Rashmi Rekha Das

Khallikote-based 85 families that continued to battle the misery of ostracization for over 70 years finally heaved a sigh of relief after the tag of ostracization lifted from them on Wednesday. 

Members of Biswakarma Samaj, who bore the brunt of ostracization for seven decades, on Wednesday reunited with the Talukas of Maharana Samaj of South Odisha. With the unison between the two communities, Khallikote-based Biswakarma Samaj members will solemnise their children’s marriage with families belonging to Maharana Samaj. 

Earlier, children of Biswakarma Samaj were not allowed to marry outside their Samaj.  

Meanwhile, Biswakarma Samaj members thanked OTV and the district administration for resolving the long-pending issue.

The administration geared up to give justice to the banished families after OTV aired the news highlighting the plight of the ostracized families settled at Fasula village under Khallikote block of Ganjam district.

Gourakishore Maharana, Taluka President of Khallikote Samaj, said, “There will be no discrimination between us. Khallikote Biswakarma Samaj and South Odisha Biswakarma Samaj is a single team now and will work together forever.”

Santosh Maharana, President of South Odisha Biswakarma Samaj, said, “It had been decided by our forefathers for which 85 families belonging to Khallikote Biswakarma Samaj were bearing the brunt of discrimination. We realized that they are also part of our community and did the needful so that they could join us.”

On September 6, the district administration had held a meeting at block office in the presence of Khallikote block development officer, tehsildar, Khallikote inspector in-charge and additional tehsildar. Senior members of the Mahararana Samaj and the Biswakarma Samaj were present at the meeting.

At the meeting, Mahararana Samaj senior members were advised to remove ostracization tag from the 85 families.

According to sources, the families of Fasula were asked to pay Rs 400 as penalty to get rid of the tag of ‘ostracisation’ in 1950. As they failed to pay the amount which was too hefty at that time, they were banished from the society for indefinite period of time.
Most importantly, the Biswakarma Samaj members are still oblivious of the reasons behind their banishment for so many years.