Dalit family living in toilet after Fani
Kendrapara: The family of a poor Dalit of Raghudeipur GP in Derabish block is taking shelter in a toilet after their thatched house was destroyed by cyclonic storm Fani.
Sources said Khirod Jena, 58, had been maintaining his family of two teen girls and wife by working as a labourer.
Khirod had four daughters, and he managed to marry off two of them. His two other daughters, Anusaya Jena and Manalata Jena, are studying in Plus Two second year and HSC respectively. Khirod used to labour a lot to provide education to his two younger daughters.
Khirod was maintaining his family with great difficulty, but Fani made the family homeless.
Rangalata Jena, the wife of Khirod Jena, said that she, her husband and two daughters had gone to take shelter at the local school a day before Fani hit. When the storm and rain stopped they returned to their house, but found that the thatched house had caved in.
With no other option left the family was forced to move into a toilet that was built in fiscal 2017-18 under the Swachha Bharat Abhiyan.
“What can we do? Fate played a cruel joke and we were forced to take shelter in a toilet,” said Rangalata with tearful eyes.
The family sealed the toilet pan with a plastic bag, cleaned its floor and has been staying in it with some clothes and cooking utensils. The husband and wife are sleeping inside the toilet and their daughters are sleeping nearby.
“We got the special relief package and cash of Rs 500 per head. But we didn’t get the polythene sheet or kerosene. We could not construct a temporary hut as we have not got the polythene sheet. My mother was forced to prepare meals exposing herself to the summer heat and humidity,” said Anusaya Jena, the daughter of Khirod Jena, who is studying in Chatta Women’s College.
“My father is worried about building a house as his income is limited. If the district administration doesn’t help us or sanctions us a pucca house it would remain a daydream. My parents will spend their remaining days in the toilet. Our future is bleak as we are not sure whether we would able to continue our education. Fani destroyed our hopes,” said Manalata Jena, the youngest daughter of Khirod Jena, who appeared for the HSC examination this year.
Sambit Satapathy, the Tehsildar of Derabish Tehsil-cum-District Emergency Officer, said that he came to know about Khirod Kumar Jena only recently. He said that after getting information he had ordered an inquiry into Khirod Jena’s case and had also directed the RI to provide polythene sheets to him.
“If the inquiry finds that Khirod is eligible for assistance then the district administration would sanction a pucca house under the special housing scheme and help would be provided to his family,” Sambit added.
Courtesy: Orissa Post