No relief for flood-hit, say Bihar villagers

Tungabhadra river floods
Tungabhadra river floods

Nearly 16 of the 38 districts in Bihar have been inundated with people rendered homeless and struggling to get food.

Although the water levels in the Bagmati river at Bharthua in Muzaffarpur district and the Gandak river in Dharfari village have receded the flood-hit people are in dire straits.

People are living with their families in makeshift polythene-covered dwellings but now hunger is stalking them.

Like in the past, the floods have wreaked havoc in Muzaffarpur this year, too. Many smaller rivers, including the Gandak, Budhi Gandak, Bagmati, Lakhandeyi and Vaya, have devastated 240 panchayat areas in 14 blocks.

In some villages in the Aurai block of Muzaffarpur district, the waters though receding are still knee-deep. The floods washed away three dozen huts of Mahadalit families in Dharfari village. Since then, these people have been living like nomads.

Anjana Devi of Dharfari village says that the Gandak river has destroyed the village. We are now living in huts outside the village, she adds.

She says there is no milk for the children nor medicines and help is not forthcoming from any quarter. All politicians ask for votes, but no leader has visited us yet.

Villagers say the district administration’s claims of distributing relief material are hollow. Several families in Bharthua, Benipur, Mohanpur and Vijay Chhapra villages are still taking shelter in the elevated areas.

Some of the places where the flood victims have taken refuge do not have even the basic facilities. Community kitchens, say the villagers, provide meals only once a day. Now people have started taking to the streets with their problems.

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