This Activist is doing a selfess act by running a Hostel for the Children of Prisoners in Odisha
Nirajalaxmi Mohapatra is running is a very out of the ordinary hostel for those children who’s parents or dependents are behind the prison.
The dream came to existence in the year 2003, when Social activist Nirajalaxmi Mohapatra took the extreme step to help those needy children. She used to regularly visit jails in order to counsel woman inmates
The Better India reports, ” On one occasion she happened to see two children playing in the prison courtyard. After some inquiry she found out that they were living there with their mother and grandmother. Shocked to see two children inside the Bhubaneswar Special Jail, when she asked the jailor why they were there she was told that the entire family had been convicted in a murder case and there was no one to take care of them”.
”If it was not for Mohapatra, Manas Ranjan Sahoo and his friend Bighnaraj Bagh would have never had the opportunity to make something of their life. Children of convicted prisoners serving time in different jails in Odisha, the duo have enrolled for medicine and engineering, respectively, after performing well in the Pre Medical Test (PMT) and Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) a couple of years back. The youngsters have lived through their share of difficult times but they see a stable career and family life in their future, all thanks to the woman they fondly call Mama” as mentioned in The Better India.
It also qouites that ”recalling the pain she experienced after her visit to Bhubaneswar Special Jail and the subsequent efforts to get her project off the ground Mohapatra says, “Once I had decided to set up the hostel for such children, I discussed it with the then IG-Prisons, Bidya Bhushan Mohanty. He immediately came on board and forwarded it to the state Women and Child Development department. The Department too accepted the idea and provided an initial investment of Rs 44,000.”
As The better India qouted her saying that, “it was when I went to the Rourkela sub-jail that I met Bharat and Kaushalya Sahoo, Manas’s parents. They had been convicted in a murder case over property. They were willing to send their son to the hostel and so I made my way to their native village of Bagdega in Sundergarh district. There I found out that both Manas and Bighnaraj were only spending their days grazing goats. Although I had gone to fetch one child I brought them both to the hostel. Today, by performing well academically, they have set an example for the rest of the children,” she proudly remarks.
Currently, Mohapatra’s hostel is home to children of different age groups.