STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Baripada, 11 November
Notwithstanding the tall claims made by the state government, the members of Mankadia community, a primitive tribal group (PTG) in Mayurbhanj district are still facing problems over absence of basic amenities and facilities including health care service, housing, water supply, education, all-weather road etc.
Several activists drew the attention of the district administration to the plight of the tribal community members residing at Dama Sahi, about 54 km from Baripada.
“Located in Jamdiha panchayat of Kaptipada block, the village is home to 20 families who were rehabilitated about 30 years ago with assurances of all basic facilities. The promises have been found hollow now as the families are leading a pathetic life in the absence of necessary government support. Their condition has worsened after the forest department restricted collection of minor forest products,” said an activist.
The villagers including Mr Naku Mankadia, Mr Renta Mankadia and Mr Santosh Mankadia pointed out that the government had made several promises and hardly any of them has been fulfilled till date.
“The only thing we have got is dilapidated home which is not again up to the standard. The other facilities have eluded us so far,” said villager Mr Naku Mankadia.
On drinking water issue, he informed that an old tube well in their locality is not catering to the need of the village while a well in a nearby village gets dried up at the very onset of summer.
While there is no facility of anganwadi or primary school education in the village, nearly 50 children of the locality have to walk all the way to a primary school at Jiartakar, located about two km away.
While only 13 villagers have been allotted dwelling units under Mo Kudia scheme, the contractor is yet to complete the works even two years after they started.
“We have been pleading with the local leaders and officials to address our issues but in vain,” lamented Mr Babuli Mankadia, a villager.
Many families have to settle in tents made of polythene sheets, he added.
When contacted, the local MLA Mr Srinath Soren admitted that several issues related to the poor families need to be sorted out.
“We are aware of the issues and will do the needful once the urban local body election is over,” he said.
The sub-collector of Kaptipada Mr Sanat Mohanty said that the contractor has been asked to speed up and complete the works of the houses at the earliest.
“We will look into the other complaints and address them promptly,” he added.