Raghurajpur: It has been five days since Cyclone Fani hit Odisha, but help has not reached residents of the famous Raghurajpur Heritage Village where around 140 craftsmen and artisans live with their families.
Most houses in the village have been damaged substantially and valuable artefacts have been destroyed. A preliminary estimate puts the losses at several lakhs.
Pramod Kumar Das, an artisan living in Raghurajpur Heritage Village, said that all his artefacts were destroyed in the cyclone.
“At present we are facing difficulties as the government has not provided any relief. There are no shelter homes in the village and no food or drinking water has been supplied here. We are managing ourselves with our society funds. No one from the government has come here. The authorities had sent some rice Wednesday five days after the cyclone, but its quality is very poor. We have lost artefacts worth lakhs which will be difficult to recover,” he said.
Prabhakar Maharana, another artiste, said that many of their award-winning goods were damaged in the cyclone.
“We are living in darkness at night and suffering heat during the day. We demand immediate help from the government, otherwise our problems will increase,” he added.
Describing the cyclone horror to Orissa POST artiste Manjulata Mohapatra cried saying that they had put the children in one room and were at the door pushing it from the inside so that it did not break in the heavy winds.
“I was injured in the leg and head. My husband was hospitalised as he was injured seriously. Many artefcts like the Pattachitra and masks worth lakhs were damaged,” she added.
The solar panels which was installed in the village last year was also damaged in the cyclone.
“Arts and crafts are our life. We have lost many precious works of art and are now in deep trouble. Tourists have stopped coming. This will hit our business,” said Jitu Sahu, another artiste of Pattachitra and other crafts whose shop was destroyed completely.
He said the politicians and candidates who had visited during the election campaign are now missing and had not shown their faces after the cyclone.