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Dad treks 8km with dead child till cops help

Gajapati district officials were busy with minister Pradhan’s visit to cyclone-hit areas
Mukunda Dora carries his daughter’s body for post-mortem in Gajapati on Thursday.
Mukunda Dora carries his daughter’s body for post-mortem in Gajapati on Thursday.
Telegraph picture

Subhashish Mohanty   |   Bhubaneshwar   |   Published 18.10.18, 06:25 PM

The picture of a father carrying the body of his eight-year-old daughter for post-mortem in cyclone ravaged Gajapati district sent shockwaves across the state on Thursday.

The incident at Atankpur village was reminiscent of how Daana Majhi, a tribal man from Kalahandi, had to carry the body of his wife on his shoulders for 10km in August 2016 as he could not afford to hire a vehicle.


The eight-year-old girl was identified as Banita Dora. She went missing from her village last Thursday after cyclone Titli struck Gajapati. Her body was later found near a nullah.

“As it is mandatory that the next kin of the family would receive a compensation of Rs 10 lakh only after the body is medically examined, Banita’s father Mukunda Dora took the pain to carry the body for 8km up to Laxmipur Square. There, police stopped him and arranged an auto for her,” said a person who witnessed the incident.

Dora said: “After my daughter went missing, I searched for her frantically. A few villagers noticed a dog was biting a body and informed me. When I rushed to the spot, I found my daughter’s body in a decomposed state.”

Dora had approached local villagers, but no one helped him. Besides, district officials were busy with Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s visit to the cyclone-hit areas. On Thursday, chief minister Naveen Patnaik visited the area and hiked the compensation for the deceased from Rs 4 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.

With the recovery of the body of Banita, the death toll from Titli is 58. Another 13 people are still missing.

Special relief commissioner Bishnupada Sethi said more than 60 lakh people have been affected by the cyclone.

“We will soon submit a detailed report to the Centre on the loss incurred. So far, the loss due to the cyclone and resultant flood has been estimated at Rs 2,765 crore,” he said.

According to the special relief commissioner, 8,125 villages in 128 blocks of 17 districts were hit by the cyclone.

“As many as 56,930 houses were damaged in Ganjam, Gajapati and Rayagada districts. Out of these, 20,422 houses were completely damaged, whereas 36, 508 houses have been partially damaged,”

he said. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking Rs1,000 crore as interim relief for rehabilitation and restoration of the cyclone-ravaged areas. In the letter, Naveen also urged Modi to take up the reconstruction of more than 57,000 houses damaged in the cyclone under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.

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