Sunday, January 29, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

"Polio related Handicap Camp" by The Lakshya Bhartee Foundation, Delhi & Narayan Sewa Sansthan, Udaipur

Shared by Sri Kamal Kumar

The Lakshya Bhartee Foundation (Regd), Delhi organized a “Polio Related Handicap Camp” in association with Narayan Sewa Sansthan, Udaipur on 8th January 2012 at Junagarh in Kalahandi District of Odisha. This is for the first time that Narayan Sewa Sansthan participated in such a camp at the most backward region of India.
More than 400 polio patients were examined for free. Patients were given free Tri-cycles, wheel-chairs, Crutches and Calipers. 125 Patients were identified for further rectification surgery at Udaipur. The LBF will bear their travel, lodging, Boarding and Surgery costs at Udaipur.
According to Mr Kamal Kumar, Secretary, The LBF, “It was part of our efforts to reach to the poorest of the poor in the society”.
The Camp was supported by Vedanta Aluminium and Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. From Vedanta, a team led by their HR Head, Dr Kundu was present. Mr G K Nanda from CSR Division represented MCL.
Agrawal Samaj, Junagarh actively supported the cause and its volunteers served the patients whole-heartedly.
The team of Narayan Sewa Sansthan was led by Dr Pankaj Kumar. Narayan Sewa Sansthan is overwhelmed by the response and it promises to come back in the near future.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Odisha: Irregularity in Integrated Action Plan in Kalahandi district

Shared by Sri Sitikantha Behera

Orissadiary, Jan 21, 2012

Report by Debadatta Panda; Kalahandi: The central govt. is sanctioning huge amount for the development of the integrated areas of the backward districts like Kalahandi but due to want of the dedication of the concern staff the said funds are not utilised properly.Hence the plan and programmes are not fruitful and So that the people unable to get benifit from it.
Whether it is to build up road or bridge or any building negligence and misapropriation took places.The schemes are utilised by the line department like forest dept. In Kalahandi the South forest division is also implementing the said IAP activity and in that programme the project namely Sankarpala to Gobargola road with bridge under Budhidara G.P.of Junagarh block is undertaken at the estimated cost of 7lakh 35 thousand rupees was started since march20th and it is reflected in the display board that the work is already completed by 30t may and accordingly the documentation is also made in the office.
But as Gobargola is a picnic spot and so many people are demanding on that road so the people of that locality came to know that only 700 meters road is repaired only but no other work is done by the forest staff. As the locality is purely tribal dominated area so that the forest staff who was in charge of that work tried to misappropriate the rest of the fund. The people of that area demanded a free and fair enquiry about it and meet the DFO and the Dfo has given assurance to enquired about it and the work will must be done.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Railway development in most backward, tribal and naxallite affected pocket in the nation

Orissadiary, Jan 17, 2012

Honorable Railway Minister Sri Trivedi,
Honorable President of India, Smt Patil
Hornorable Prime Minister of India, Dr Singh
Honroable Chief Minister of Odisha, Mr. Patnaik
Railway Board of India

Dear Honorable Sri Trivedi,
In the parliament discussion on Mrach 3, 2011, honorable former railway minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee has kindly announced to establish a Wagon Factory in Kalahandi if land is provided, which is evident from video recorded in the parliament.

In the railway budget 2010-11 hornoable railway minister Smt Banerjee in Feb 2010 had proposed one of the railway Wagon Factories in Bhubaneswar or Kalahandi. Kalahandi has plenty of Govt. and private land available near to the railway tracks. More than 100 to 500 acres of land near Narla road railway station in Kalahandi is available and is directly connected to Bhilai, Rourkela and Vishakhapatnam steel plants, where SAIL are established. I request you to immediately establish the Railway Wagon factory in Kalahandi.

Survey for Rajim - Debhog - Dharamgarh – Junagarh – Lanigarh road – Berhampur - Gopalpur railway lines should be given importance for the infrastructure development in this maoist and backward region. This line will make direct connection between Bhilai and Gopalpur via Raipur, Debhog, Lanjigarh road and Berhampur. The line will not only make direct connection between Berhampur and Raipur but also help in connecting Kalahandi and Debhog region with Raipur as well as Berhampur.

Survey for Damanjodi to Kesinga via Kashipur and Bhawanipatna is important because NALCO, Utkal Alumina and L&T are planning their aluminium plants in Sambalpur, Jharsuguda and Sundergarh regions but their major mining interests are located around Kashipur, Thuamul Rampur, Dasmantpur and Damanjodi. A railway line connecting Damanjodi-Dasmantpur-Kashipur-Karlapat-Bhawanipatna-Kesinga will be of their interest to link their refineries and smelters cum Aluminium Parks in a shortest possible way. This will also bring Dasmantpur, Karlapat, Kashipur, Thuamul Rampur etc which are rich in minerals, one of the highest bauxites deposits in Asia, and known for their tourist opportunities to the railway map by creating infrastructure development in the backward pockets and making a win-win business opportunities for the Government, local people and mining companies, thus, such possibilities in KBKK region should be given high priority.

Kantabanji – Jeypore railway line is under survey and this line will connect Balangir, Nuapada, Kalahandi, Nabarangpur and Koraput districts and connect Khariar, Dharamagrh, Junagarh, Ampani, Nabarangpur and Koraput region directly with Raipur, Bhilai and Nagpur. The project is moving slow and construction of the line should immediately start.

It is also important to speed up the progress of under survey Lanjigarh road - Phulbani – Talcher line connecting Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Nuapada, Titilagarh (Balangir dist), Nabarangpur and Rayagada districts with Bhubaneswar by joining with Khurda-Balangir line near Puruna Cuttack (or Charichok). This will not only bring first time railway network to Kandhamal district but also make accessible to large part of inaccessible KBK and Kandhamal region from the state capital directly and help in countering maoist activities in the region. Beside that this line will facilitate alumina/coal transportation for NALCO from its refinery in Damajodi to its Smelter in Angul by reducing distance about 100 km.

KBK-Kandhamal is one of the most backward, tribal and naxallite affected pocket in the nation and above railway infrastructure and industrial development is key to its social and economic development. Therefore, Wagon Factory in the region and other railway requirement should be given highest priority. This is for your necessary and immediate action.
 Thank you and best regards

Digambara Patra

Curtains down on Ghumura

IBNlive, Jan 19, 2012

BHAWANIPATNA: The four days of cultural extravaganza _ Kalahandi Utchav-Ghumura _ concluded here on Tuesday. During the festival, artistes from the State and outside performed folk dances like Ghumura, Madal, Banabadi, Dandari, Singh baja, Dhap, Bhangra, Sidhidhamal and Bihu.
A variety of games were also organised which attracted sports lovers from across the district. Traditional sports like kabbadi and kho-kho besides badminton and volleyball tournaments at the KBK level were organised.
Self-help groups, artisans and weavers, who had set up stalls in the exhibition, did brisk business.
Attending the valedictory function were District Judge of Kalahandi Ashok Kumar Acharya and Chief Conservator of Forests M Satyanarayana. On the day, a Souvenir of Kalahandi Utchav - Kalajharan - was released and eminent persons were felicitated for their contribution to different fields.
Keeping in mind the election code of conduct, political leaders and those affiliated to parties were not invited and the festival was a low-key affair.
The business in the festival was a bit affected with hundreds of small traders, who were allowed to trade inside the Lal Bahadur stadium, the venue, did not pay any rent.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Good job by Kalahandi MP Sri B C Das: Ms Mamata Banerjee's declaration that Wagon factory should be established in Kalahandi

Note: March 3, 2011 (parliament discussion)
Kalahandi MP Sri Bhakta Charan Das fought in the parliament and Ms Mamanta Banerjee declared that Wagon Factory should be established in Kalahandi

Attracting attention towards establish an IIT in KBK by Kalahandi MP, Sri Bhakta Charan Das

RTI Act shows the way to access justice

Note: Personally I like such initiative, corruption is the real cause of problem in the nation. Empower the neglected, they will solve the problem themselves. RTI Act could be a great weapon to minimize, if not completely erased, corruption in public sectors. Such initiative by Antodaya is appreciable.

By Sri Dillip Kumar Das

The tribals and other marginalised section of the community in rural and inaccessible areas of Kalahandi district are the victims of government apathy as neither they raise their voices against the colonial attitude of the BABUs and the red tapeism prevails in the system, nor have the capacity to bribe the officials to access the benefits meant for them. Starting from the road communication to the villages and schools in the villages, from the PDS distribution to the wage payment under MGNREGA, from the drinking water facilities to the health facilities for the villages, from the electricity connection to the Anganwadi services, and from social security entitlements to the demarcation of land given as lease to landless, people in the rural area always live at the mercy of the SARKARI BABUS (government officials) who feel themselves as the masters of the poor. In seldom cases the poor people get their entitlements without oiling the hands of the officials who are the Public Servants in the democracy.

But, these days some youths in remote parts of Kalahandi are using the provisions of Right to information Act -2005 to assert their entitlements.

For example: Jagannath Singh, Sanatan Majhi & Kana Majhi of Melghara village, Mardaraj Singh of Dalguma village, Sarat Nayak & Bidyadhar Patra of Karlapat village in Karlapat GP of Thuamul Rampur block got selected under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) by the horticulture department to take up Vermin Compost tank with a subsidized support of government in the year 2010. The poor farmers constructed the Vermin-compost tanks and requested the horticulture department officials to release their money. But the officials at the office of the Horticulturist, Bhawanipatna delayed the matter knowingly till March 2011 without stating any reason thereof. The farmers visited the office of Horticulturist several times, but failed to get any result for this issue. Finally they applied for the information regarding delay in processing the file under Right to Information Act and within two weeks of their RTI application the money got released by the officials.

Likewise, inhabitants from number of villages in Nakrundi, Kerpai, Gunupur and Karlapat gram Panchayats were enlisted for solar power lighting system under Remote Village Electrification programme of RGGVY in the year 2009. With much persuasion the department people and Orissa Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA) officials came to the villages during September 2010 for survey and formation of committees. After getting all those works done OREDA officials sent the materials to the villages during October 2010, but never turned up till end of November for installation of the lighting systems. In this situation the RTI Practioners of the area motivated the village people to file RTI application seeking information regarding the delay in installing the light system. Rabinarayan Singh of Karadapadar village and Natha Majhi of Sapmundi village in Karlapat GP filed the RTI application during month end of November 2010 regarding delay in the work. To every body’s surprise within 10 days from filling the application the technicians arrived at the villages and installed the lights and requested the villagers not to file any more RTI application on this matter.

Another case of RTI Act, is of 43 old age people in Kendupati and Nandol gram panchayats under Junagarh block is no different from the others, where the older citizens who are eligible for old age pension and widow pension were at the mercy of the block officials to get their applications cleared for release of their pension for months together. Jagabandhu Budhia, a RTI practioner from Kendupati village filed the RTI application seeking information regarding the status of these applications for Old Age Pension and Widow Pension. When the block officials of Junagarh received the RTI application of Jagabandhu Budhia hurriedly cleared all the applications.

Dronacharya Jani, a tribal young man from Kandh BrahmniGuda village under Kendupati GP of Junagarh block was deprived of his stipend money parking at the Jayadurga High School, Nandol since 2005, despite of his repeated application to the school management for last 5 years even after he left the school. But Dronacharya didn’t lose the hope in the system and after being trained on RTI by ANTODAYA in 2011, he filed the RTI application at the school seeking information about the reason behind denial of his entitlement. When the Head Master got the RTI application, he immediately rushed to Dronacharya and paid the stipend money, which was pending since 2005.

These stories above are some of the successes gained by the marginalised people using Right to Information Act for their rights, encouraged and facilitated by 6 (six) RTI clinic and Land rights resource centres established by ANTODAYA in remote parts of Thuamul Rampur and Junagarh blocks of Kalahandi. There are more such success stories of these marginalized people who got their entitlements through RTI Acts. It is important to note that marginalized people can ascertain their rights if they get the proper facilitation and hand holding support from people concerned about the empowerment of marginalised and affliction of the afflicted.        

Here we wish all the People of Kalahandi on the occasion of 16th Kalahandi Utsav “GHUMURA-2012” and appeal all of them to use Right to Information to bring transparency in the governance system and see a better Kalahandi.

Jai Hind

Food Security Bill of India 2011: A review

By Sri Pradip Pradhan

Image of Kalahandi Utsav; Ghumura 2012

Contributed by Sri Ingit Panda

Art exhibition during Pranam Kalahandi

artist perform bhangda,

Ghumar,siddhi dhamal,and prince dance group

Ghumura Utsav begins on a high note

IBNlive, Jan 16, 2012

BHAWANIPATNA: With the echo of Ghumura, Ghanta and Badya, the Kalahandi Utsav Ghumura 2012 was inaugurated by DIG Koraput Soumendra Priyadarsi at the Lal Bahadur stadium on Saturday.
Prior to the inauguration, a colourful rally was taken out from Manikeswari temple to the venue which saw participation from 27 folk dance troupes. Artistes from various parts of the State and outside showcased art forms like Singha Vadya, Ghumura, Paika Akhada, Bhangra and Sahi Jatra.
Dancers of Siddi community of Gujarat also performed Siddi Dhamal Dance, popularly known as Dhamal dance. The ‘mashal’ from the temple was brought in the procession to the venue.
Ghumura dance competition was also organised on the occasion.
Exhibitions on various products of SHGs and rural artisans have been put up.
Among others, BSF DIG S K Barua, Kalahandi Collector Dukhishayam Satpathi, SP Sudha Singh and Sub-Collector Dharamgarh Gouri Parasar were present during the inaugural ceremony.

Inauguration of Kalahandi Utsav Ghumura - 2012 at Bhawanipatna and Dharamgarh

Contributed in Sri Ingit Panda
Samaja, Jan 16, 2012

Sunday, January 15, 2012


By Sri Satyanarayan Mundchhina

Tokimara parab(TOKI means virgin unmarried girl and MARA means sacrifice) is one of the most important religious ceremonies of the Kandha the past they used to sacrifice their virgin daughters before the earth Goddess.The Kandh tribe ofsouth east India were practicing MERIAH or human sacrifice to appease their earth mother Goddess.Even the kandha priest were sacrificing their eldest son to earth mother Goddess for the shake of their community to get good harvest,good rain,to save their man and domestic animals from the attack of wild animals and to save their community from cholera and small-pox etc.
The tradition of meriah sacrifice was patronized by the Raja and Zamindar of Thuamulrampur mahulpatna (present Jaipatna)and karlapat in kalahandi estate
it is interesting to observe how the aura of a village comes for celebrating the festival,Tokiparab.This festival falls on the preceding or the following Sunday of the pongal or makar sankranti on the bright fortnight of Pausa (January).The festival is observed for seven days with pomp and ceremony.The festival begins on Wednesday;four days prior to the fatal day of the sacrifice of the toki.the distribution of rituals over the seven days as follows:(1).Preparation and collection of leaf and wood(2)Gurupuja(3)Toki pargha(4)sadar puja(5)Toki mara (6) Dhangridola (7)Tangiulen.
On the first day,all the men and women of the Toki village go to the nearest forest for collecting leaves and fire wood.on this day the the priest worship the Dharamdevata i.e Sun god.The second day of the festival is known as GURUPUJA.on this day he priest and the shaman alongwith other people of the village go to the nearby hill.The name of the hill is Gurudangar,where the Budharaja the universal God is seated.It is believed that all the hills and mountains are the Gudi,The worship place of God and Goddess.
After worshipping Gurubudha they come to the seat of Dharnimata earth mother goddess.In a large sacrificial axe called TANGI in local language the jani mounts the spirit Dharnimata and brings the axe to the village.This ritual is known as Tangi utara literally meaning the bringinging down of axe from the seat of is the symbol f Goddess’s spirit animated on it.
The third day of festival is known as Toki pargha-worship ritual of Toki.On this day toki is bathed with turmeric water by the women of every house.A procession of jani and other people starts moving around the village with music and dance.the toki is moved from door to door to get worshipped y the villagers.The community treats the toki as the actually daughter of the jani.In the evening the community eats,drinks and dances with their local dom-music and make merriment
On the fourthday the jani and dishari of all the villages assemble in the toki village with their respective village goddess.They are treated as the representatives of their respective villages.on this day the community cleans the road and the houses of the village.
Fifth day is known as Tokimara day.The toki is offered to the earth goddess on this day.Villagers from all sides come to Toki village in a procession with their traditional music and warfare dance.In the procession each one has a wodden club,hand axe and big stick on their hand .They come with their symbolic village goddess animated in a long bamboo stick designed with red clothes and peacock feathers,and also in a big nishan(a local drum)from every village such procession come to attend the festival.
he sixth day of the festival is known as DHANGRIDOLA.on this the young unmarried kandha-araja boys and girls have the freedom to choose their life mates with a socioreligious recognition in the festival ground.on this day the parents of the boys and girls have nothing to protest against their love marriage,as the whole community give sanction to them.The youth ,on this day wearing beads around his neck ,is expected to pull the hand of their beloved young girls.this system is popularly known as Malichaga,literally means wearing of Symolizes the snatching of a girl by the boy.
This is the day giving opportunity to the youth to extend love and friendship with the opposite sex.The unknown boys and girls make permanent friendship ritually by addressing each other as aligaja and sari.baligaja is a type of yellow grass taking which one may be “sari” or a”baligaja” by tucking it on the right ear of the other.on this day any groups of girls and boys with the local music ,dance and song on the group sing the love song competing to defeat the other .at this time a choir of singer with their Dungdunga and DHAP sing the song describing God and Goddess ,hills and mountains,rivers,villages and the deities of their locality.
in the afternoon,The young girl of this community make a lovely arrangement of receiving the guests to appease them.they invite the guests to whom they choose to be their own friend or sari.the group of girls holding the hands of the guest,take him to the place of orship.they make the guests sitted ina cut;carrying the cut on their shoulders on four sides they move around the worship place seven times.At that time all the girls sing the song to entertain the guests.After moving around,They keep the cot in front of the goddess and touch the feet of the guests one by one and make JUHAR(obeisance)This ritual is called DHANGARIDOLA.
In the seventh day tha jani and disari along with the newly married couple of the previous day,leads a huge procession to the Goddess mountain.There they beg the blessing s from the hill goddess.After coming from the mountains,they eat,drink,and make merry by singing,dancing and merrymaking.At night the jani returns the sacrificial axe to the earth goddess.Aafter it the jani declares the festival over.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Medical students to serve 3yrs in Odisha tribal areas after passing out

IBNlive, Jan 14, 2012
Bhubaneswar, Jan 14 (PTI) Students interested to study medical science in Odisha have to sign agreements with the college authorities committing to serve three years in tribal dominated districts after passing out from the state-run medical colleges, official sources said today. A notification in this regard was issued by health and family welfare department making it clear that the students need to sign agreements before being formally admitted to any of the three state run medical colleges. In case a student does not accept the condition, the seat meant for him/her would be rejected and kept vacant for the year, the notification issued yesterday said. The students who do not sign the bond would not be allowed admission in any government medical college, director medical education and training (DMET), P K Dash said adding medical degree holders have to pay penalty in case of default. According to the conditions in the bond, the students passing out from the government medical colleges would have to serve at least three years in tribal dominated districts and in backward KBK (Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput) region. "In case of default, the medical degree holders will have to pay Rs 5 lakh to Rs 15 lakh," Dash said adding that while a MBBS pass out student has to pay Rs 5 lakh as penalty for breaking the agreement, a post-graduate students will have to pay Rs 10 lakh and a super speciality course degree holder need to make a payment of Rs 15 lakh. Similarly, the students of the state-run nursing schools and colleges will also sign agreement committing to serve in remote areas of the state. The state has three medical colleges at Cuttack, Berhampur and Burla with 150 MBBS seats each. The decision of making it mandatory for the students to serve three years in the remote areas came in view of acute scarcity of doctors in tribal dominated districts. "We are facing difficulties in providing health service to people in remote areas as most of the students passing out from medical colleges go outside the state or serve in urban areas," a senior official at the health department said here. PTI AAM SKN

Paddy procurement in progress in Kalahandi

The Pioneer, Jan 14, 2012

Normal paddy procurement process started in 13 blocks of Dharmagarh and Bhawanipatna sub-divisions since December 15, 2011.
From available sources it is ascertained that 8,01,894 quintals of paddy was procured till December 31 through different agencies  against the fixed target of 24,70,580 quintals for the current financial year. Sources said a total of 83 mandis and six sub-centres are functioning.
Meanwhile, the procurement targets fixed by FAX-7,34,420 quintals, FCI-19,830 quintals, MARKFED-45, 120 quintals and LEBY-2,524 quintals have been completed as per information received from the Civil Supplies office of Kalahandi. For unknown reasons, NAFED has not procured paddy though the agency was given a target to procure 22,0,58 mt of paddy during the year.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Solve paddy procurement problems: NRO to CM

The Pioneer, Jan 13, 2012

Non-resident Odia (NRO) Dr Digambara Patra, who is currently working as Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, has requested Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to solve the problems in the paddy procurement system in the State with particular focus on Kalahandi.
In a letter to the Chief Minister, Dr Patra expressed concern over the rise in the distress sale of paddy due to involvement of third parties and brokers in the State. He requested the Chief Minister to operate Mandis on daily basis and recruit a special officer at Panchyat or block level only to supervise paddy procurement, raise the upper limit of paddy procurement from 12 quintals per acre to 50 quintals, monitor authorisation of the farmers and punish brokers and officials in nexus.
He lamented that because of the corrupt system, in most of the Mandis, 90 per cent of the paddy is purchased from the brokers, while just 10 per cent comes directly from the farmers.

Umadevi Computer Centre: Three computer centers for the students of Kalahandi villages, started by a group of young workers of the village Mundraguda

Shared by Dr Yashodhara Mishra

Distress sell of paddy in Kalahandi

Note: Good initiative by Sri Sanat Pand and Sri Bikram Kashyap Panda

Dear Chief Minister Mr. Patnaik,
A petition has been signed by many people on distress sell of paddy in Kalahandi.

Despite all of your Government efforts and administration , the distress sells of paddy is continuing, especially in Kalahandi, due to involvement of third parties and brokers.As per the state Government’s current paddy procurement policy a regular farmer deposits Water tax or Malagujari Receipt along with voter Identity card to get a token to sell 12 quintals per acre of land. However, with modern method of cultivation farmers earn about 30 quintals per acre, best case it may reach 50 quintals per acre. Because of this upper limit kept by the Government, rest of the paddy is sold through brokers at low price by the farmers.

On the other side Mandies are constrained for 2/3 days in a week even in the peak time of procurement and the process of Mandi continues for two to several months that makes small or medium farmers to wait for a long time period to sell in the Mandies. Poor farmers who in need of money lose patience and approach the broker with their identification card that is used by brokers to sell in the Mandies bribing local officers. Because of the corrupt system in most of the Mandies 90% paddy are purchased from the brokers and 10 % comes directly from the farmers. Therefore, we request you to operate Mandies in daily basis and a special officer should be recruited in each Panchyat or block level only to supervise paddy procurement process by relaxing the upper limit to sell up to 50 quintals per acre of land. Authorization of farmers should be carefully monitored and limited to family members in case of urgency. A legal penalty and punishment should be introduced for brokers during paddy procurement. Officers indulged in entertaining brokers should be brought under severe punishment so that poor farmers in the state, especially in Kalahandi are utmost benefited and not at the receiving end every time.

Anticipating your positive response in these matters.

Thank you

Yours sincerely


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Natural Beauty: Dokri Chanchra

Contributed by Sri Ingit Panda
Samaja, Jan 8, 2012

Some Old and new picture collections of Kalahandi Utsav- Ghumura at Dhramgarh

Contributed by Sri Biranchi Jal

Rains damage rabi crops

IBNlive, Jan 11, 2012

BHAWANIPATNA: Hailstorm and heavy rains on Monday damaged the rabi crops in many areas of Kalahandi district.� The worst-affected blocks are Bhawanipatna, Kesinga and Narla.
Sources said crops like onion, oilseeds and pulses have been damaged. Deputy Director of Agriculture Amareswar Mishra on Tuesday visited some of the affected villages.
He said the preliminary reports on the damage have been submitted to the district administration and the Director of Agriculture.� Mishra, after visiting Phatkamal and Adhmunda villages under Bhawanipatna block, said crops like moong, biri, sunflower and vegetable crops had been damaged on a large-scale.
�“Field staff of the Agriculture Department have been sent to other affected areas for damage assessment,” he added. Meanwhile, as many as 15 persons were injured in the hailstorm and have been admitted to Pastikudi and Bhawanipatna hospitals.

Rs 2.27 crore embezzled by 4 K'handi CS officials

Shared by Sri Swarnendu Sai
The Pioneer, Jan 11, 2012

In a surprising development in the district of Kalahandi, the special audit report has exposed misappropriation of Rs 2,26,62,870 by four civil supply officials in three blocks. The officials are ex-Marketing Inspector of Jaipatna Block Srikant Pattnaik, ex-MI of Dharmagarh block Prakash Patra, ex-MI of Junagarh Khageswar Pandaand ex-ACSO of Dharmagarh block Pusha Munda.
The report revealed that while Pattnaik misappropriated Rs 2,01,16,472, Patra misappropriated Rs 1,22,400. The report indicts Panda and Munda having misappropriated Rs 12,97,599 and Rs 11,26,399 respectively.
Meanwhile, the district administration is reported to have summoned the officials found guilty in dishonest use of their official capacity in paddy procurement during 2006-2008 and asked them to deposit the amounts as the special audit suggested recovery from them within seven days, alternatively suggesting criminal prosecution.
It is alleged that such gross financial loss to the Government happened due to extreme laxity on the part of the district administration. There is public demand that the administration officials responsible for it should be commensurately penalised.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Government starts identifying landless tribals

IBNlive, Jan 9, 2012

BHUBANESWAR: The Government has started the process of identifying the landless tribal people in the most backward blocks of tribal-dominated districts of the State.
�The programme is being implemented in 30 backward blocks of Koraput, Kalahandi, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Nabarangpur and Rayagada districts. Odisha Tribal Empowerment and Livelihoods Programme (OTELP), working for enabling tribals to enhance their food security, has now taken up the mission of identifying landless people in 1,024 villages and settle in their favour.
�Official sources said that 424 Community Resource Persons (CRP) have been trained in collaboration with RDI, an international organisation which provides technical and facilitative support, for this purpose.� There are about 41 per cent homesteadless persons in Gajapati and Koraput districts.
�The first phase of the programme is scheduled to be implemented in 12 blocks of Gajapati, Kalahandi, Koraput and Kandhamal districts during the year. In this phase, 135 micro watershed structures (MWS) will be made functional in these areas.
�OTELP officials have been directed to implement post-project management plan to ensure sustainability of the progress already achieved. The second phase operation will be started in 1,034 villages involving 56,180 households inhabiting 358 micro watershed areas. �
�The programme adopts treatment of micro watershed through various soil, water and forest conservation methods for increasing productivity from these natural resources over a seven-year programme cycle. Initial two years will be devoted to community mobilisation and institution building,� making people understand the project,� their entitlements and duties before they begin.
�Non-government organisations (NGOs) have been taken in as partners for capacity building support at the grassroots level. The assessment done by IFAD through independent enumerators reveals that 90 per cent of the people have been involved in the OTELP and have got wage employment in it.
�About 64 per cent of the families have reported that they have got land titles, 83 per cent got increased returns from agricultural and minor forest produces, 60 per cent reported that they have� benefitted with health and sanitation services.
�IFAD annual outcome survey also indicated that there has been improvement in food security situation in� 52 per cent households. Migration has been reduced from 17 to 9 per cent and dependency on moneylenders has drastically fallen from 37 to 14 per cent over the last year.
�Official sources said OTELP Plus has been programmed to be implemented in six blocks of Koraput district over 102 MWS projects and six blocks of Malkangiri district over 149 MWS. The total budget for theses two districts is ` 263.69 crore for seven years which will be funded by the State Government.

Odisha: Free Medical Camp Organized for Polio and Handicapped Patients

Orissadiary, Jan 9, 2012

Report by correspondent; Bhubaneswar:Getting two days of meal is a tedious task for Arkhit Pujari. This has, in fact, become a day-to-day affair for Pujari to fight with his destiny for his livelihood. His being handicapped really puts him in a helpless situation. However, Pujari old had a reason to smile now when he got a tri-cycle free of cost at Junagarh – a small town in Kalahandi district of Odisha.
Pujari is on cloud nine now after he realized that on his own he can move around his own native place Junagarh where he spent all his past life. This has become possible at a day-long free medical camp at Junagarh for polio and handicapped patients organized by Lakshya Bhartee Foundation and supported by Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL), Lanjigarh on January 8, 2012. The medical camp was accomplished in association with Narayan Sewa Sansthan, Udaipur and Agrawal Samaj, Junagarh.
There were many poor patients like Pujari who were handed over wheel chairs, tri-cycle and identified for surgery at the medical camp. VAL, Lanjigarh contributed 20 numbers of wheel-chairs and tri-cycles and will contribute for surgery of 50 patients. Dr. Sabita Swain – Chief Medical Officer and Dr. Supriti Patra of Vedanta Hospital were also present on the medical camp to treat the patients.
The wheel chairs were handed over in presence of Mr. Kr Kundu – Head-HR, VAL, Mr. K. C. Gupta and Kamal Kumar of Lakshya Bhartee Foundation, Delhi. A total of 402 numbers of patients were registered on the day-long medical camp where 20 numbers of wheel chairs, 20 numbers of tri-cycle were handed over to the polio and handicapped patients. In addition, a total 125 number of patients were identified for surgery. The patients attended not only from Junagarh, but from various corners of Kalahandi district.

Ghumura-2012 at Dharamgarh

Shared by Sri Ingit Panda

K’handi villagers migrate as projects lie unfinished

Shared by Sri Swarnendu Sai
The Pioneer, Jan 6, 2012

The construction works of Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendras in nine gram panchayats, including Haramal, Mandal, Pandigaon, Deypur, Kalampur, Bandhakana, Bijmara, Minigur and Bandakutra under Kalampur block are lying unfinished though the time-bound works had started on July 19, 2010.

Sources alleged that due to lack of coordination and laxity on the part of the Government officials, the building works are lying unfinished though the deadline for the projects is over.

The Government has also failed to achieve its target of providing wage-based work to the daily labourers of the locality. Without work in their villages, the rural labourers are forced to migrate to other States where they have their experiences of harassment and torture.
The sources informed that only 40 per cent (Rs 38 lakh) of the (Rs 90 lakh), earmarked for the projects, has been spent so far. Similarly, Kalampur block office construction works are yet to be completed even though four years have passed. Only (Rs 18 lakh) out of the estimated (Rs 25 lakh) has been spent.
Locals have demanded disciplinary action against the officials responsible for such lapses in finishing the projects.

Cong, BJD eye ZP chief post in Kalahandi

The Pioneer, Jan 8, 2012

No candidate filed nomination for Zilla Parishad (ZP) members from any party in the district both at Bhawaniapatna and Dharmagarh on Saturday. It appears the parties are yet to finalise their candidates.
While the BJD appears confident of bagging the Zilla Parishad chairman post, Congress is leaving no stone unturned to win it. Congress had won ZP election in the district last time.
In the three-tier panchayat poll, which would be held in February in five phases, 9,61,488 voters will cast their votes for 36 ZP zones, 273 sarpanchs, 273 samiti members and 3377 ward members. The selection of the candidates is being hurriedly prepared by the party leaders for Sarpanchs, Samiti and ZP members.
Seven panchayat Samiti chairman seats are reserved for women candidates out of 13 blocks in the district. Similarly, 18 seats are reserved for women candidates out of the 36 ZP seats. Out of 273 sarpanch and samiti members seats, 139 are reserved for women candidates and 1, 810 seats are reserved for women ward members.
The Zilla Parishad president seat is reserved for ST woman candidate while six seats are reserved for ST women out of 36 ZP seats in the district.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Odisha: Vedanta Aluminium Conducts Sunflower Cultivation Training Programme for Farmers, Jan 7, 2012

Report by correspondent; Lanjigarh:With an aim to strengthen the existing skills of the farmers and to uphold the prevailing trend to keep intact the cultural ties, Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL) in association with District Agriculture Department, Kalahandi organized at Lanjigarh a Sunflower Cultivation Training Programme for the farmers of nearby villages of Lanjigarh, Kalahandi, Odisha on January 6, 2012.
The programme, a part of VAL’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, witnessed more than 100 farmers from villages like Basantpada, Kendubardi, Balabhadrapur, Raghunathpur, Dengsargi, Kapaguda and Bandhaguda.  Agricultural Inputs like the use of Seeds, Fertilizer and Pesticides and Technical advice provided to the farmers.
Dr. Mukesh Kumar – President & COO, VAL-Lanjigarh attended the programme as Chief guest while Mr. K R Kundu, Head-HR and Niharika Sahu, Head-CSR were also present to give their valuable tips. Mr. Hrudananda Samantray – Assistant Agriculture Officer, Lanjigarh Block) and Mr. Raghubir Nag – Agriculture Overseer, Lanjigarh Block were present to give technical knowledge about Sunflower Cultivation.
The farmers of Lanjigarh region were very contented with the training programme as one farmer Kataru Majhi from Rengopali village expresses, “We used to cultivate Sunflower in a large scale. However, the training programme will be very helpful to us in terms of the technical aspect which will help us in growing more from fewer lands.”
Dr. Mukesh Kumar in his deliberation mentioned about the importance of agriculture and insisted on growing at least 3-4 crops a year. He also discussed about the irrigation facilities and the way forward to streamline the same in consultation with the Government Departments.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Odisha: Dongria Kondhas dance to the tune of Kui songs, Jan 3, 2012
Report by correspondent; Lanjigarh: It was a memorable day for the Donria Kondha Community and their cultural tradition when they proudly regaled the audience at Lanjigarh (Kalahandi), Odisha by dancing to songs in their own kui language, on 31st Dec. 2011, night. This was a year after the launching of the first ever Kui Music Album ‘Niyamgiri ti Rani’ with the help of Vedanta.

The normally shy & timid Dongria Kondha, led by Jitu jakasika, were overwhelmed with joy while performing before a huge audience to the songs of ‘Niyamgiri ti Rani’. It is a unique achievement as all the eight songs in the album have been written by Gopal Melaka; and the singers are Jitu Jakasika, Ramesh Kulesika, Gopal Melaka, Stephen and Biraji, Dongria, all natives of Lanjigarh & Muniguda. The music has been composed by noted Oriya music director Manmath Mishra.

As Jitu remembers, “We released our Kui Music Album ‘Niyamgiri ti Rani’ on 19th October, 2010 with the support of Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL), Lanjigarh; and after one year we are going to release the video album also.”

Present on the occasion, Dr. Mukesh Kumar, President & COO – VAL, felicitated the group and praised the community for their endeavor. Dr. Kumar reiterated Vedanta's vision and effort at the overall development and preservation of the culture of the Dongria Tribes in the peripheral areas of Kalahandi, where it operates an alumina refinery. He said, "The Dongria Kondha community, led by Jitu, has made a laudable attempt in bringing their language and culture to the limelight. Vedanta will continue in its efforts to support them. We will also try our best to make the tribal community self-sustainable. Culture is as important to us as socio-economic development, which has been our top priority."

The first ever Kui Music Album ‘Niyamgiri ti Rani’ was launched at Mayfair, Bhubaneswar on 19th October, 2010. This was the first-of-its kind initiative by Vedanta to bring the rich cultural heritage, the music and the language of the Dongria Kondha community to the limelight.

The Dongria Kondhas are one of the primitive tribal inhabitants of Lanjigarh, in the district of Kalahandi, Odisha. Kui, the traditional language of the Dongria Kondhas, has a rich oral history that the elders of the community pass on from generation to generation through their folk songs and stories. Dongria Kondhas, under the leadership of Jitu Jakasika, pioneered the thought of promoting their culture with their own music band.

Vedanta Aluminium has begun this unique initiative to promote the culture and tradition of Kondha tribes in Odisha.