KORAPUT: Dhabalu Sisa, 41, and his wife Samari, 46, belonging to particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG) Bonda of Malkangiri district are all excited and they have every reason to be because they are attending this year’s Republic Day parade in New Delhi.
Every year, a couple representing the tribal communities from the state attends the Republic Day parade. This time Dhabalu and Samari of Bandiguda village under Mundulipada panchayat of Malkangiri district are selected.
Armed with an invite from the ministry of tribal affairs, they will stay in New Delhi from January 22 to February 2. Apart from attending the parade they will meet President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also attend all the ceremonies held for the guest of honour, including the customary tea party during their stay at the national capital.
“We are extremely happy and excited to meet the first citizen of India and the Prime Minister. I have never visited the state capital but destiny had something special for me. Now I will be travelling to New Delhi and that too in a flight,” said Dhabalu, who never went to a school.
The tribal couple have already started packing their traditional attire, which they will wear on the special occasion, and listed several serious issues, related to their community and economy, which they think need Prime Minister’s attention. “It’s a godsend for us to highlight the plight of our community directly before the Prime Minister. As our tribe depends on farming to eke out a living, we will urge him to take some special steps for the development of agriculture in the region,” said Samari, mother of four daughters and a son.
Also, the tribal couple will raise the virtually non-existent road network and lack of safe drinking water and healthcare facilities in their area. “It’s an honour for our community. I express my gratitude to the Union government and the state government for selecting a couple from our community to be guest for the Republic Day parade,” said Damburu Sisa, the first-time MLA from Bonda community, representing Chitrokonda assembly segment in Malkangiri.
Project Administrator of ITDA (Malkangiri) Ram Krushan Gond said he would accompany the couple to New Delhi. The couple work for social harmony and development at the village. “We will leave Malkangiri on January 20 and meet chief minister Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar the next day. The same day we will leave for New Delhi,” he said.
Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/Bonda-couple-to-raise-developement-issues-with-Modi/articleshow/50619544.cms