Displaced visit Hirakud

A newly married Alekh Sahu was forced to leave his village Khajurdihi and whipped by police when he resisted forcible eviction. That was 56 years back when Sahu, now 74, along with hundreds of other villagers was evicted from Khajurdihi to make way for the Hirakud dam.

On the occasion of 56th Foundation Day of the dam on Friday, Sahu and 20 others, now residing in Rengali block of Sambalpur district and Lakhanpur block of Jharsuguda district, visited the dam hoping to trace the place where their villages once stood. This was their first visit ever since they left their home.

Walking down memory lane, Parkhita Sahu (75) said they owned 121 acres of land then and once the land was gone they were reduced to paupers and now possess a mere five acres.

He now resides in Sukhadihi village in Lakhanpur block after Kutgad village was submerged.

The other evicted people Gurbari (76), her husband Sobharam Mirdha (81), village priest Ranjit Kalo (67), Lingaraj Pradhan (82), Duryodhan Ati (81), Bihari

Meher (75) now struggle to make ends meet in contrast to the affluent lifestyle they led nearly six decades back.

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