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ETHICS and INTEGRITY – Answer Writing Challenge, 16 July 2014

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16 July 2014

1) You are a Block Development Officer. You have been invited by a Panchayat Secretary to attend the Gram Sabha meeting. The meeting has been called to allot houses to the poor with an aim to make this Panchayat free of huts. State government has sent you a strict direction to provide durable houses to all the needy and to make sure no village has a single hut anywhere.

In the meeting a very old widow approaches you and tells you that she is living in a hut which is dilapidated and is about to collapse. She has no one in the village and she is all alone and she is at the fag end of her life. When you are about to recommend her a house out of empathy, Panchayat Secretary reveals that she was allotted an house few years ago and that she had sold the house to pay her husband’s debt. Some villagers who treat her as insane old widow also raise objections to grant her another house.

She is very old and she is almost begging you to help her. Selling her previous house was illegal as per Panchayat rules. She has nowhere to go. As per government’s directive, she can not continue to live in a hut.

In this circumstance what decision will you take? Explain why. (200 Words)