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Ananta Prasad
Children welcome RAY houses in Bhubaneswar city
BlogPosted By: hindtodaynews on:10/5/2013 8:31:55 PM

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik laid the foundation stone of RAY houses at Mahishi Khal and Patharbandha slum today; it was indeed a welcoming step. “We are hopeful that we shall get houses of our own, which will allow us to grow up in safer environment” said 11 year old Prakash Swain from Mahisikhal.

Children from Humara Bachpan child clubs have been advocating for a safer living space for themselves and government’s efforts in providing them with a house will better their current situation. “It’s not the housing issue, we don’t have access to water facilities, and electricity which hampers our growth “opined Prakash. In Mahisikhal, the electric sub-station is very close to the slum due to which children are prone to accidents. “The CM visited these slums for the first time so, children have become hopeful, that now things will get better. But, under the current RAY scheme houses provided are of only 350 sq feet which wouldn’t be suitable for a family of four or five member especially where children are there” said Sadashiv Swain, CCWD who has been working in 30 slums of Bhubaneswar since 1994.

In Patharbandha slum where major issues are lack of sanitation facilities; unsafe and poor housing, 11 year old Pujashree Behera, stated “We don’t have toilets, and we can only go out after its dark, open defecation is predominant in our slums. But, the CM said things would be better that makes me happy and hopeful.”

“There are 7.6 million children in India who don’t have access to basic facilities such as proper and well ventilated housing, sanitation facilities access to clean water, and adequate space for recreation making them susceptible to several diseases and impairing their development. Humara Bachpan is trying to facilitate a safe and healthy environment for children growing up in urban poverty in India. CM’s visit was itself commendable and brings a ray of hope for the children. But we have to see to it that whatever government initiatives under RAY and JnNURM are taken should be in the right direction and should benefit the children and the community altogether” said Preeti Prada, National Campaign Coordinator, Humara Bachpan.

2011 census states, 39% of the households in slums in Odisha have a one-room dwelling and 34% have two rooms.  While an overwhelming 49.6% of the households do not have any bathing facility, about 1.7 lakhs households (48.33%) or 8.5 lakhs people defecate in the open. 53.9% of the households do not have any drainage connectivity for waste water.

The State’s sanitation strategy aims to reach its mandate within 2012-2018. The allocation made for this purpose was Rs. 18.77 Cr (1.33 percent) during 2012-13 which was reduced to only Rs. 50 lakhs for the year 2013-14 (0.02 percent). But, with the current budget allocation things appear a distant dream.
Ananta Prasad
Communication Officer
Humara Bachpan Campaign

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