RTL TV reporter Ms. Sandra visited the flood affected areas in Bihar along with the programme officer Ms. Marlou from CORAID (caritas Netherlands). The purpose of their visit is to understand the real situation in the flood affected areas in Bihar. They visited the Caritas India’s operational areas in Saharsa and Madhepura and some of the badly affected villages like Rusna, Parva Navtoli and Golpara in Madhepura.
On the way to Madhepura, media team visited the Chakla relief camp (this camp was taken up by a religious organisation) to get to know about the life in the relief camps. More than 700 families are living in Chakla camp which is situated near national highway. People here are living on bamboo platforms, roofed with plastic sheets. Airdropping of food materials are still going on the villages behind the relief camp. After an interview with the people in this camp the team proceeded to Madhepura and visited the relief camp supported by Caritas India in Madhepura bus station where cooked food is being served for more than 2,000 people everyday. More than 36 volunteers are working there to help Jana Vikas Samithi (JVS) to prepare food for the affected people. Since it is easily accessible people from affected remote villages are also coming to this camp to have their midday meal. Food distribution was organised here and medical assistance was provided in the TP College camp. All the camps were initiated by government and NGO’s are adopting the camps and running it now.
After visiting and interviewing people in the camps the media personnel visited the District Magistrate (DM) and had brief interaction with him regarding the situation and the strategies adopted for coping with the situation and moved to Parva Navtolia where military personnel are carrying out the evacuation operations. In military boats we visited the marooned villages like Rusna, Parva Navtoli and Golpara. All this villages are totally inundated with water and there is no way for people to come out of their village expect by crossing the flood water. Moreover people are not willing to come out of their village due to the fear of loosing their possessions and livestock. In those villages people are gathered in some elevated, mostly the roof tops of some concrete structures and surviving with community cooking. In most of the areas people are surviving by having food once in a day. They are sending representatives from their village to mainland to collect or buy food materials required for their daily use. Some times they have to walk for miles to collect the required amount of food items. Military people helped us to visit the villages and have interaction with the people regarding the problems they are facing and measures they have adopted to overcome the situation. Some areas people have already constructed raised bamboo platforms to save their lives in case the water level increases further. But at present the water level is showing a decreasing trend.
The real worry people are sharing is that they never expected a flood during this time of the year. This man made disaster carried thousands of lives in its course. It is said that almost 25 to 30 villages are completely washed away. There are still places where some aid yet to reach. After completing the visit in the villages we had gone back to the TP college camp where the medical camp was organised by Caritas India along with JVS in Madhepura and interviewed some people in the camp for the news the RTL TV was preparing.