Quarantined migrant workers give makeover to Odisha school, paint walls

Berhampur: With availability of all basic amenities in the quarantine centre at Kebiri Berhampur Project UPS Middle School in Dhumuchhai Panchayat under Bellaguntha block of Ganjam district, they could have simply spent their days resting and relaxing. But, two young men opted to make the best out of their quarantine time and leave their marks on the school walls through paintings for times to come.

Meet Purna Chandra Dakua (26) of Kshyatriyabarapur and Santosh Kumar Jena (26) of Palakasanda village under Bellaguntha block in the district. These two vicenarians are among the 60 migrant returnees, including 51 from Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore and seven from Hyderabad, who are currently sheltering in the school that is currently serving as a quarantine centre.

As per sources, soon after reaching, both Purna Chandra and Santosh met school Headmaster Subrat Patra and expressed their desire to work on the beautification of the campus during their stay. The two requested him for some paints and paint brushes for wall painting. Agreeing to that, the Headmaster provided them with paints worth Rs 1000. Soon after, the duo got on with their work. They participated in daily activities conducted at the centre and took up the paint brushes during free time .

It’s been only five days since they took up the paint brushes and almost all the walls of the school flaunt portraits of freedom fighters and various cultural heritages of the country.

Before returning to their hometown on May 13, Purna Chandra and Santosh were working as gold jewellery designers in Coimbatore. Utilizing their expertise in that field, the duo went on adding colours on the school walls through their paintings with strong messages.

It needs to be mentioned here that the two youths painted images of Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, Bharat Mata and some other cultural heritage sites in just three days. Apparently, they received support from their fellow-inmates in the beautification work. Apart from painting, they took part in cleaning of the school premises.

The voluntary efforts of Purna Chandra and Santosh have received immense appreciation from several officials, including Sarpanch Manoj Pardhan, Bellaguntha Tehsildar Saroj Kumar Behara and Block Development Officer (BDO) Shashi Bhushan Mohapatra.

Expressing gaiety, the two vicenarians said the 21-day quarantine would be a memorable time of their lives.  As a small token of gift in return, they have painted pictures of the great men for the school students to remember and take inspirations.


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