Report by Badal Tah; Rayagada: As a token of solidarity with and empathy for the people affected by cyclone Fani, denizens of Rayagada cutting across party and association lines initiated a donation drive from Lord Jagannath Temple. Collector Sri Pramod Kumar Behera and SP Dr Sravan Vivek M, IPS joined the assembly of senior citizens, pensioners, all party representatives, women & youth associations, entrepreneurs & business persons, college lecturers, advocates & legal experts, social workers, educationists, to collect donations from general public of Rayagada.
To start the process symbolically, Collector & SP both foot marched and collected donations. It was a magic moment when Md Sabbir Raja, a class-II lad donated Rs.2001. “We know that we will not be able to collect in tune of crores of money; but will be able to connect the donors with the affected and impoverished. May be, this sensitization process will be carried forward by someone else here and somewhere. We did it earlier for the affected in TN & would continue doing so to exhibit the oneness”, said Dr K Sava Raju, Ex-Principal, Rayagada College.
Dr.Dusmanta Kumar Mohanty, a retired professor and now officiating as a member of Permanent Lok Adalat in the premises of District Court, Rayagada coordinated the entire event. Volunteer-foot marchers namely Dr.Niranjan Baxi Patra, Ex-Vice-Chairperson, Rayagada Municipality, Sri Basanta Ulaka from BJP, Sri Durga Prasad Panda from Congress, Sri Binayak Kar from BJD, Sri Sankarsan Mangaraj, Er Sunil Kumar Panda, Sri Bapi Tripathy, Sri Ranjan Rath, Sri Nabin Sahu, Sri Rashmi Ranjan Dora, Sri Smruti Mohanty, Sri Tushar Sahu, Sri Gopinath Gouda, Sri Binod Panda, Sri N N Padhi, Sri Rajesh Padhi, Sri Ajay Rath, Sri Rabi Patakhandal, Adv Arun Panigrahi, Adv Prakash Rao Senapati, Adv Sri Labanya Mohan Pattanaik, Sri Dipak Kumar Prusty, Sri Rajesh Pattanaik, Sarvodayee Sri Jayaram Jena, Sri Sudarshan Padhi, Sri Satyabadi Pati from Walker’s Club, Sri Gopa Sundar Das from Lion’s Club, Adv Kedar Panda, Sri Debasis Khadanga, Sri Ricky Rahmat Gautam, Smt Rubirani Kundu, Prof Ritarani Mishra, Bus Association President Sri Gopinath Sahu, Sri Kumuda Chandra Samantaray from Senior Citizens’ Association, Prof. Krishna Priya Sahani, Prof Archana Pattanaik and many others took lot of efforts in sensitizing the public about the huge damage due to Fani and mobillising money for the purpose.
In a tribal hinterland like Rayagada, which has, in the recent past, witnessed flash floods and tempests, the response of the donors was very touchy and synergetic. Even the street vendors and passers by, though not asked for, contributed in the locked boxes, whose keys were with Collector and SP. Sri Gobinda Rath, Director of Gandhi Institute of Science & Technology and Jupiter International School donated Rs.10000 in the kitty to the CMRF. After a three days tireless effort of the team of foot-marchers, the boxes were made open in the presence of SP & Collector, who forwarded the entire amount f Rs.1,00,243.00 to CMRF.
This good Samaritan effort of the Rayagada denizens have been applauded at various levels and brought the local philanthropists to an unified platform.