Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: Several people from Odisha including students and labourers are now stranded in several other States in view of the nation-wide lockdown being observed to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Over 170 students from Odisha who are studying at National Sanskrit Sansthan in Jammu are now stranded as they are not being able to return home. In a video, the Odisha students have requested the State authorities to initiate measures for their safe return as they have run out of food.

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As per reports, nearly 200 labourers from the districts of Cuttack, Jajpur and Berhampur are also stranded in Hyderabad.

Taking note of the plight of the stranded Odias, Union Minister Pratap Sarangi urged Odisha CM Chief Minister to take steps so that the stranded people from the State do not face problems in getting food and lodging.

In a letter to the CM, Sarangi wrote, "The rapidly evolving Coronavirus scenario and the consequential decisions have caught many people unaware, unprepared and stranded, including the ones from Odisha, in other states without any food and accommodation. As the current lockdown is going to continue for three weeks, the stranded people, who include among other students, trainees, pilgrims, workers, have become anxious about their basic requirements of food and lodging in the alien land."

Stranded Odias

"We need to humanely reconcile both situations to help the stranded people stay in the same place wherever they are, and at the same time, to facilitate food and lodging for them during the period of restrictions. A helpline may be put in place for the stranded people to establish communication with the State government about their whereabouts, requirements and well-being," said Sarangi.

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Over 10 workers from Dharmashala area of Jajpur district are stranded in Secunderabad and they have urged the State government to rescue them.

50 workers belonging to Chandiput, Cheligad, Ranagiri and Nuagad areas of Gajapati district have also been stranded without any food owing to the lockdown in Bengaluru.

A video shared on social media revealed that nearly 15 people from Angul district are now stranded in Telengana. Though they have left work following the COVID-19 outbreak, they could not return to their village in Rengali Dam site as a lockdown was imposed from midnight yesterday.

These are now testing times for the families of 35 youths from Krushnaprasad block in Puri who are also stuck in Bengaluru. As many as 12 bonded labourers from Bolangir district are also stranded without food at Rajkot in Gujarat.

10 families from Khalikote and Chhatrapur in Ganjam district who were on religious pilgrimage since March 13 are stuck in Tamil Nadu’s Trichi and urged the State government to rescue them too.

Meanwhile, Sarangi further requested the Chief Secretary of Odisha to remain in touch with his counterparts in other states in order to provide all the assistance to the stranded people from Odisha.

As per the latest reports, Odisha has set up a control room in Home department (0674-2392115/9438915986) to monitor issues regarding implementation of lockdown, issues pertaining to Odias stranded in other parts of the country. IG Police(Operations) Amitabh Thakur will supervise the functioning of control room.