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Last Updated : May 30, 2019 11:07 AM IST | Source:

Cylone Fani: ITI students rebuild homes, Sikh NGOs feed thousands

Close to 500 ITI students are reportedly part in operations that involve repairing and rebuilding homes, across Bhubaneswar.

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Picture for representation
Picture for representation

A group of young boys, aged between 16 to 18, have volunteered to help rebuild homes ravaged by Cyclone Fani in Odisha.

Thirty-four students, split into groups of four, are taking part in the exercise. All of them come from different Industrial Training Institutes. Salia Sahi, reportedly Bhubaneswar's largest slum, is where the repair and rebuild work is being carried out.

Commenting on this, Satyabrata Jena, Assistant Technical Officer, Directorate, Technical Education and Training, said: “These students come from different branches -- electrical, technical, fitter, and plumbing. They are offering their expertise for free.”


Prakash Pradhan, a 17-year-old electrician, for instance, is putting his technical know-how to good use in this effort to repair the affected homes. He believes this also provides a platform for him to learn and is “good exposure”. He believes it will be a learning experience for the other students too.

As a report by Firstpost states, all of the boys are actually happy that the state government roped in the ITIs since it would help them learn a lot of things first-hand.

Agreeing to that, 16-year-old Trilochan Behera says in excitement that the trip would indeed help him learn a lot. He also mentioned that the Odisha government is sponsoring their food, accommodation, and transport expenses. Both Prakash and Trilochan are from Nayagarh ITI and they claim there are over 500 students like them, taking part in relief operations across Bhubaneswar.

Himanshu Sekhar Lenka, the Assistant Director of Odisha Skill Development Authority, pointed out how the students were selected. For instance, students who have “received skill development training or are undergoing courses are not a part of such jobs. They have done short-term courses and lack the expertise required to carry out this kind of operations.”

Meanwhile, in Puri, many international humanitarian bodies, most of them run by the Sikh community, have been arranging langars (community kitchens) to feed hundreds of people affected by the cyclone. Apart from serving khichdi and vegetables, they have also been handing out water bottles to the displaced lot.

Gurpreet Singh, the member of one such agency based in the United Kingdom -- Akaal Channel Aid –said they have been providing food to people from localities within a 5-km radius. He said their Managing Director Amrik Singh Kooner even flew down from London to oversee the functioning of the facility and its operations, for three days.

Santilata Behera, a resident of Puri’s Baliapanda slum, added that the group has been distributing food for the past nine days.

The Khalsa Aid and the United Sikhs are two other such international Sikh organisations that are operating out of Gurdwara Aarti Sahib in Puri.

Khalsa Aid has been serving food to 5,000 people regularly. United Sikhs, on the other hand, has been distributing torches and food to the distressed.

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First Published on May 30, 2019 11:07 am
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