Rain and wind lashed Odisha and nearly 900,000 people fled to cyclone shelters after the government clams, issued a red alert and warned of severe damage when one of the largest storms the country has ever seen makes Phailin landfall later on Saturday.
People gathered at community hall, school and religious houses in Odisha state, praying Cyclone Phailin would not be as devastating as a similar storm that killed 10,000 people 14 years ago.
The Phailin hits many Tribal and Dalit as a result of lose their houses and no work for daily laborers in Odisha, Even the relief has not reached to them, due to which they have to migrate to other parts of the state and the country.
Mostly tribal and dalit work as daily wage laborers which make them dependent on other communities for employment. Many of the tribal and dalit who are engaged in agricultural occupations and have their own lands are losing their lands as they have been damaged of crops from their cultivable land due to the heavy rain effect of Phailin hits.
Many of them are not allowed to enter the common evacuate centre at under Patamundai PS, Kendrapada district. Even their livestock was washed by the flood. Many such incidences find a place in the state, giving us a picture of how people lost their jobs and are unable to find other livelihoods
“Everyone was focusing on the coastal evacuations and relief and recovery along the coast and we weren’t prepared for the Phailin hits in our areas as well as not told to our community regarding Phailin,” Mr.Buri Nayak from Kandhamal district, a victim surviver said.
Besides, we could find already there are evidences of discrimination in evacuation shelter, relief and other support. Like Gajapati and Kandhamal district; not only government but also local media; even Global NGOs have blacked out. There is more than 60 percentage of the population belongs to these communities in the state.
During the recent twin calamity of cyclone and flood hits dalit, tribal and minorities are the worst affected even though the lives are restricted to 38. In the disaster, only these communities are the worst off as their muddy houses are destroyed along their crops.
So also, there are no standardized policies for support is seen. It is left to each district administration and local officials to report or not; we need to work out for the same as a Human Rights Activist Ajay Kumar Singh said.
With the financial toll from Phailin expected to 200,000 rupees to the families of each of the 25 victims, it remains to be seen whether authorities will commit the money required to replace the hundreds of fishing vessels lost.” That is a lot of money. Which we cannot afford this much,” Mr.B.Simadari President of Fishing Community of Ganjam District said.”It is quite visible from the destruction around that our village bore the maximum brunt but we don’t want to be dependent on the government. That would make us useless,” Mr.B.Simadari added