it is a mud house and is in a dilapidated condition.
“With this resolution the file has to be submitted to BDO, who in turn will refer it to RDA, and after a survey is conducted the family will be marked in the socio economic census; only then they will be eligible for a grant of Rs 1.25 lakhs for reconstruction, which normally takes one year," said the official further.