Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack/Narsinghpur, Aug 11:
A former Odisha Block chairperson has been forgotten by one and all after she stepped down from the hot seat. The Dalit leader– Namita Nayak—who hails from Bhuska Bahada village in Debabhuin panchayat under Narsinghpur block in Cuttackdistrict is toiling hard on agricultural fields to eke out a living.
In 2010, she had won the Samiti Sabhya (Panchayat Samiti Member) election with the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) support. She was appointed as the Block chairperson as Indumati Nayak, who contesting for the post, was defeated in a vote on a no confidence motion.
Namita held the post for two years. But, her fortunes have taken a downturn since then. Once a frontline woman leader in the area, she is now struggling to earn a livelihood.
The elected woman representative once rubbed shoulders with the influential BJD leader of the area and Industries, School & Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra. Now, as she is no more in power and limelight, she has lost political significance and is forgotten by all and sundry.
A fortnight ago, Mishra had visited Bhuska Bahada village but Namita, who had accompanied the former during political programmes on many occasions in the past, was left out on this occasion.
Now, the former politician works as a daily wage earner in the fields.
The Dalit woman has a patch of agricultural land of less than 3 guntha and is deprived of the social security benefits. Though she was allotted a house under Indira Awas Yojna (IAY), the document of the same hasn’t been handed over to her yet.
Due to her fragile financial condition, she is unable to give proper education to her only son.
While the state government has introduced many social welfare schemes for the poor, Namita Nayak makes for an interesting case study on the actual implementation of the schemes.