Senior Citizens Worst Affected in Flood-Hit Orissa

by Thilaka Ravi on Sep 26 2008 1:01 PM

Senior citizens are the worst sufferers without food and shelter as unprecedented floods continue to ravage Orissa.

Marooned in floodwaters and having lost their shelters, the old and infirm have nobody to fall upon as people struggle to cope with nature's fury.

Their plight remains unseen and prayers unanswered and are left to their fate with no relief reaching their path.

Sixty five-year-old Herabati of Teispur block of Puri District, a patient and is unable to move as she keeps shivering entire day, is waiting for someone to get her relief.

"I haven't witnessed such kind of floods ever in my life. I am facing lot of problems; there is no food, no polythene. Our home is destroyed, there's no place to stay. I am ill and I can't move, I don't know what I can do. I can't even run and get the relief material," said Herabati.

The troubles of 80-year old Raghunath Pujari who cannot even stand without support, is no different. Afflicted with several ailments Pujari is living in open virtually without food and water for last five days in his marooned village.

"I am spending my days under open sky here. There's no food, no drinking water, I am facing a lot of problems here. I don't even have clothes to wear if it rains. And we are really struggling hard to cope up with the situation," said Pujari.

This is not just an account of two persons but also the tale of hundreds of aged people who are struggling hard to survive in the flood-hit Orissa.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik after reviewing situation in the flood-ravaged districts of the State, announced on Thursday that arrangements are being made to provide 15-days relief.

"Instructions have been issued to procure rice from the open market as well as from Food Corporation of India (FCI) to supply relief for the 15 days. Also polythene sheets are being procured from different parts of the country," Patnaik told reporters.

Meanwhile, heavy rain has hampered flood relief efforts and compounded the misery of hundreds of thousands of affected people.

Widespread rain lashed vast areas in the worst affected districts of Cuttack, Puri, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur and Jajpur on Wednesday where many people are still to get relief material and proper shelter.

The death toll in flood-related incidents in the state has gone up to 48. Naval teams and personnel of the Central para-military forces are assisting local authorities in relief and rescue work.