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Disabled affected by Phailin resort to begging to protest govt apathy

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OST Bureau

Brahmapur, Nov 26:

Disabled persons affected by cyclone Phailin in  Ganjam district resorted to begging while staging an agitation demanding special relief from the government.

Protest by disabled people of Phailin-hit Ganjam
Protest by disabled people of Phailin-hit Ganjam

An angry president of Odisha Bikalanga Manch Debasish Parmanik said the government had ignored their genuine demands for help despite repeated appeals and that they had no other option than to resort to begging to give vent to their sense of frustration.

The organisation’s secretary Rajendra Kumar Bisoi lamented that their demands have been deliberately ignored by the government. Around 2,000 disabled persons were affected in the twin disasters, he added.

Disabled persons from across the district which included orthopaedically-handicapped, visually impaired and speech and hearing impaired  took part in the protest dharna at Courtpeta near the Vigilance office here on Monday.

They demanded cyclone relief to persons with disability, with every individual counted as a unit and immediate rehabilitation of disable people severely hit by cyclone Phailin and the subsequent floods.

Assistant collector (Emergency) Mahendra Panda however, said many of the disabled persons have been provided with relief but there is no provision under existing rules to treat each individual as an unit as demanded by the organisation of the disabled.