One thing that almost everyone (who hav worked out here for flood relief) would have witnessed is the humility, courage & benignity of the flood victims. These are remarkable social qualities, and they are consistent & unfaltering even in the midst of daunting conditions which has prevailed here for almost three months now.
Even a small insignificant help is greeted by a warm smile and genuine gratitude. If we have nothing to offer or we have exhausted our supplies..the disappointment is never overtly made obvious or rude; just a smile, a nod or sometimes a slightly sarcastic take on their own luck.
They just want to go on with life, and hope that things get better. Resigned to fate maybe, but most of them have accepted this and they blame no one for this.
When you sit to talk with them, they narrate their flood stories with acuity, slowly a crowd starts to gather around, they open up & then everyone has something to say.
Out of nowhere someone brings you tea, they talk about the problems they have and how they deal with it , about other victims in difficult to reach villages, about politicians and NGO's who have helped them,
And about the bleak future that awaits them.
When we ask them about their requirements, its always the women who are encouraged to speak first; the men are just happy with what they have. The men are more practical in their demands; medicines for cattle,anti fungal crème (for ringworm or "dinai"), torch.. stuff like that.
When we tell them we have jeans pants for them..they blush.. they actually blush like children & generally nominate the oldest person around for jeans outfit. Women, with pallu of sari generally tucked between their teeth giggle and nudge each other. They have fun.
When we gave them woolen clothes for small children, they were very happy. Just a small woolen cap or a scarf per family, and they are happy.
Then we asked them whether they needed blankets. They were silent, all of them.
Maybe they dint believe that they can actually get blankets. It's almost a luxury to even think about that.
Well, we have procured 240 blankets today and it's going to them. It feels good.
It will be slightly difficult to take around 500 blankets and distribute them; it will take at least two trips on the boat. We have talked to Sarpanch, Amarnath Ji, he has been helping us a lot in the areas within Murligunj thana, Jorgama & Kumarkhand. We will be staying in Rahata overnight and hope to do the distribution in two days.
We would to thank Mr.Prashant Pandey, who took the initiative, asked us what we needed and committed funds for 200 blankets. Lot of thanks to Anubha Prasad & Kumar Gautam for helping us buy woolen clothes for children and to Dr. Arvind.G , (3rd stage,6th main, Gokulam, Mysore) & his colleagues for sending us six cartons of clothes and medicines.
God bless you all.
Thanks & regards