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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Villagers of Govindpur under Nuapada’s Bharuamunda Panchayat were ecstatic on Sunday when the local Forester Khageswar Majhi set his foot in the village. They celebrated his arrival with the beating of gongs and welcomed him with garlands.

Majhi, the Forester of Sinapali Forest Range in Nuapada district, is revered as a messiah by the locals because he resolved their water woes that no administrative mechanism could do for them even after repeated requests spanning over decades.

Jayaram Majhi, a Govindpur local said, “Khageswar Majhi is like a God to us. He saw our plight and provided us water in no time.”

The Srapanch of Ghantiguda Panchayat, Khuturam Sunani said, “The Forester has helped us a lot. He constructed five check dams in the nearby nullah and provided water to the village.”

As per the reports, Majhi came across the acute shortage of water in the village when he visited the area to extinguish a blaze in Cherepani reserve forest. Majhi is neither an administrator nor a social activist, but he decided to take the matter into his own hands and spoke with his department authorities and later with the district administration.

He managed to construct five check dams on the nearby Kamarjhola nullah to supply water to the village throughout the year.

Sporting a vermillion Tilak on his forehead, Majhi, who was accorded a rousing welcome in the village, said, “When I first visited the village in connection with a forest fire, the locals had helped me a lot in discharging my duty. So, I felt compelled to return the favor in whatever way possible.”

“I saw the villagers struggling to find water in the summer. So, I decided to arrange a water source for them. I spoke to the DFO and then the district authorities. We dug up the nullah and erected five check dams to supply water to the village,” Majhi said.

While the efforts of Majhi has attracted applause from all quarters, the locals rued that the Forester’s feat did not get enough attention from authorities because he is from the interior district of Nuapada. “Had it been any other coastal district, Majhi would have been awarded a medal,” a villager said.

However, as far as Majhi himself is concerned, he doesn’t need attention. “The work is done, isn’t it enough?” Majhi asked humbly.

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