SAMBALPUR: It has been seven years since the most-wanted Maoist Govardhan Badaik visited his family. While he remains untraceable, his family has to pay a heavy price. His wife and children are struggling to make ends meet.
Badaik’s youngest daughter has not met her father while his two other children - a son and daughter - have faint memories of him. In fact, his eldest daughter Sonabati is now appearing at the HSC examination. The family belongs to Meghpal village under Meghpal gram panchayat, considered the ‘Naxalbari’ of Sambalpur district.
Badaik had played a pivotal role in helping the banned outfit grow in Sambalpur, Deogarh and Sundargarh districts. Having joined the outfit in 2003, Badaik was behind killing of former sarpanch of Tampergarh Kadar Singh at Meghpal in Sambalpur the same year. Since then, the place has been the hotbed of Maoist activities.
With the killing, Badaik climbed up the CPI(Maoist) outfit’s ladder and has been declared a ‘most wanted’ criminal by the police. He has 26 criminal cases pending against him including five murders under various police stations.
While Badaik has been busy pursuing the Maoist ideology, his family is struggling to earn two square meals a day. His wife Parbati is looking after the children by working as a daily wager.
After their thatched house caved in, Parbati was allotted assistance under Indira Awas Yojana and she built a one-room house. But that too was damaged last year when a tree fell on it. She is now running from pillar to post to get housing assistance under Mo Kudia Yojana.
The hardship notwithstanding, Parbati ensures that her children attend school and lead a respectable life. A student of Tampergarh High School, Sonabati is now appearing at the HSC examination at Kisinda High School. She feels life could have been better for her family had her father been around. Her younger brother Mahabir is studying in Class VIII in Tampergarh High School, while Prabati’s youngest daughter, Chumki, is reading in the village primary school.
Strangely, while Badaik swears by Maoist ideals, his brother Mana Bhanjan feels power cannot flow from the barrel of the gun. Being the Sarpanch of Meghpal gram panchayat, Bhanjan has been successful in bringing about development in the village.
Setting his priority right, Bhanjan said all that people require are basic amenities - drinking water, health, education, communication and electricity. Admitting that Maoists took advantage of the backwardness of the area to spread their tentacles, Bhanjan, a Matriculate himself, lays thrust on education. He longs to meet his estranged brother and hopes that the latter would join the mainstream and take care of his family soon.