28 February, 2021

Generosity Of The Cyclone-Hit

Why Venkat Das of Siruli won’t leave Bhoisahi village

Venkat Das’s family at their new address
Photograph by Sandeep Sahu
Generosity Of The Cyclone-Hit

Those who live in misery are ­perh­aps more empathetic and ready to help out others like them in a similar condition. P. Venkat Das, a resident of Siruli village under Kanhei Bidyadharpur panchayat, would certainly vouch for it. The 40-year-old, who had to keep shifting bases after his house was ruined by the cyclone, finally found shelter in Bhoisahi, thanks to the generosity of the villagers, who allowed him to build a makeshift house with bamboo and polythene sheet to live with his ­seven-member family.

“After the cyclone, I first went to the cyclone shelter in Khajuria,” says Venkat. “But I was turned away by the dominant-­caste people who had taken shelter there. I kept shifting from one shelter to anot­her—Ghatakoli, Manapada and Golara—bef­ore ending up at the shelter in Satapada. But a group of people used the shelter for drinking in the evenings. With a young daughter and daughter-in-law, there was no way I could stay there. So, I shifted to this village. The people here have been very kind and generous to me....

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