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Rendered Homeless Post Cyclone Fani, Orphan Dalit Sisters Struggle to Make Ends Meet

Odisha's Jajpur district was badly affected by Cyclone Fani, which barreled through the coastal districts of the state, leaving a trail of destruction of private property and public infrastructure on its path.

Anand ST Das | News18

Updated:May 7, 2019, 3:30 PM IST
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Rendered Homeless Post Cyclone Fani, Orphan Dalit Sisters Struggle to Make Ends Meet
Sasmita Sethi (Image: News18)

Bhubaneswar: For Sasmita Sethi, life was already an endless chain of daily struggles ever since her parents passed away a few years back but Cyclone Fani just made her struggles more painful.

The mud-walled thatched house in which Sethi, a Dalit woman in her mid-20s, had been living in with her two younger sisters at Nathuabara Adampur village in Jajpur district’s Rasulpur block got totally demolished during the cyclone on May 3.

“No government official has come visiting since then to enquire about the destruction of my house. My two sisters and I are now at the mercy of the neighbours in the village, but for how long can they help?” asked Sethi, who is unmarried and has been giving tuition to local children to earn sustain her family. Her two younger sisters have been working at the houses of some better-off local residents to augment the family’s income.

Jajpur district was badly affected by Cyclone Fani, which barreled through Odisha’s coastal districts and left a trail of destruction of private property and public infrastructure on its path. At least 35 people were killed and more than 250 were injured, as per the latest count.

“The neighbours are taking care of the three girls right now. We demand that the state government should immediately provide this family help to rebuild their house so that they can resume normal life,” said Shashikanta Padhi, a villager. “Families whose houses have been completely damaged should be identified and provided aid on priority,” he added.

The block development officer (BDO) of Rasulpur, Umakanta Parida, said efforts are on to provide aid to the families whose houses have suffered damages in the cyclone.

“We will take stock of the situation at Nathuabara Adampur village and provide all necessary help to this family as per the relief code. An amount of Rs 98,500 will be provided to this family as her house is totally destroyed,” said Parida.

With the social fabric still being tightly knit in Odisha’s rural villages, many victims of the cyclone have received instant help from their neighbours. Struggling with broken houses, absence of electricity and drinking water, the victims across Odisha want the government to act proactively and provide aid.

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