PURI: For cyclone Fani affected communities staying at Raghurajpur village in Puri, the city-based organisation Rapid Response launched ‘Kalamitra Dolls’, a livelihood project in the village.
Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi, Minister of Tourism & Culture, Government of Odisha, inaugurated the project in presence of Namrata Chadha, State Juvenile Justice Member and Women Activist as the Chief Speaker and Elina Das, actress and social worker, as the Guest of Honour.
Among others CEO of Rapid Response Mohamad Farukh, Head of Partnerships, Rapid Response Maheekshita Mishra, sarpanch and president of Raghurajpur village were also present at the launching event.
The project Kalamitra is a post disaster rehabilitation project in which the people can learn new skills and socialise with others. Also this project helps to earn a sustainable income, thus allowing them to begin to rebuild their lives after the cyclone. Kalamitra Dolls, helps the cyclone affected artisans to overcome the trauma they experienced by getting them involved in creative handicraft work which could also be a livelihood option to make regular income. The project aims to help the artisan community in and around Raghurajpur. In Sanskrit Kalamitra means friend of an artist.
Addressing the gathering, Panigrahi said, “Culture and tourism are the two sides of the same coin. One cannot sustain without the other. Tourism is the sole preface of the state or country.” Further he expressed his grief towards cyclone Fani affected artisans’ village. He said he understands that the villagers have been suffering from psychological pain since Fani and assured to resolve the issue by several political discussions. He also urged the villagers to stand together for rebuilding Raghurajpur. “Now the state government is preparing a one-year short term plan to revive the culture and tourism of Odisha.” He concluded assuring that he will give his best for the development of tourism by adding the two sides (tourism and culture).
In her deliberation to the congregation, Chadha said, “There are 153 families and almost 850 artisans living in Raghurajpur village. This heritage village is famous for its culinary art and culture for which I feel proud to be an Odia.” She urged the villagers to implement their own creativeness to create “a stronger economy.”
In her address Das said, “Natural calamities may hit us economically but nothing can take away our skills. We have to unite for rebuilding our art and culture by overcoming this trauma.”