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Odishatv Bureau

Nayagarh: The United Nations (UN) might have appreciated Odisha government's handling of cyclone Phailin which hit Odisha in October 2013; but the ground reality speaks volumes about the pain and suffering that the affected people still have to put up with.

Tears stream down her wrinkled face incessantly as she weeps in the memory of her son who succumbed to the negligence and callousness of the government machinery.

Sarat Pani, son of Indumati Bettha, allegedly committed suicide by setting himself on fire after losing all hopes of getting a roof over his mother’s head.

Sarat and his mother lost their house in cyclone Phailin.

As per reports, Sarat moved from pillar to post to get a house. He even wrote to the Daspalla block BDO, district collector and the NAC chairperson; but to no avail.

Unable to bear the suffering, he poured kerosene and set himself ablaze on February 2 inside the thatched hut he had been living with his mother.

He was rushed to SCB Medical College and Hospital where he succumbed to the burn injuries on Sunday.

"Cyclone Phailin destroyed our house. Tunia (Sarat) approached several ministers for a home but no one listened to him," said Indumati, who is now living in the same hut where Sarat killed himself.

Local RTI activist Kunja Patra alleged that Sarat had written to the district collector, block BDO, NAC chairperson and also the human rights panel, but all turned a blind eye to his woes.
However, Daspalla NAC chairperson Babita Sahu said that she has not got anything in written from Sarat related to the matter.

Meanwhile, Nayagarh Collector Arindam Dakua said that an investigation will be done whether Sarat was eligible to get a house or not. If he was eligible, stern action would be taken against those who denied him what he deserved, he added.

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