Losing one's loved one is never easy but if compared, there would not be a loss that could quite match the severity of losing one's parents, especially for dependent children.
In such a tale of the cruel twist of fate, three siblings at Birikala under Joda block in Keonjhar district are staring at an uncertain future after losing their parents- Bhundi Munda and Masuri Munda.
Both Bhundi and Masuri left for their heavenly adobe before one year leaving their sons Lakin & Jeet, and daughter Surati completely helpless. They are now fully dependant on their elderly and ailing grandfather Ramja Munda for their upbringing.
"I am working as a daily labourer to feed the three little children. I have gone very old and sick. I am not able to go to work every day and as a result, these small and innocent children have to remain hungry often," said Ramja.
"My days are numbered and I will die at any moment. I am not worried about myself rather I am perturbed about the children. What will happen to them after my death?" he said.
Though the poor and helpless family has been languishing in a dilapidated thatched house, the district administration has allegedly turned a blind eye to their ordeal.
"The old man and the children have to remain hungry most of the time. The neighbours often lend their helping hands by giving the children some food. But they are also poor people; how long they could support the poor family," asked a villager.
Sarpanch of Birikala Gram Panchayat, Ramesh Chandra Nayak said he is aware of the situation of the family.
"I have apprised the higher authorities about the ordeal of the family. Hopefully, the district administration, child development centers and various social organisations will extend their helping hands to mitigate the sufferings of the poor family to some extent," said Nayak.
However, the BDO of Joda block refused to give any comment on the issue.
(Edited by Pradeep Singh)