BERHAMPUR: She has been elected Ward member twice and is respected by the people of her area. But, that’s her political status. The Ward member, Namita Sahu, earns a living from a tiny eatery in her village, Burupada under Patrapur block.The elected representative lives in a dingy thatched house with her ailing husband, aged mother-in-law and two school-going kids - a son and daughter.
Namita jumped into the fray after her husband Loknath, who was also Ward member for one term, took ill. After his withdrawal from the contest, public showed their trust on Namita who has been managing the Ward’s affairs for the last one decade besides shouldering the family burden.
Apart from the meagre earnings from the eatery, her mother-in-law gets 25 kg rice at Rs 1 and old age pension which helps them sustain their lives. Namita’s name has been included in the BPL list and she applied for a house, but to no avail.
Known for coming to the rescue of her villagers in times of need, Namita never misused her position for her benefit, said locals. Her house was among the hundreds that were damaged during cyclone Titli but no Government aid has come forth till date.
Expressing her anguish, Namita said her application for house has not been considered for refusing to oblige local BJD leaders.
Moreover, her opposition to BJD also led to non-cooperation by the block officials concerned affecting development works in Burupada. For political reasons, several families in the village, including Papi Pradhan, Damburu Pradhan, Babu Behera, Khira Behera, Damburu Kyanri and Sripada Sahu, whose houses were damaged during Titli cyclone, have not been included in the beneficiary list of different housing schemes.
However, block officials claim that genuine poor families in the block are being provided with houses under various schemes phase-wise after scrutiny. It may take some time to complete the process and all the identified families will get house, they added.