Odisha: Physically Disabled Student Reminds Dharmendra Pradhan Of His Unfulfilled Promise

**Bhubaneswar:** Young college-going girl Mousumi Swain has seen betrayal in her life like no one else. Her dreams of overcoming her physical disabilities and eventually becoming a successful woman came to a halt after the promise of a free-of-cost surgery was left unfulfilled. In 2016, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had pledged that he would bear all expenses of Mousumi’s surgery but it has been three years since then and no help has arrived still.

Born to tea-stall vendor Abhay Swain and his wife Sanjukta Swain in Sikharpur area of Cuttack, Mousumi is youngest among three children. She was born with no ear openings to facilitate her hearing. Her mouth too was crooked and she was not able to talk either. While her other two siblings are perfectly fine and healthy, Mousumi believes that she has been cursed.

Financial problems have been the biggest hurdle for the entire family. After eldest daughter’s marriage and with son’s measly job, mother Sanjukta had to go door-to-door pleading for medical assistance for her youngest one’s treatment. At such testing times, a Good Samaritan doctor Bibhuti Ray heard of Mousumi’s case and provided free treatment for partial restoration of audibility and speech.

However, another costlier operation was required for complete restoration. Due to her physical constraints, the excellent Arts student is not attending college regularly. Financial constraints are also mounting as most of Abhay’s earnings go towards paying rent and arranging two-time meals.

In 2016, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had met Mousumi in a cultural program at Ravenshaw College. He had promised her to bear all expenses of operation and even her education costs. It has been three years since then and Mousumi’s condition is still the same. Every day, she patiently waits for the promise to come into action. But, she goes to bed disappointed each time. She simply says, “I hope someone is listening.”