Mumbai volunteers refused space at Odisha Bhavan to stock up relief materials

Updated: May 11, 2019, 07:54 IST | Diwakar Sharma

A Kharghar-based chartered accountant, R K Mahapatra, approached the Human Rights Commission with a complaint that Odisha Bhavan in Mumbai was not allowing them to stock up relief materials that they plan to send to the affected people

Mumbai volunteers refused space at Odisha Bhavan to stock up relief materials
Kerala Bhavan in Navi Mumbai has provided space to stock up the relief materials. Pic/RAJESH GUPTA

All that these city-based volunteers need to help those left devastated by cyclone Fani in Odisha is some logistic support and administrative co-operation, but the response they received, is the least of the things they would have expected.

A Kharghar-based chartered accountant, R K Mahapatra, approached the Human Rights Commission with a complaint that Odisha Bhavan in Mumbai was not allowing them to stock up relief materials that they plan to send to the affected people.

The issue started after consultant of the Vashi-based Odisha Bhavan, Krupanidhi Biswal, refused to allow the volunteers stock up relief materials at the premises. However, considering the sensitivity of the matter, Kerala Bhavan opened up its doors for the purpose.

Speaking to mid-day, Mahapatra said, "Unfortunately, Odisha Bhavan in Navi Mumbai refuses to cooperate and allow us store relief materials. This is a violation of human rights and a deliberate attempt to not participate in private-public social service and relief activities to help cyclone-affected people. Around 6 lakh of us from Maharashtra have come together to help those affected in Odisha by sending water bottles, candles, dry foods, clothes, sanitary pads and so on."

"The Kerala government is supporting us by providing space at the Kerala Bhavan. The Odisha government is violating human rights by delaying transportation of relief materials. We have already sent them three reminders but there has been no response from the administration," added

Mahapatra. He further said, "We have already sent 12,000 1-litre water bottles to Odisha through a local channel. We are struggling to send the other relief materials. At the moment, Kerala Bhavan is providing us the space to stock up the goods. We have come to know that Air India is providing logistic support to send relief materials free of cost. We need Odisha government's support to send from Mumbai."

Meanwhile, Biswal said, "I have already sent Mahapatra's request to the Odisha government and waiting for their reply. Being a government servant, I have to follow certain directives. I am being unnecessarily dragged into this dispute."

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