A tribal girl allegedly committed suicide due to delay in getting stipend for nurses' training under a government scheme at R Udayagiri in Gajapati district, police said today. Sunita Raita, aged around 21 years and belonging to a BPL family, hanged herself when no one was present at her home yesterday.
The incident sparked a controversy as her father Sudam Raita, a daily labourer, and mother alleged that the girl, a student of BSc nursing course in a private college at Bhubaneswar, took the step as she failed to get the stipend.Sudam said his daughter had joined the course relying on the scheme providing Rs 54,000 to tribal students towards course fee and hostel dues annually for technical education.
He further alleged that despite repeated appeals to the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) office here,Sunita was unable to get the stipend and the college authorities told her that her name would be deleted if she failed to deposit the money immediately. When contacted, Project Administrator of Parlakhemundi ITDA office Kalyan Rath said the girl's name was sponsored to a particular nursing college at Bhubaneswar under the vocational training programme, but she joined a different academy on her own choice due to which there was delay in releasing the stipend.
However, when the girl approached district Collector Basudev Bahinipati at a grievance cell at R-Udayagiri only on Monday last with the details of the institution she had taken admission, the office of the ITDA started processing for the release of the stipend, Rath said. Bahinipati said he had assured the girl that her grievance would be addressed.
Following the alleged suicide of the girl, the ADM has been asked to inquire into the matter and submit a report by tomorrow, the collector said. Meanwhile, R-Udayagiri police has registered a case of unnatural death and further investigation is in progress.