|Cyclone Amphan breaks Anandaman desolate|
Nearly two weeks have passed since the cyclonic storm arrived. Karan, 50, who runs an orphanage in Nishintantpur in the Kakdwip area of South-24 Parganas, is engaged in repairing the damaged roof.
Kolkata: Andaman was like any other orphanage, where some orphans used to make noise. Holding the finger of a middle-aged man, those children weaved dreams of a better life. Life was difficult, but at least they would get two meals a day, clothes to wear and books to read. This was followed by the demonic cyclone Amphan off the coast of West Bengal. It destroyed everything that came in its way.
Cyclone Amphan did not leave this small house of Anandan. Dilip Kumar Karan, holding books in his hands, lurks in a corner of a three-room orphanage with 20 orphans. The roof of her house started to crack due to torrential rain and strong wind. After some time a large part of the roof collapsed and this house of orphans aged between four and 15 years was destroyed. Now they were under the open sky, where the raindrops were piercing them as if the bee was piercing.
Nearly two weeks have passed since the cyclonic storm arrived. Karan, 50, who runs an orphanage in Nishintantpur in the Kakdwip area of South-24 Parganas, is engaged in repairing the damaged roof. Efforts are being made to collect money to buy new beds for children. He said that due to the Corona epidemic, the economic situation had worsened equally and this cyclone made the situation worse. When the storm came, the children were horrified. I could not understand how to handle them or save their belongings. The roof of a part of the house blew up. So we all went to the other corner of the house together. In a short while, the room was also filled with rainwater.
Karan left the mobile company eight years ago to open an orphanage with his savings. They told us that it took time for us to come back, but now there is very little money left to repair the roof. Six-year-old Piyali Das, who lives in Anandman, said that she and her friends were terrified when a storm hit Kakkaddeep. The roof flew into the air due to thunderstorms with thunder clouds. Piyali, who cherished the dream of becoming a doctor, was going to sell her mother four years ago when a panchayat member saved her.
Piyali, studying in the first grade, was asked why she wanted to become a doctor, so her answer was, ‘Doctors are needed in the village. I will not let anyone get coronavirus. Karan told that after the storm some villagers came forward to help the children and gave them food. He said that fortunately there was no shortage of food with us. But we could not save children’s clothes, utensils, and bedding. Now children need new things.
Karan (uncle) Karan of children walking on Baisakhi has gone to all those whom he hoped to help in the last 10 days. He said two businessmen in Kolkata promised to help build the roof, but the plan was also stalled due to the lockout. Amit Ghosh of Behala, Kolkata, said that he and his friend Suman Paul often visit Anandman with food and books for children.
Ghosh said that he came to know about ‘Anandaman’ from an acquaintance about three years ago. Since then he has been visiting this place regularly. He said, ‘A lot has changed since the lockdown. Our businesses have been affected. But we are still planning to build two-story pucca houses for children. It will cost a few lakh rupees. We plan to take this project forward soon. ‘
When a local police officer came to know about the orphanage situation, he said that food grains and other relief materials were distributed among the villagers of the cyclone-affected area. It could be further organized. He said, ‘We have tarpaulins in the store. If anyone needs help, they can contact us. We will do all that is possible. ‘
Karan said that his two brothers are also trying to help him raise funds for the children. He said, ‘When I am away they look after the children. It would not have been possible without them. “Kaku” are often saddened by the mistreatment of children, especially sex workers, by villagers. He said that I want a good future for him. Some villagers have always come forward to help me in my endeavor. While some villagers, including some school teachers, look down upon those children. It hurts to see this.