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Sufferings Of The Orissa Victims Still Cotinue

By Countercurrents.org

10 January, 2013

Juarsuguda, 10 January: The document retrieval Mission committee of Kandhamal, Odisha met together in Jharsuguda, Shanti Bhavan on 8th and 9th to review and to look ahead for the welfare of the victims of Anti Christian violence in Kandhamal. The violence that began in 2007 Christmas time followed by a series of attack in 2008 that took away more than 100 lives and made more than 54000 people homeless is not yet over completely. In several parts of Kandamal, people live under severe threats and in dehumanized conditions. While some houses that have been burnt away were rebuilt, their lives have not been turned to normalcy due to the discriminations and rejections for being Christians.

Several people have lost their land patta, house patta, ration cards, voter ID, vehicle license etc. These are essential for any basic entitlements for the people. Due to the corruption, poor people are unable to retrieve these documents from the Government offices.

Fr. Nithiya, a Capuchin Priest and a Human Rights Trainer, Initiated the retrieval mission in Kandhamal District along with Fr. Dibya, the Secretary of the Bhubaneshwar –Cuttack archdiocesan Commission for Justice, Peace, and Sr. Mariola, a Bethany nun & lawyer along with a team of youth from Kandhamal district itself. Earlier this team offered psychological relief and self-confidence to the more than 1000 victims through Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Later as a result of their lobbying with Government officials and network with local panchayat leaders and other religious heads through peaceful negotiations, they had retrieved Documents for more than 400 Families. Several people retrieved their voter IDs and bank passbooks, vehicle license.

In order to get the land officially registered, the victims are guided to make this legal through filing a case. This team also claims the entitlements of the victims under the Right to Food Schemes – the Old Age pension, special support of widows, mothers and children. Since these undertakings are done for both Hindus and Christians, this has brought unity and peace in several villages.

With the use of Right to Information Act, the Odisha document retrieval team continues to work for justice to the victims through Peaceful means. In the months ahead, they have planned to conduct sessions to all the villages regarding the citizens’ Rights, recently passed in the Odisha Assembly. This will be done with the involvement of the panchayat leaders and village heads at all levels. This will eventually bring empowerment to all people especially to the downtrodden people living in Kandhamal district.



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