Landless Dalits, hit hardest by disasters, are last to get relief: Study

The pressure to live in the most vulnerable parts of the village, further marginalise farm labourers during disaster relief

Mahima A Jain | IndiaSpend Bengaluru
Kochi flood, rescue operation

Kochi: Rescue officials assist villagers out of a flooded area following heavy monsoon rainfall, near Kochi on Wednesday (Photo: PTI)

Brahmagiri, Puri District: There’s nowhere to go beyond Talamala. It is the last village in Puri district’s Brahmagiri block in eastern Odisha, sandwiched between the Bay of Bengal and the Chilika lake.

When Cyclone Fani swept through Talamala at 240 km/h on May 3, 2019, it flattened the village of just over 4,000 people. Crops, cultivated predominantly on small and marginal landholdings of 2 hectares or less, were completely destroyed.

Sridhar Sethi, 45, and his wife did not even have that much land to lose. They are landless labourers and Scheduled Castes (SC), the most disadvantaged communities in the Hindu caste hierarchy. The couple are also disabled.


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First Published: Aug 17 2019 | 7:44 PM IST

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