Aradi: Octogenarian Batakrushna Jena of Doharapatna village under Chandbali block in Bhadrak district is looking for an old age home.
Weak and feeble Jena doesn’t have any fixed source of income. Besides, he is too old and frail to do manual labor. While he lost his wife over 20 years ago, both his children live separately. Neither does he wish to be a burden on them in any way. At times he manages to get some food and at others, he has no choice but to live on the water.
To make matters worse for him, he doesn’t have a roof over his head. Jena was given a house under Indira Awas Yojana some 20 years ago. However, the old and ill-maintained single room house was not strong enough to battle cyclone Titli that damaged the door. Water drips from the roof every time it rains. The cyclone also blew the asbestos roof of another room away making the house unsafe.
That said, given no better choice, he continues to live there and sleep on the damp floor even during rains.
Several times in the past, he has taken up the housing issue with the panchayat and the block office, but to no avail.
Old age-related ailments and other diseases don’t help either.
He recently approached the local sarpanch pleading with him to arrange an old-age home for him. Fellow villagers, meanwhile, demanded the administration to consider his case seriously and allot him a new house and old-age pension.