Despite the claims of Central Government, an old age home in the district is on verge of closure due to non-availability of funds for the last two years.
According to sources, 10 out of 22 inmates of Similichuin old age home had to be sent back to their homes. As the old age home is funded by the Centre, the State Government is not coming forward to its help.Set up and run by a non-government organisation, the annual cost for running the old age home is `6 lakh. It provides boarding and food to the elderly people.
Not long back, the old age home was doing well. However, situation turned worse when no fund was received from Central Government two years back. Though district administration has written several times to the Central Government in this regard, no step has been taken so far.
“We are facing difficulties as food, medicines and other basic amenities are not provided properly due to lack of funds. We came here in search of a better life as we were deprived of all these. But, here conditions have turned worse now and we do not know where to go now,” said an old woman of the home.
The authorities had recently sent some of the inmates to an old age home in neighbouring Dhenkanal district but they have come back. Criticising the Government for its indifference towards the problems of helpless old people, old age home secretary Debendra Acharya blamed the Central Government. Due to non-availability of fund from the Centre, the old and deserted people are living in pitiable condition hardly getting food and water not to speak of other amenities, he added.
District Welfare Officer KC Nayak said State Government has no funds for the home as it is a Centrally sponsored home run by an NGO. “We have written several times but no funds have been released in the last two fiscal,” he said.
Ironically, even as thousands of crores of rupees are pumped in for other causes in the district, nobody has come forward to salvage the grim situation and garner some funds to run the home meant for older people.