A cop from Odisha’s Kendrapara returned to duty just a few hours after cremating his mother who passed away. Reason? He wanted to help in evacuating the people living in the cyclone-prone areas after he had seen the damage inflicted on the areas by previous cyclones Fani and Amphan. Marshaghai’s inspector-in-charge Kalandi Behera has been posted at the same police station where he was in the past two years and he had seen with his own eyes the kind of damage suffered by the people in 2019 and 2020 and thus understood the need of manpower and resources to help with the evacuation process.
Behera told The New Indian Express, “There was an anticipation that cyclone Yaas could trigger floods in low-lying villages of five panchayats under Marshaghai police limits for which the people needed to be shifted to the shelter homes."
Behera’s 85-year-old mother, who was living with him in Marshaghai had suffered a heart attack and unfortunately passed away on may 21. He took the mortal remains to perform the last rites at their native village of Jajpur’s Binjharpur and returned to Marshaghai the same night to join back with the evacuation.
Behera and his colleagues helped evacuate at least 2,100 people from the low-lying areas to safety before the cyclone stuck. He told TNIE of the extensive damage to trees and electric poles and other property in the area due to the strong winds.
“I assisted in the restoration work and left for my village on Thursday to perform the remaining funeral customs of my mother," he reportedly told the paper. Kendrapara SP Madkar Sandeep Sampad also praised Behera’s commitment to his duty even in the face of such personal tragedy.