Odisha shows love, care and compassion; gives a new lease of life to storm-struck Andaman man Amrit Kujur

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Puri: The land of Lord Jagannath – the Lord of the Universe, known for its divine power and impeccable hospitality has once again showed its golden heart by giving a new lease of life to Amrit Kujur, a middle-aged man from Andaman and Nicobar Island who was washed ashore near a village in Puri with his damaged boat after surviving two massive storms in the middle of the sea and subsequently gone missing in the Bay of Bengal for 28 days and survived without food.
Upon being informed, the District Administration immediately swung into action and promptly made all arrangements including food, medicines and shelter in order to help the hapless man to get back his normal condition.
The District Administration has taken the entire responsibilities for his treatment, lodging, food, medicines and providing new dresses etc. during his stay in Puri. Besides, the administration has also arranged his travel to ensure that he returns to his hometown safely.
Kujur was brought to Bhubaneswar from Puri in a vehicle and then he will board a flight to Kolkata at 7.55 pm today. Then, tomorrow at 8 pm, he will take another flight from Kolkata to Port Blair. In order to avoid any difficulties and most importantly, to make his homecoming a hassle-free affair, one officer from the district administration will accompany Kujur up to Kolkata.
The entire expenditure has been sanctioned by the Collector of Puri on priority basis to save the life of Kujur.
“As it was a story of fight against all odds, bravery and resilience, we have provided all possible assistance, especially food, shelter, medicines, dress and other basic essentials to Amrit Kujur to ensure that he gets back his normal condition soon and able to contact with his family members for his safe return,” said Balwant Singh, IAS, Collector-cum-District Magistrate, Puri.
The Collector also thanked the local people for showing love, benevolence, compassion and care to help a needy and distressed man who had lost all hope in life and was fighting to survive.
Kujur, 49, a resident of Shahid Dweep at Andaman and Nicobar Islands (A&N), follows sea routes for a living and supplies passing ships with everyday items such as groceries and potable water, had lost his usual ocean route due to storms and survived 28 days adrift before he hit the coast at in Puri district on Friday.
After he was rescued at Rajhans on the banks of Chilika lake near sleepy coastal village of Khirisahi on intervening night of 24th and 25th, the local Police has rushed him and admitted to Krushnaprasad Primary Health Centre for immediate treatment. Thereafter, he was shifted to the Puri District Headquarters Hospital (DHH) on 27th where he was given proper medical treatment under the close supervision of CDMO, Puri.
“I had lost all hope but survived drinking sea water for 26 days. Thank God, I reached here in Odisha. Everyone here, including the villagers, police and officials behaved with me so well. I am really happy and grateful for the help I got from people of Odisha. I will remember it till my last breath,” a visibly-happy Kujur recalls thanking God for saving his life while getting ready to leave for his hometown at the Collector’s office.
Earning his livelihood by supplying groceries and portable water to passing ships, Kujur, had told Odisha police that he had started from the Andaman Islands, approximately 750 nautical miles or 1300 km from Odisha coast, on September 28 with his friend, Divyaranjan, to sell provisions and potable water to other ships in the Andaman sea. However, a storm left them stranded in the middle of sea, away from their regular course in a damaged boat.
Though the two tried hard to seek help and sent out signals to many passing cargo ships along the way, nobody noticed them. Finally, a Burmese Navy ship came to their aid. They helped Kujur by giving 260 litres of diesel and a compass for determining direction in the sea.
But the duo ran out of luck again as they encountered another storm in the Bay of Bengal and had to anchor midway. The wind proved too strong for the boat and the anchor rope snapped. The crashing waves dumped hundreds of gallons of seawater into the boat, threatening to sink or flip them. Luckily, the boat did not capsize and drifted around till the fuel was used up
Kujur kept the body of Divyaranjan in the boat for two days but had to throw it into the sea when it started decomposing.

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