Disabled resort to begging, seek special cyclone relief

Berhampur: Demanding special relief from the government, disabled persons affected by cyclone Phailin in Odisha's Ganjam district resorted to begging while staging an agitation.
"We took to begging as the government did not pay heed to our demands," said president of Odisha Bikalanga Manch Debasish Parmanik.The disabled, including orthopaedically-handicapped, visually impaired and speech and hearing impaired from across the district staged the dharna near the vigilance office here yesterday.
Their demands included provision of cyclone relief to persons with disability, considering every individual as an unit and immediate rehabilitation of people severely hit by cyclone Phailin and the subsequent floods.
"These are our long-standing demands, but the government has deliberately ignored them," said secretary of the organisation Rajendra Kumar Bisoi.
He said around 2,000 disabled persons in the district have been affected by successive natural disasters."I did not get relief because I have no ration card," said Mami Das, 20, of Nehuli in Kodala tehsil, who joined the agitation.
The district administration has instructed block development officers (BDO) to provide relief to the disabled persons.Many have got the relief, but there is no provision to treat every individual as an unit," said assistant collector (emergency) Mahendra Panda.