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Rashmi Rekha Das

The Ganjam district administration geared up to give justice to Khallikote-based 85 families that still continue to battle the misery of ostracization for over 70 years. The administration held meeting with the victims and other concerned authorities after OTV aired the news highlighting the plight of the ostracized families.

Acting on an order from District Collector, a meeting was held at block office in the presence of Khallikote block development officer, tehsildar, Khallikote inspector in-charge and additional tehsildar to lift the tag of banishment from villagers who reside at Fasula village under Khallikote block of Ganjam district. 

According to sources, those 85 families belonging to Dharama Biswakarma Samaj even are oblivious of the reason behind their banishment for so many years.

In the meeting, Mahararana Samaj senior members have been advised to remove ostracization tag from the 85 families. 
Gourahari Maharana, Taluka President of Maharana Samaj, said, “We have asked Dharama Biswakarma Samaj to give a written application in this regard so that we can hold talks with South Odisha-based 35 Talukas of Maharana Samaj to do the needful for 85 families that are bearing the brunt of discrimination for last 70 years.”

Biswakarma Samaj president Sriharsha Maharana said, “Though we had written to the concerned authorities several times, our efforts failed to yield any positive results. This time we are hopeful of getting justice.”

Khallikote tehsildar Rajkishore Patnaik said, “We have given 15 days time to sort out the long pending issue. The Maharana Samaj will discuss the issue with Talukas of South Odisha.”

According to sources, the group of families of Fasula was 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 till an indefinite period of time.

What is more surprising is that repeated pleas of the villagers before the District Collector and even the superintendent of police but of no use.

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