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Chief Minister's relief package; succour for the hapless lakhs

Chief Ministers relief package; succour for the hapless lakhs
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Kolkata: It was a different Saturday for many like Rabin Bar of Kakdwip in South 24-Parganas, Dharanidhar Mahato of Jhargram and Mukesh Sahani of Jagadishpur in Howrah after the cyclone left lakhs of people homeless in the state.

The reason being they have started seeing a ray of hope to rebuild their houses and initiate agricultural activities after losing almost everything in cyclone Amphan with Mamata Banerjee's government directly transferring financial assistance to their bank accounts on Friday.

Rabin Bar used to live in a tile-roof one-room house with his wife and only son at Kakdwip's Haripur Dakshin Village at Swami Vivekananda Gram Panchayat in South 24-Parganas. On May 21 morning Bar found himself homeless with the entire structure of his house collapsed when the cyclone hit at a speed of 140 km per hour. Remaining clueless for the past one week and spending nights in a neighbour's house, finally on Saturday Bar got back hope of taking his wife and son back to his house as he can now rebuild the same with the financial grant send by the state government in his bank account.

"I am a rickshaw puller. But my son studies in college and now even after losing everything in the cyclone I am going to rebuild my house. All these is becoming possible just because of the support of the state government," Bar said.

Chief Minister on Friday announced a relief package of Rs 6,250 crore for relief and reconstruction work in nine badly affected districts including Howrah, Hooghly, Jhargram, Nadia, East Burdwan, North and South 24-Parganas and East and West

Midnapore.

The benefits have got transferred in bank accounts of more than 1 lakh beneficaries on Friday immediately with the Chief Minister clicking on a button at Nabanna Sabhaghar during a video conference with the concerned district authorities. It include grant of Rs 20,000 to each to buy material to rebuild houses.

Quite similar was the story of 60-year-old daily wage labourer Dharanidas Mahato of Manickpara village in Jhargram. He and his wife have now taken shelter in his brother's house after his mud-house was brought down on the ill-fated May 20 when the cyclone had left more than 10 lakh families homeless. He rushed to the bank on Saturday morning itself and initiated search for a helper who can accompany him to reconstruct his home. "I had managed to erect mud walls and put a thatched roof on them by spending all my savings to build a shelter for me and my wife. It was heartbreaking for me to see my dream home getting completely devastated," said Mahato adding that he would once again rebuild his house with the assistance provided by the Mamata Banerjee government.

Sahani of Ramkrishnapur at Howrah's Jagadishpur said he rushed to a shop and bought asbestos to reconstruct the roof of his house that is completely waterlogged from all sides.

"I also spoke to a mason and bought other materials needed. It has only become possible because of the grant provided by the Chief Minister," Sahani said.

In the initial phase, five lakh people received the grant to rebuild their houses and 20 lakh farmers were provided with financial assistance of Rs 1,500 on an average.

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