A home away from home - The New Indian Express

A home away from home

Published: 26th October 2013 11:57 AM

Last Updated: 26th October 2013 11:57 AM

The Sabara Sahi Primary School at Badagarh here has some unusual guests for the last 15 days. Ten elderly people, rendered homeless by the Phailin, have found shelter in the school since they have nowhere to go.

Most of them are above 70 years of age. Koutiki Nayak, the oldest of them, is above 100 years. The common string that binds all these elderly people is that they found shelter at Sabara Sahi after they lost their homes in cyclone and there was nobody to give them shelter. Without any alternative, they are forced to survive on the food provided by the locals.

“Unlike Khurda, where the cyclone-hit persons were distributed a minimum of 50 kg of rice and Rs 500, no substantial relief has been distributed in the City. Where would these old people go?” local Corporator Amaresh Jena said.

The situation has been equally grim in other slums of the city. An agitated group of slum dwellers from Bharatpur staged a road blockade near Kalinga Studio demanding relief from the civic authorities. Local Corporator Soudamini Sethy said they were helpless when it came to providing relief to the slum dwellers since the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has not sanctioned anything yet.

An enumeration conducted by the district administration after the cyclone put the affected families at about 2,300 in the city. About 1,900 families were listed for relief.

Municipal Commissioner Sanjib Mishra said the Corporation was coordinating with the district administration to find out if more relief can be sought for the distressed families. “Another round of enumeration will be carried out after the rains subside and the damage will be assessed once again,” he added.  The slum dwellers, however, have accused the BMC of indifference saying they are knocking the doors of local corporators for relief and shelter who, in turn, are approaching the BMC but in vain.

A corporator said neither the local MLAs nor the BMC officials are highlighting the plight of the poor in the city. “Without their help, no relief material will be sanctioned by the district administration,” he said.

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