Village where houses go without doors, windows

A village in Odisha's Kendrapara district has houses which have no doors and windows -- just openings, giving a bye to the need for safety and security, the two basic reasons for construction of homes.

Surprisingly, Sialia village has not recorded any theft or burglary for a long time, according to the local police.

Sub-divisional police officer, Pattamundai, Rama Chandra Goud, said no theft or burglary had been reported from that village for years together.

"However other criminal offences did take place," he said.

Many in adjacent villages dismiss the unconventional practice as a superstition, perhaps with valid reason because the residents of the village believe in the power of Goddess Kharakhai Thakurani to protect them from harm.

"We have faith in the Goddess. She is protecting us from all kinds of evils. Paying respect to her commands, we have constructed houses without doors and windows," Abhiram Rout, a villager, said.

Block Development Officer, Rajkanika, Basudev Mahari said a few years ago a government agency bowing to the villagers' wishes had built a community hall that did not have a single door and window.

"When the carpenters tried to fix doors and windows to the asbestos-roofed structure, the local people objected. And we had to beat a retreat," Mahari said.

So deep-seated is their belief that the villagers find a link between the destruction of normal house and the death of its owner in flood and a divine curse, which occurred a long time ago.

A resident of a neighbouring village said cases of snake bite were frequent at the village.

Though there are no doors in the houses, the villagers hang curtains on the doorways to keep the privacy intact, a villager Ramakanta Nayak, however, said.

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