Desperate Living

Desperate Living Calls For Desperate Measures!

110 goats perished in the flood in the year 2011 and with that his will to survive.

Residing in the flood prone Dholamara village of Rajnagar Block in Kendrapara district of Odisha, Arjuna Patra, a forty year old father of five children, and his wife, wishes their lives away. Arjuna Patra suffers from partial paralysis and is unable to do manual labor. Then with financial assistance from his brother-in-law and encouragement from his wife, goat rearing has emerged as the most viable venture. However, the 2011 flood not only devastated their livelihood, it also has caused irreparable damage to their mental strength.


Only some time back they were having 115 goats as assets and a profitable income with a turnover of around Rs. 1.5 lakhs. Then disaster struck and in a single blow turned them into destitute. Everything was lost in the ravaging waters, as Arjuna Patra reminisces, “… I lost everything (in the 2011 flood), house, land, furniture … and my sole source of livelihood, 115 goats … and just left with the sleeping mat and the pillow under my head…”

His son discontinued his education and went to Pune to work as a plumber. His daughter who was in class eight also stopped going to school. He found it difficult to feed his family and became hopeless from all angles. He was also afraid to revive his business for fear of floods and lack of credit assistance.

Since the last two years he has been managing virtually on alms.


A few days ago I received a call from Arjuna Patra who seems to be interested to start his venture again and join the mainstream society. I urge the NGO Nature Club, who at first instance brought this “Desperate Living,” to my notice during a study, to provide some kind of assistance. I also urge the readers of this article to indicate or locate any micro credit that can be made available to him, or assistance of any nature.

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