R Udayagiri: Orphaned by unknown disease, three siblings from Padasahi village, just two km away from Sikulipadar panchayat under Mohana block in Gajapati district, are living on the charity of some tender-hearted persons.
As per sources, most of their relatives have abandoned them. A few neighbours were taking care of them initially, but soon they also parted ways.
With not much help from the administration, the three minors – two brothers and one sister, the youngest of whom is 10 and the eldest being 17 – are working as farmhands to arrange food. Many a times, they have to go to bed empty stomach.
Anati Mallick, 17, a Class X student, her two brothers Bisram Mallick, 13, a Class VIII student and Anant Mallick, 10, a Class V student, had to quit their studies and do odd jobs for survival. They don’t even have a proper roof over their heads and live in a damaged hut once owned by their parents.
Their father Dandasi Mallick passed away December 10, 2021 due to some unknown disease. Unable to bear the departure, their mother also fell ill and breathed her last April 24, 2022. Since then the children have been left to fend for themselves.
The only government help they get is 20 kg rice under ration card scheme which hardly lasts for 10 days. So, they have to work as labourers and do petty jobs for earning a livelihood.
The three minors also try to grow paddy and vegetables in a little patch of land left behind by their parents.
“Our parents died due to an unknown disease. We don’t know if they died of Covid-19 or because of some other disease. We have nothing to eat… so we do odd jobs to survive. We request the government to provide us food and shelter,” Anati said.
“A little help by the administration can give the siblings the much needed solace. The administration should rehabilitate the children to some government hostel and provide them with education,” sarpanch Satyanarayan Dandasena said.