Nabarangpur, Jan 17:
With no land, the old woman survives by selling chuda (flattened rice) which she produces herself by pounding paddy. Neither does she have an Indira Awas roof over her head nor a guntha of land to till.
Pratima is a resident of Belagaon village in Sindhiguda panchayat under Nandahandi block in Nabrangpur ditrict. With the break of dawn, she trudges all the way to Nabrangpur to sell the chuda she produces by pounding paddy herself using a dhenki (a wooden contraption used for pounding rice in rural Odisha) to earn her meals.
“My eyesight is failing, I can no longer see properly. After running for ten years to the panchayat office, I have managed to get an old age pension of Rs 300 a month. It’s difficult to survive with that paltry amount under the present prices. Hence, I have no choice but to work”, says Pratima.
Pratima doesn’t have a BPL card. She has been approaching the sarpanch and the local leaders for one, since her husband Sanu Soura died 15 years ago, but in vain.
Her repeated applications for an Indira Awas house have been lost in the red tape of government files.
As a last resort, a distraught Pratima has appealed to the media for helping her get a house under the Indira Awas Yojana.