Telkoi: The proverb ‘God helps those who help themselves’ sits well for on Siddhu Munda, a resident of Khuntapada Munda Sahi under this block block in Keonjhar district.
Siddhu has three daughters. However, unlike many who consider daughters to be a burden, he thinks of his kids as a blessing from god. He never curses his fate for not having a son.
Siddhu is a fisherman by profession and through it runs his five-member family. He catches fish from Khuntapada dam or from nearby rivulets and then takes them to market where he has his band of loyal customers. He also sells fish from his home.
During the rainy season when the dam is full to the brim, Siddhu depends on nearby rivulets. He informed that he sells about 10kg of fish on a daily basis and is happy with whatever he earns.
Siddhu’s eldest daughter is pursuing her higher education in a nearby college while the two others are in school.
“Rich or poor, all have problems. I have too. But I never let them overpower me. God has given me two hands to work and that is enough to meet the requirement of my family. I should also state here that they don’t make unnecessary demands, things which are beyond my reach. We try to be happy with whatever we have and this has all along been my mantra in life.”
Siddhu does not own any land or property; he also doesn’t have a house of his own. His only saviour is his ration card. The rice he gets through his card is enough to see his family through for a month.
Despite having a ration card, he is yet to get a pucca house under ‘Indira Awas Yojana’.
Siddhu also knows how to weave nets and repair those when they are damaged. So he is not dependent on others. It saves him that extra buck.
“My job demands extreme physical labour and at times it hurts my body, but I don’t let it bother me,” he admitted.