Laxmi Dora, a ray of hope for slum dwellers

Laxmi has declared a saving of Rs 1 lakh in her affidavit and most of it, she said, has been given to her by her party for election expenses.
Laxmi Dora, a ray of hope for slum dwellers

BHUBANESWAR: Laxmi Dora, the lone woman candidate from Bhubaneswar-Central Assembly segment, has entered the poll arena with a focus on the rights of slum dwellers.

Backed by the All India Forward Bloc, Laxmi is contesting the election to ensure basic needs like housing, drinking water and education for the poor residing in the city.

Among the 13 contenders in fray from Bhubaneswar Central, 27-year-old Laxmi is also the youngest and the poorest. A resident of Katrakunda village under Boipariguda block in Koraput district, Laxmi has been working as a labourer and house help in Bhubaneswar for the last over five years. Besides, she is an active member of the women’s wing of her party since her college days.

After dropping out of Sahid Laxman Nayak degree college at Boipariguda in her second year in 2017 due to financial constraints, Laxmi migrated to Bhubaneswar in search of work. To support her family, she took up domestic work and also worked as a daily wager while continuing as a member of the Forward Bloc.

“The decision to fight the elections was actually taken by our party which wanted a young candidate for this segment,” said Laxmi who has taken a break from her work to focus on campaigning.

Laxmi has declared a saving of Rs 1 lakh in her affidavit and most of it, she said, has been given to her by her party for election expenses. She has also sought donations from the public through social media for her campaigning. Her low-key campaign has been mostly confined to slums in 17 wards across the city.

“You can get the real picture of development in these slums. Some slum dwellers have received apartments but none of these facilities has sufficient space to live in. Water, electricity are still prevalent issues here and many slum children do not go to schools. They also end up doing menial jobs for money that they spend on buying drugs,” said Laxmi who strongly believes in the principles of revolutionary leader Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

For Laxmi, this political fight is beyond winning or losing. “Even if I lose, I will continue my fight for the basic rights of slum dwellers in the city,” she said.

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