Malkangiri: The administrative restrictions in the most remote area of the district, Bonda Ghati, to contain the Covid-19 cases have pushed the lives and livelihood of the tribal people into a state of utter despair.
The tribal residents who mostly depend on the nearby daily market in bordering Andhra Pradesh, have remained non-accessible to outside currently after the district administration sealed the entire region following detection of Covid cases among the vulnerable tribal groups.
The locals rued that the administration seems to have washed its hands after imposing the containment restrictions but it didn’t bother about their daily needs.
These people who are usually dependent on daily wages are struggling for a square meal due to a ban on public movement, they said.
“It is already two weeks we are struggling to arrange our daily food. We have the rice at home but no vegetables, salt and others kitchen essentials. Whatever we had is about to finish. We have no access to the daily vegetable market as the district administration has sealed the area,” a tribal resident said.
Another Bonda tribal echoed similar sentiment saying “We are not allowed to go to daily market. We have nothing except a handful of rice in the kitchen. Nobody can venture out of the village as the area has been sealed.”
Several villages on the top of Bonda ghat hills are reeling under acute shortage of food due to restriction measures.
On the other hand, Malkangiri Collector who took stock of the situation after paying a field visit to the affected areas assured to provide essential grocery items to the people living in the containment zone.
“As a precautionary measure, we have sealed the affected regions. We are taking measures to reach them with essential commodities. I also learnt that there was scarcity of drinking water in the area. I had directed the concerned officials to ensure facilitation of clean water in the area. I will also take feedback from local people at regular interval,” said Y Vijay, Collector, Malkangiri.
On the other hand, the district administration has provided rations and food materials to the dongria kondhs at Niyamgiri Hill region which has been sealed following detection of the contagious virus among the tribals.
Testing and awareness campaign has also been ramped up in the non-accessible pockets in Rayagada district.
“They (local tribals) were earlier averse to testing. But after marathon discussion and wide awareness campaign, they have now agreed to go for test,” said Chanchala Bhadra, a health activist.