In fact, girls belonging to Asurali village did not observe the day yesterday to share the personal loss of their friend, who lost her brother in the recent floods. "Flood is a perennial problem for our village. The recent flood has shattered the backbone of our family", said Sushama Rout, narrating how her brother Gautam was washed away on October 17.
While crossing the flood water that inundated the village, Gautam and his friend were swept away. While his friend was saved, the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) personnel recovered Gautam's body in the evening.
Rasmi, a resident of Kenduapada village, had a similar predicament. Her only brother Ranjan was swept away by the flood water and his body was found on October 17. Besides, about 100 girls of many flood-affected villages in Dhamnghar, Bhandaripokhari, Tihidi and Chandbali blocks, who were evacuated by the administration to shelters five days back, have not yet returned to their houses.
"Some of us went back to our homes on Thursday. But about 50 families are still in school buildings. When we struggle to survive during floods, how can our daughters observe 'Kumar Purnima'?" asked Bijay Swain of Nadigain village in Dhamnghar block.
"Our priority is to gather household materials for repair of the house that was damaged in the floods. The Kumarpurnima festival has brought disaster for us," said Syramani Parei of Kenduapada.
According to District Collector Laxminarayan Mishra, flood water has receded in Dhamnghar and Bhandaripokhari. "Almost all the people who were evacuated have since returned to their houses. But the flood situation was still grim in a few villages in Chandabali and Tihidi blocks," he said.