Bhadrak, Oct 19:
There was little to cheer for the Hindu girls in villages of Bhadrak district on ‘Kumar Purnima’, an auspicious day in Odisha, this year with several of them losing their family members in the ongoing floods.
Girls belonging to Asurali village did not observe the day yesterday to share the personal loss of their friend, who lost her brother in the recent floods.
“Flood is a perennial problem for our village. The recent flood has shattered the backbone of our family”, said Sushama Rout narrating how her brother Gautam was washed away on October 17.
While crossing the flood water that inundated the village, Gautam and his friend were swept away. While his friend was saved, the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) personnel recovered Gautam’s body in the evening.
Rashmi, a resident of Kenduapada village, had a similar predicament. Her only brother Ranjan was swept away by the flood water and his body was found on October 17.
Besides, about 100 girls of flood-affected villages of Dhamnghar, Bhandaripokhari, Tihidi and Chandbali blocks, who were evacuated by the administration to shelters five days back, have not yet returned to their houses.
“Some of us went back to our homes on Thursday. But about 50 families are still in school buildings. When we struggle to survive during floods, how can our daughters observe ‘Kumar Purnima’?” asked Bijay Swain of Nadigain village in Dhamnghar block.
“Our priority is to gather materials for repair of the house that was damaged in the floods. The Kumar Purnima festival has brought disaster for us,” said Syramani Parei of Kenduapada.
According to District Collector Laxminarayan Mishra, flood water has receded in Dhamnagar and Bhandaripokhari.
“Almost all the people who were evacuated have since returned to their houses. But the flood situation was still grim in a few villages in Chandabali and Tihidi blocks,” he said. (PTI)