State Tourism and Culture Minister Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi on Thursday inaugurated the Kalamitra Dolls Project, a livelihood project to revive the artistic Raghurajpur village that was destroyed in Cyclone Fani, and make its inhabitants skillful, besides making them socialise.
In the aftermath of Cyclone Fani, Rapid Response team has been providing relief support to cyclone-affected communities in Odisha.
At the launch, Jyoti said: “Culture and tourism are two sides of a coin. One cannot sustain without the other. Tourism is the sole preface of the state or country. Expressing grief over the condition of the Fani-affected artisan village, he said its residents were suffering psychological pain and assured to resolve the issue through political discussions.
He urged residents to stand together and rebuild Raghurajpur.
In her deliberation, chief speaker and State Juvenile Justice Board member and women’s activist Namrata Chadha said: “There are 153 families and almost 850 artisans living in Raghurajpur village. This heritage village is famous for its culinary art and culture for which I feel proud to be an Odia.”
She said the devastation caused by Fani was enormous, but instead of letting down hopes people should unite to rebuild lives.
Actress and social worker and guest of honour Elina Das said: “This village has been blessed by Lord Jagannath and after Fani, Rapid Response is one of the blessings in disguise. Odisha is famous the world over because of this village. Natural calamities may affect our wealth, but no one can destroy our skills. We should unite to rebuild our art and culture.”
Maheekshita Mishra from Rapid Response gave a vote of thanks in the end.
On May 19, Rapid Response adopted and formally started the “Rebuilding Raghurajpur” project to provide relief and long-term recovery assistance to the artistic community of Raghurajpur.
Since then the team has mobilised over 40 local volunteers and supported the community with generator, wood cutter, community kitchen, medical camp, relief kits, hygiene kits, education kits, psycho social support and tree plantation drive.