Junagarh: A destitute sexagenarian like many others beyond record has no family and he lives a cursed life sans any benefit under governmental schemes. He has no ration card and he is even deprived of old age pension.
With no other option, he has to beg door to door in the locality to fill his stomach.
If he gets some money, he eats and if not, is on starvation.
This heartrending story is of Basudev Nayak; not the first of its kind, and the matter is reported from Nuapada under Junagarh block of Kalahandi district.
Earlier, he used to live at his ancestral house but the house collapsed due to incessant rains. Then he began to spend nights at verandahs of his neighbours and later, moved to a nearby mandi. Since the last 15 years he is roaming here and there changing roofs like a vagabond does.
Taking account of this incident, any layman can realise the apathetic attitude of both the state and union governments towards the poor and the homeless.
Adding to the woes, his neighbours have encroached the land where once his house used to stand. Earlier, he had a BPL card and he was getting rice under the food security scheme. But now that he has failed to avail a ration card under the new programme introduced by the state and centre, he is being deprived of food.
Regularly he leaves the bed and goes to beg around but here the state government is trumpeting that no one in the state is hit by starvation and for this they introduced the food security scheme and made arrangement to provide rice to the beneficiaries. However, in case of Basudev all welfare schemes elude him. He is also suffering from a disease due to which walking around has become a tough task for him. He has no money and he can’t afford the expenses for treatment.
Locals are in utter shock that the local sarpanch and district administration failed to notice his miseries.
Block supply officer Purna Chandra Tudu said that Basudev will be enrolled in Annapurna Yojana and he will be provided 10 kgs of free rice per month soon.
Similarly, Jugarh BDO Upendra Luha said whatever benefits we can give him as per governmental welfare schemes we will provide him at the earliest.
It is worth mentioning that, 26 shelters are functioning in the State that work as transit homes and care to the needs of destitute and urban homeless persons of different age-groups.To facilitate rehabilitation of more such people, 21 more shelters will be set up shortly in a phased manner, sources said, adding that a decision to this effect has been taken during a recent meeting of the State-level committee on SUH.