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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Poverty is a vicious circle. It is a social problem that affects the education of many talented students and ruins their career.

Take the case of Gitanjali Jundi from Phulbani in Kandhamal district. Gitanjali is a meritorious student. But severe financial crisis has come in the way of her studies.

The orphaned child had earlier lost her mother. Recently, her father too passed away and the hapless girl is staring at an uncertain future. She didn’t have a penny to perform the last rites of her father and somehow her neighbours came forward with helping hands to help her in the rituals. They are also giving her food to sustain now.

“Forget studies, now it has become difficult for me even to survive. How long my neighbours will help me? My study has been discontinued. I am not able to attend online classes as I don’t have a smart phone. My dream of pursuing higher education has been shattered,” cried a crest-fallen Gitanjali.

The villagers are equally worried about the future of the meritorious student.
“Gitanjali is now living in a dilapidated house. Recently she lost her father who was a daily wager. The local administration has turned a blind eye towards her plight. She is yet to get any help from the government,” said Sunil Kumar Jena, a villager.

“We urge the local administration to help the girl survive and continue her studies,” said Jena.

The struggle of Kabita Nishika from the remote Hadia village in Rayaga district is no different. Kabita, a meritorious student, has her widow mother and elder sister in the family. They earn their living by working as day wage labourers.

However, Kabita has braved acute poverty to pursue higher study. Despite severe financial constraints, she has somehow managed to buy a smart phone to attend online classes. Now, they have been shifted to a rented house in Rayagada as the mobile network coverage was very poor in the village.

“I am not sure how long we could stay in the rented house to pursue my studies. I seriously want to study further to bag a job in order to get rid of poverty,” said Kabita adding that some help from the government would help her fulfil her dreams.

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