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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

2 Lucknowites doing their bit to help Odisha rebuild

Cyclone Fani left Odisha devastated particularly the holy town of Puri and Bhubaneswar. The relief measure work is going on war footing as people from across country are working day and night to bring normalcy in the state.

lucknow Updated: May 13, 2019 13:42 IST
Rajeev Mullick
Rajeev Mullick
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Samarth Verma (IAS officer)  and Taruka Srivastava (freelancer writer).
Samarth Verma (IAS officer) and Taruka Srivastava (freelancer writer).
         

Cyclone Fani left Odisha devastated particularly the holy town of Puri and Bhubaneswar. The relief measure work is going on war footing as people from across country are working day and night to bring normalcy in the state.

Two Lucknowites, Samarth Verma (31), an IAS officer and Taruka Srivastava (28), a freelancer is also doing their bit.

A 2011 batch IAS, Smarth Verma, who is a commissioner at Bhubaneswar municipal corporation and vice chairman of Bhubaneswar development authority (BDA), said, “It is good to see that people from across India are working unitedly to help Odisha limp back to normalcy.”

Samarth said, “As an official I’m doing my duty. But there are several unsung heroes who extend their helping hand in relief work despite their houses got damaged. People of Odisha suffered losses yet they are taking care of another family, is heart touching. They get up early at 5.30 am and toil hard till evening in relief measures.”

“Loss of human life has been curtailed due to massive relief work being carried out in the state. With flora, fauna and property got damaged due to cyclone, lifting up of uprooted tree branches and garbage continues across the state,” said Samarth who studied at Mahanagar Boys and did B Tech from IIT Kanpur.

28-year-old Taruka Srivastava, an alumnus of La Martiniere College and a freelancer writer, was in Bhubaneswar on May 3, when Cyclone Fani destroyed everything in its way from Puri to Bhubaneswar moving further to Cuttack and beyond. “This was the first time I experienced the power of a natural calamity. I was staying on the fifth floor of a 16-floor apartment. At around 12:20, the winds accelerated beyond my imagination and my building started swaying. I was petrified and was in dilemma whether to move upstairs or run to the basement,” she said.

“The high impact of wind had broken windows in several flats in the apartment. The winds only calmed down five hours later. The devastation caused has been more than the Super-cyclone of 1999 that claimed 10,000 lives. However, this time Odisha government’s exemplary disaster management policy averted mass deaths and restricted the casualty to just 41 people,” she said.

Unfortunately, most of the mainstream media ignored the annihilation caused by Fani in Odisha due to elections. But, I am doing my bit as a freelance writer by highlighting the problems being faced by people here and lauding their motivating relief works. This is the time when the entire country should stand by Odisha and its resilient people, said Taruka.

First Published: May 13, 2019 12:42 IST