Dalit woman Sarpanch’s speech at G20 meet praised
Dalit Sarpanch Sibani Bijuli (27) of far-flung Batighar Gram Panchayat of coastal Mahakalapada area in Kendrapada district won accolades by sharing her experience on the horrors of1999-Super Cyclone and the steps taken by the State Government ever since towards disaster preparedness and disaster management at the 1st G20 Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group meeting at Gandhinagar in Gujarat.
About 130 delegates from G20- member countries along with 11 invite countries and 14 international organisations participated in the three-day meeting from March 30 to April 1.
While addressing the delegates, Bijuli stated that when she was only three years’ old, she had lost two of her elder brothers to the 1999- Super Cyclone at Kunjakothi under Erasama block of Jagatsinghpur. There was no modern gadget at that time for creating awareness and alerting the people to save themselves from Nature’s fury.
Though the scar remains fresh, but the things have changed since then and Odisha is now better prepared to face such eventualities, she said.
“Most of the sea side villages have developed a lot. Thatched mud walled houses have turned into pucca houses in most of the vulnerable pockets and one can find cyclone shelters— all due to Naveen Patnaik and his Government,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Odisha Government has been giving emphasis on zero causalities. The State has now a world class disaster management procedure, she said. Even, the State Government has set up the OSDMA in 2001 to deal with natural calamities in the State, she added.
“I am married in Batighar GP. As the Batighar GP is a coastal area, my first priority was to save the life and property of the locals. I formed a Disaster Preparedness Management Committee and became the president of the committee. I and my team have been creating awareness and alerting the locals and motivating them for evacuation,” stated Bijuli.
Local MLA and Minister of Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak praised Bijuli’s presentation.
Courtesy : Daily pioneer
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