Bhubaneswar: It's been more than three years now that over one million depositors in Odisha, mostly poor people, lost their hard earned money in the Rs 20,000 crore chit fund scam. CBI investigation is on and several owners of such fraudulent companies are in jail. But the plight of the poor duped depositors is getting from bad to worse as many of them have lost their life-long savings.
Jyoti Nayak is a house maid, earning Rs 5000 a month. This slum in Bhubaneswar is all she can afford for her family. But in 2010 she had hoped for better when she invested Rs 19,000 in a chit fund company promised high interest by the company agents. A year later, the chit fund company vanished. And with it, Jyoti's life's savings.
"Had I have that money with me, I could have at least got a shelter for my family. Now we are staying in such pathetic condition in summer and rain. We don't know whether we will get our money back or not," says Jyoti.
Promises of high returns can fool even even literate, middle class people. Jayshree, a school teacher, borrowed Rs 40,000 from her relatives to invest in the Seashore chit fund company. Today, she has lost her money and her peace of mind.
"Everyday there is quarrel in my family over the money I had borrowed and lost. I have lost my job too due to this problem and am finding it very difficult," says Jayshree.
At least six investors and agents have committed suicide in Odisha after losing money to dubious chit funds. Over 7 lakh depositors are waiting for justice. After 2 years of investigations and no success, the Odisha Crime Branch has had to hand over cases to the CBI.
What the different investigative agencies have seized so far from the fraudulent chit fund companies is just tip of an iceberg. The major portion of the loot amount is yet to be traced and until that happens there is hardly any hope of these duped poor investors getting justice.