Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

As cold wave sweeps parts of Odisha, the helpless and shelter-less people in Balasore district are bearing the brunt by spending nights in the open without a roof over their heads.

People with good income can buy necessary clothes to protect themselves from the biting cold. While they are also merrymaking by going to various picnic spots, the distressed and helpless people from very low-income group are becoming prey to the shivering cold. Without proper clothing and shelter above their heads, they are struggling to keep themselves warm in the chilly winter nights.

Several helpless people, who are resorting to begging in Balasore, are almost spending sleepless nights on footpaths braving the chilling cold during the night.

Old people, both male and female including the children of poor families and street dwellers are the worst sufferers in this winter season.

“We don’t have any option but to suffer in biting cold. It’s too much cold here. Some social organisations have provided us with blankets and we are using those to beat the cold. But it’s very difficult to spend the night on the road without a roof over our heads. Most of the time we are making fire and spending sleepless nights seating around it,” Said Niranjan Behera.

“I don’t have a blanket. I am suffering from the chilling cold throughout the night,” said Sandhya.

Though the government has provided shelter facilities to the beggars, they are scared to sleep during the night hours there.

As per a social worker, the beggars are scared to spend nights at those shelters as they feel that the place is very lonely and they face life threats there.

Meanwhile, the cold wave in Odisha is paralysing normal life. Days are coming when the cold wave would be more biting. It will certainly bring more distress to poor people.

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