JAGATSINGHPUR: A poor widow who lost her home in the coastal village of Badapal under Kujang in cyclone Yaas has been spending sleepless nights in a cowshed with her 13-year-old daughter Purnima. Minati's thatched house was blown away by the gusty winds during the cyclone that ravaged the State on May 26.
Government assistance to rebuild houses after cyclone has not yet reached any of the villagers. Minati lost her husband Dhaneswar Samal, the only earning member of the family of three, in 2014. Reeling under acute poverty, Minati, who owns a cow, barely manages to sustain life by selling milk and begging in local market places. Though she avails old age pension and PDS commodities, by her own admission, she sells those to buy her daughter’s medicines.
“Without sufficient feed, even the cow, my only asset, has stopped giving milk. I sell the commodities I receive under PDS to treat my daughter. With no way out, I resorted to begging in Kujang market, but with lockdown restrictions and markets closed, I am unable to even beg for survival,” said a desperate Minati.
Ex-ward member Prasanna Sahoo said many villagers like Minati with damaged houses due to the cyclone are yet to receive any sort of financial help, mostly because the administration has submitted ‘nil’ damage report in many parts of Kujang and other blocks. Contacted, BDO Amiya Panda said there is no housing scheme initiated for residents of Badapal yet.
“If she has been enlisted in the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana - Gramin (PMAY-G), she will be eligible for a pucca house when her turn comes,” added Panda.