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Sharmili Mallick

Koraput: With lockdown in place, ban on social congregation, limited political affairs and Odisha Assembly sessions called off amid sharp spurt in Covid-19 cases in Odisha, Koraput MLA Raghuram Padal has taken out a reasonable way to spend his lockdown days.

With leisure time at home, the two-time MLA from the tribal-dominated district could be seen farming in his fields. Hailing from a peasant family, Padal has been reportedly visiting his farmland regularly to cultivate rice, vegetables, ginger, maize etc.

Padal who is also District Planning Board (DPC) Chairman of Koraput said he was a farmer before joining politics. He further stated although he is coming out of his house for farming, he has been strictly adhering to all the restrictions of Covid-19 lockdown and appealed people to maintain social distancing to break the chain of coronavirus.

“I belong to a farmer’s family. As I am free these days, I have been coming to the field for farming. We have been directed to maintain social distancing and therefore whenever required, I am addressing the issues through telephonic conversation,” said the Koraput MLA.

“We have been doing farming since childhood. I feel happy that being an MLA, he is coming to work in the fields. He has cultivated ginger, rice, millets etc,” said a villager of Padal, Arjun Hantala.

Koraput-MLAKoraput Adivasi Samaj Secretary, Padamanabha Jani lauded the MLA for his generous attitude towards the farmers.

“Despite being a two-time MLA and Chairman of Koraput DPC, Padal’s return to farming is a pride for farmer’s community. He is an inspiration for both educated and uneducated youths of the region,” said Jani.

The Koraput district administration on Monday declared a week-long lockdown in all four Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), and five Gram Panchayats of the district amid the rising cases of coronavirus infection in the areas and in order to speed up door to door surveillance in these areas.

The four ULBs include Koraput, Sunabeda, Jeypore and Kotpad and five gram panchayats- Charangul in Semiliguda block, Mathalput gram panchayat in Koraput block, Borigumma, Laxmipur and Pottangi GPs have been shutdown from July 20 to midnight of July 27.  However, the weekend shutdown as ordered earlier on July 1 shall continue in the areas.

Meanwhile, 339 cases have been reported in Koraput district till date which included 202 active cases and 137 recoveries.

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(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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