Odisha CM announces Rs 1 lakh ex gratia for Sunita, Kanakdei

Odisha Sun Times Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Aug 16:

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik today announced an ex-gratia of Rs one lakh each to the next of kin of Kanakdei Bhatra and Sunita Raita, two tribal girl students who committed suicide after failing to pay their fees.

Suinta Raita
Suinta Raita

While Suinta had hung herself with a rope on Wednesday, Kanakdei succumbed to her burn injuries at the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack after a three-week long struggle in the wee hours of Thursday.

Sunita, a tribal nursing (ANM) student from Diptinagar locality in R Udayagiri, had committed suicide on August 13 morning after being denied the stipend that was due to her from the Gajapati district Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) for 16 long months. Sunita was sponsored as a candidate for undertaking the ANM course by the district ITDA.

Sunita has squarely blamed the collector of Gajapati district and the project administrator of ITDA responsible for her death in a suicide note discovered on August 15. The collector has ordered a probe into the incident.

Kanakdei, a class X student of Ghatguda High School under Papdahandi block in Nabarangpur district, hailing from Khutuguda village under Jhadabal panchayat in the same block, had set herself on fire after her parents expressed their inability to pay her school fees and died at the SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack in the wee hours of August 14.

Earlier, chief minister Patnaik had announced that the state government would bear the expenses on Kanakdei’s treatment.

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