KENDRAPARA: Days after cyclone Fani ravaged their house, Khirod Jena and his family have taken shelter in a toilet constructed under Swachh Bharat Mission.
The family of four, including three women, has been spending nights in the toilet after their thatched house caved in on May 3.
Jena said, “Our mud-walled thatched house was razed to the ground in the cyclonic storm. As the nature’s fury rendered us homeless and some villagers did not allow us to take shelter in their pucca houses we decided to live in the toilet.”
The toilet was constructed two years back with funds provided under Swachh Bharat Mission, said the 59-year-old man of Raghudeipur village under Derabishi block of the district.
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Father of two teenaged daughters, their safety was the first thing on his mind. After being denied shelter in pucca houses, Jena decided to shift to the toilet which would at least provide them security at night. “I sleep outside the toilet at night while my wife and daughters stay inside. We covered the pan of the toilet with a sack to check the bad odour,” Jena added.
“We need polythene to cover our damaged houses but the administration is yet to provide us with it,” said Anusaya, Jena’s 19-year-old daughter.
Sitting outside his broken hut, a clueless Jena said, “Our house was damaged in the gale. Two acres of land on which I had cultivated dalua paddy (summer crop) was also damaged. Our fate now hangs in the balance.”
Sub-Collector Sanjay Mishra said, 1,019 villages under 207 panchayats and 41 municipality wards with a population of 75,8419 have been affected in the extremely severe cyclonic storm. “We will soon provide house building assistance to all the cyclone-affected families and the block development officer has been directed to provide polythene and other assistance to Jena immediately,” Mishra added.