Kendrapada, August 25 (Odisha.in) Every time at the time of flood, the officials and political leaders of Kendrapada indulge in a ritualistic chanting. The situation will be under control within few days and the administration needs more money to provide relief to the flood-affected people.
The money arrives but no one really knows where it goes. The villagers who struggle through the annual cycle of devastation and displacement always wait endlessly for relief.
Driving down the 15 km long road from Pattamundae to Rajkanika, it seems you are crossing a vast sea of water on both sides of the road. Water fills the stretch to the horizon, expelling various villages on to the roads. The villagers sit around, looking into the water as if it holds the solution.
Villagers of flood hit alleged that many of them have received no relief material yet even after a week of the deluge.
The recent round of flood has hit about four lakh people of 190 villages under 60 Gram Panchayats of Aul, Rajnagar and Rajkanika.
Surrounded by the furious swirling waters almost all the people of Iswarpur village are staying on the road.
The 15, 00 –odd people who used to inhabit the village have come to terms with the fact that for another week, they will have to work and it will take time for their children to go school.
. A country-made boat which caters to this village and ferries about 20 people at one time is the lifeline for the community.
They shuttle up and down in the boat to feed their cattle and other villagers particularly women, and children. The village road is a temporary refuge till it is swallowed by the flood water as well”, said Arakhita Behera a resident.
“It takes approximately one hour to reach Iswarpur, provided the water is calm and weather is good. The fact that the administration is defunct is evident everywhere.
An official of the block recently visited the village couple of days ago. He had promised to provide polythene covers and cooked foods to all of us, Ashok Das another resident said. He did not return back, he said.
Saroj Nayak , studying in Rajnagar college, was taking the boat on Friday to see his sister’s family. He inquired from his sister about the relief operation of the district administration and came to know that some private organizations provided them cooked food and water for their survival on the roof of a two-storied building of a neighbour.
“The officials love a good flood in Kendrapada and many venal officials became fatter with money without providing relief to the victims”, said Saroj.
Haripada Sahoo, 54 another resident points to a spot that was supposed to be an embankment of the village to protect the onslaught of the flood water.
“Two years back, the embankment was repaired at the coast seven lakh. No one knows what happened to it”.
As the village approached, what appeared first was a decrepit structure made of bricks.” That is our primary school which was built twelve years back”, said villager Hemanta Jena.
It has been closed since last week as the water level reached waist-height. All the important documents like admission register, attendance register, mid-meal register and all the papers were devoured by the flood.
Sitting with her two year old son, Rajani Sahoo 27, shown us yellow mud water. That is what my child drinks”.
It is not water alone. We are worried of many others. Some of them are –food, sanitation, health, hunger, money.
The only people who got relief are those who go and settle in some educational institutions in Rajnagar, as it is right under their nose”, said Prakash Jena another villager.
Their expectations are not very high. “We know the ministers and officials eat up the money, but should not even ten percent of it filter down to us? We have not got anything”, said villager Suresh Swain.