Odisha extends housing benefits to Mankidia tribes

Jajpur: The life of Mankidia people is confined to their mud-walled houses while electricity has been a distant dream for them at Malharsahi on the outskirts of the Sukinda mines of Jajpur district. However, a ray of hope has surfaced for them as the primitive tribals who have been deprived of basic facilities will now have access to welfare schemes. To begin with Odisha government has sanctioned Rs 4.08 crore to provide housing facilities to 87 such families of the district.

“We are staying in abysmal conditions. We are facing problems throughout the year as nobody has done anything for our development,” said Sania Mankidia.

Social activist Gitanjali Mohanta said, “The State government should initiate measures to include the people in the mainstream. Besides, steps should be taken to address basic issues like malnutrition and other health issues.”

As per estimates, the population of Mankidia tribes is around 3,000 and a majority of them stay in Jajpur district. Recently, the State government decided to extend housing facilities and other basic amenities including health, education, sanitation and other facilities to the people of the community.

“As many as 87 families will get houses in the first phase and more families will be included in the second phase. There was a delay of eight to nine months due to problems in tender process, but the work will be taken up soon,” said Sukinda MLA, Pritiranjan Ghadei.