KENDRAPARA: A pall of gloom has descended several villages of the district as families of the men stranded in earthquake ravaged Nepal anxiously wait for news about their safety.
According to sources, more than 600 men from the district work in different parts of Nepal, mostly as plumbers. As of now, the District Labour Office or the State Government is yet to receive any information on the condition of the workers stranded there.
Sixtyfive-year-old Anita Sethi of Krushnadaspur village is going through anxious moments after she learnt about the havoc unleashed by the tremor in the Himalayan nation. Her son Ajay Sethi (40) is yet to contact her.
“My son visited us last month and used to speak to us at least once a week but there is no news from him after the earthquake,” she said.
Speaking to this paper from Nepal on Sunday, Pradip Biswal (34) of Penthapala village said, “We were all busy at work in a building at Pulchowk in Lalitpur on Saturday when earthquake struck. We rushed to a nearby park for safety. There is no food or water for the survivors while hundreds are still trapped under the debris. Even as I speak, a powerful aftershock was felt. Around 10 Odia workers have suffered serious injuries in our area,” he added.
However, some of the family members said their relatives are safe but they were facing a tough time as relief materials are yet to reach them. Even food and water have not been made available to them.
Gurucharana Sethy (73) of Penthapala village in the district said, “My son Ashok (35) has been working as a plumber for a construction company in Kathamandu for the last 10 years. He spoke to me on Sunday and said he was safe.”
Another villager, Sailabala Biswal (32) said her husband Susanta Biswal (38) who also works as a plumber at Nawakot in Nepal for five years is safe. Susanta had talked to her on Monday, she told this paper.
Meanwhile, District Labour Officer (DLO) Satya Narayan Acharya said, “Many plumbers of Kendrapara district work in other countries. The Ministry of External Affairs deals with them. The DLO has no record about the number of workers of the district working in foreign countries.”
“We have not received any information from anybody about the plight of workers from the district in Nepal. We will inform the State Government and seek its help to rescue the stranded workers after getting specific information regarding their whereabouts from their family members,” Acharya said.