Odia Samaj, New Delhi reaches out to economically deprived Odia diaspora in Delhi NCR to help mitigate Covid-19 impact

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· A Legal Aid Cell has been set up by Odia Samaj to help the economically weaker Odias of Delhi NCR during national lockdown.

New Delhi: Amidst the unprecedented COVID-19 attack, a 21-day nationwide shutdown comes into effect to tackle the challenges posed by this global pandemic. This has brought everyone’s life to a grinding halt. Our Hon’ble Prime Minister has addressed to the nation and reached out to all of us to maintain social distancing and remain indoors.

Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel has suggested that civil society should reach out to people in Delhi NCR region, especially those who have come here from Odisha in search of livelihood options. In this context, Odia Samaj of New Delhi, a not-for-profit organisation has stepped up efforts and is actively engaged in providing relief, attending to distress calls and extending legal aid for securing the rights of large number of distressed Odia migrant labourers living in Delhi NCR.

Odia Samaj has taken active steps in helping needy Odias of Delhi NCR with dry ration, which is being distributed on daily basis since 30th March, at vantage points like Jagannath mandirs, other temples, school buildings and community centres in the needy communities. This has greatly helped the intended beneficiaries to cook basic food and sustain themselves and their families during this hour of national crisis. In this noble effort, till now around 3250 economically deprived Odia families in Gurgaon, Manesar, Faridabad, Bhiwadi, Ghaziabad, Noida , Greater Noida, Aya Nagar, Uttamnagar, Peeragarhi, Kotla, Nangloi, Tughlakabad besides other areas in Delhi have already been provided dry ration so far.

The Legal Aid Cell set up by Odia Samaj is doing commendable job in helping the Odia migrant labourers of Delhi NCR, who are currently jobless due to the national lockdown. This Legal Aid Cell acts as a bridge between the workers and District Administration in situations where they are threatened by house owners to vacate the premises due to their inability to pay house rents. Regular follow ups are done by this Cell to ensure that the notifications issued by the respective state governments, calling upon landlords to not ask for rent is effectively implemented.

To ensure above activities are carried out smoothly and in an uninterrupted manner , Odia Samaj has created a band of Zonal coordinators including Shri Rabi Pradhan, Shri Minaketan Mishra, Shri P K Dash, Shri Bidyadhar Sahoo, Shri Aphisar Rout, Shri Umakant Das, Shri Basant Swain, Shri Udyanath Swain, Shri Minaketan Samal, Shri Mihir Ray, Shri Anant Malik and Shri Nanda Kishore Diwedi besides a large number of volunteers who are working relentlessly to reach out to the needy and distressed families every single day during this lockdown period.

Speaking about the operations, Shri Sidhartha Pradhan, President Odia Samaj, said, “We at Odia Samaj always stand by the Odia diaspora. Our maximum coverage is through door to door to ensure timely support arrives to the needy, distressed and stranded Odia families / individuals. In some locations/ clusters we are taking help of local Govt. machinery and Delhi police to help in the distribution process so that the appeal for maintaining social distancing is successful. In Delhi NCR there are 15-18 Jagannath Temples and various Odia Organizations, approximately 70-80 of them have come forward and joined hands with Odia Samaj in this noble cause.”

Shri Hiranya Mohanty, Trustee, Odia Samaj, added “we have always made efforts to reach out to our Odia brothers and sisters when any crisis happens. We plan to carry on this noble endeavour till the lock down period ends”. He hinted that if required, Odia Samaj may also extend this endeavour till the lives of the needy Odias become normal.

Odia Samaj, is a leading not-for-profit, socio-cultural organisation of the capital city, which is not only an effective and neutral think tank, primarily concerned with Odisha’s developmental priorities but it is also a platform for the Odia diaspora of the world, to interact and exchange ideas and assistance pertaining to the welfare of Odia people worldwide.

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