Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Jajpur, May 22:
Even as the government is claiming to have provided subsidised ration and meal to people under BPL categories to address poverty and hunger in Odisha, a heart rendering case was reported from Jajpur district where an alleged prolonged starvation claimed the life of a childless elderly man.
The victim was identified as Gobinda Behera, a resident of Shantipada village in Pritipur panchayat under Binjharpur block of Jajpur district. He died of alleged starvation on Saturday night.
The tragedy did not end here. The government’s apathy continued even after his death. The villagers alleged that money was not provided under Harischandra Yojana for cremation of the deceased.
After the villagers demanded probe into the incident, the block administration assured them of taking decision soon in this regard.
“Gobinda died last night. As the block office is off on Sunday, the decision will be taken tomorrow on Monday,” said Binjharpur BDO Damodar Khuntia on starvation death.
However, Binjharpur block chairman Nanda Kishore Samal said that he was unaware of the incident.
Sarpanch Jhunulata Behera admitted that fact that Gobinda has not been provided assistance under Harischandra Yojana. She said that the government assistance and personal help will be provided to the deceased’s family members on Monday.
According to reports, Gobinda’s wife had died four years ago. As he was not able to do physical work due to old age, he was lying inside an Indira Awas house in hunger. Sometimes, his neighbours were providing him food. The poor man was living alone after his wife’s death and suffering from a number of diseases. He had no money for treatment of his ailments in hospital.
Even after repeated report on the condition of the old man published in an Odia Daily ‘Sambad’, he continued to be victim of government’s apathy.