Odisha in the times of Cholera

Fifty-five-year-old widow, Bali Jhodia, pictured with her grandson. Bali lost her youngest son to cholera recently. Photos: Debi Mohanty

Minita Majhi is inconsolable. Her two daughters, seven and two years old, hardly aware of the tragedy that has struck the family, also cry upon seeing their mother unable to stop her tears. Minita’s in-laws, Palai and Krushna, try to console her but that brings no relief to the 30-year-old who lost her husband, Chaitanya Majhi, to cholera just about a week ago on July 27.

Incidentally, a week before his death, 35-year-old Chaitanya, a resident of Rengnasil village under Dangasil panchayat of Kashipur block in Odisha’s Rayagada district, had been hospitalised for diarrhoea at a hospital in Tikiri. Subsequently, he had been referred to the district hospital, Rayagada.

After being discharged and sent home, Chaitanya felt better and so travelled back to Rayagada for some work and returned home the same day. Subsequently, however, he complained of severe body pain and swelling. In no time Chaitanya was vomiting blood. Alarmed, the family rushed him to the Rayagada district hospital again where the doctors referred him to the SLN Medical College in Koraput. According to the local auxiliary nurse midwifery, the doctors attributed Chaitanya’s death to renal failure.

The family and fellow villagers say Chaitanya’s condition aggravated due to diarrhoea. His name, however, didn’t figure on the official list of cholera/diarrhoea casualties, till the time of filing this report. When The Federal reached Chaitanya’s house, villagers informed that the family hadn’t received the Rs 2,000 the state government grants for cremation under a scheme meant to provide relief in such a situation.

To continue reading this article...

You have to be a Premium Subscriber

Start your subscription with a free trial

Enjoy unlimited Eighth column, archives and games on
thefederal.com and many more features.
You will also be supporting ethical and unbiased journalism.
plans start from Rs. 149