IN THE worst tragedy to have hit the state of Bihar, the Kosi river floods have displaced more than 30 lakh people and destroyed close to 3 lakh houses. Since the Kosi river went on the rampage more than 50 people have been killed and the defence forces have been sent to Bihar
to carry out relief operations in parts of the state which are flooded to more than five feet. In the district of Madhepura, more than hundred people looted the godown at a development office where the food packets were stored. The leaders of Bihar on the other hand has started the blame game. Lalu Prasad Yadav
went on to say that the government of Bihar had clearly failed in all its endeavors to do anything for the flood-stricken victims.
But as days pass, people of Bihar are getting more and more impatient. With relief and food supplies moving at a snails pace, one person was reportedly killed in Madhepura district when a scuffle broke out between people at an overcrowded relief camp over the shortage of food supplies and medicines. At places people ran for miles after helicopters which were dropping food packets and in an unfortunate incident in the district of Supaul, one boy was killed and several others were injured when food packets fell on them. Inmates of the jail in Supaul took advantage of the flood waters and the absence of security to break free. The availability of food has also become scarce in the entire state of Bihar and will continue to be so after almost 2 lakh hectares of crops and vegetables was destroyed by the floods. UNICEF has brought in people for providing relief material to the people but the transport system in the state is so abysmal that they cannot reach the badly affected areas. People have been stuck on the roofs of their houses for days or have been clinging to tree tops for survival but how long can they last when they have no food to survive on.
The tragedy that struck the state of Bihar is so immense that the fortunate ones who survived the fury of the flood waters in the past few days are now fighting starvation. Apart from the scarcity of food there is now an impending danger of epidemics spreading through the flooding waters. There have already been cases of diarrhoea and other diseases being reported from several makeshift camps.
The government on its part will have to act fast or else the magnitude of this natural disaster will only rise. The situation is worsening everyday and the relief operations being carried out will not suffice 30 lakh people who have been rendered homeless and have no food to live on. With the death toll increasing day by day, it is upto the rest of us to donate whatever we can so that the survivors of the flood fury do not lose out in the battle for food.