23/06/2016 1:07 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:27 AM IST

Two-Time MLA Blames Honesty For Reducing Him To Life On A Footpath

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KOLKATA, INDIA - 2015/10/17: People living on the street. The International Day for the Eradication of poverty is celebrated every year on 17 October throughout the world. It was recognized by the United Nations and the first commemoration of this event took place in Paris, France, in 1987 when 1000,000 people gathered for Human Rights to honor victims of poverty, hunger, violence and fear. In recent data by the Word Bank India, poverty rates have reduced to 12.4% from the 2011-2012 estimate of 21%. In October 2015, the World Bank updated global poverty line to U.S. $ 1.90 per day. (Photo by Saikat Paul/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Once upon a time, Shingara Ram Shahunggra used to be a lawmaker of the Bahujan Samaj Party, but now he lives on the streets with his family in Garhshankar town in Punjab.

Until he finds a place to rent, Shahunggra and his sons must find tarpaulin sheets to protect themselves from the rain, while his wife cooks on the side of the footpath, which is littered with their belongings, and they will have to use a neighbor's washroom.

"If I am seeing these days it is because of my refusal to indulge in corruption," he told The Times of India.

Even though he belonged to the Scheduled Caste category, Shahunggra contested and won the Garhshankar general category seat in 1992 and 1997.

"I was thrown out of BSP after I sided with Kanshi Ram's family when they were trying to reach him in his last days," he told TOI.

In all his time in power, Shahunggra never thought of building a house for himself, and now he is trying to find a house to rent for under Rs.20,000, which is his MLA pension.

The state government recently kicked him and his family out of a house belonging to the irrigation department, where they were living illegally.

"I entered politics to participate in Kanshi Ram's mission to empower the lower castes and I never tried to make money during my two stints," Shahunggra told The Times of India.

"When I was MLA, the salary was not enough to build a house and now I survive on my pension. I never thought of starting a business," he said.

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