**Malkangiri:** Apart from its ongoing war against the Maoists in this tribal-dominated district of southern Odisha, the jawans of Border Security Force (BSF) are these days simultaneously up in arms against the killer Japanese Encephalitis that has till date claimed innocent lives of over a hundred tribal children here.
Since the outbreak of the deadly disease here and following its epidemic proportion, the paramilitary personnel have tightened up their belt to combat the menace by launching both preventive and precautionary measures as a part of their series of civic programmes christened ‘Pallavi’.
On Monday (November 21), a mega medical camp conducted by COB Sikhapalli Ex-85 Bn in the Palkonda village graced by K. S. Banyal, DIG, BSF and other BSF officials. Local Sarpanch and school Head Master also attended.
The camp catered to the medical needs of 290 women, 160 males and 125 children of Palkonda, Phulgurha and Paknagurha villages.
Besides mosquito nets, medicine, sanitation and hygienic items, stationery items, water tanks, utensil items and sports items were also distributed.
The free medical camp was conducted by Dr T E S Einstein, CMO, 85 BN BSF and Dr M Khulabi.
Briefing media, DIG Banyal said, “This is BSF’s golden jubilee year. To commemorate the occasion and also in future, we’ll be extending this gesture to the people over here.”
“This civic action programme we’re undertaking here in Palkonda village. It’s a series of programme, a part and parcel of our ‘Pallavi’. During the Japanese Encephalitis (JE) terror, we’d undertaking several steps like fogging on our own as well as under the instruction of the district administration. We’re now distributing goods, bought by us, through this programme including mosquito nets and medicine worth Rs 1 lakh. Our two doctors have been deployed here. Most of the turnout is of the womenfolk and children. We’ll be arranging such programmes also in future so that the poor populace of this backward area is benefitted. Whatever they are in need of, be it household goods, water tanks, utensils, school kits for the children’s education, etc,” the BSF DIG informed.
On the changes that have taken place here after the BSF presence, he commented, “For the last four-five years, as you know, vehicular and human movements were only limited to day time. But with the presence of BSF here, developmental activists have intensified. Water supply and electricity connection have been made in the village here. People feel secured now. Vehicles are now plying by the night. The villages nearby to the road are no more scared of the Maoists now. A few patches in the Malkangiri district are still left where the activities of the Maoists are felt. Deployment of BSF is not there. However, we march into those patches even though we’ve not been permanently deployed there. Due to our operation launched, change is being felt gradually. At present, the Maoists are in fringes. We’re optimistic that the Maoist activities in Malkangiri and Odisha would be totally checked in near future.”