Thursday, February 19, 2009

Relief distribution at Rani patti

We were able to distribute around 210 woolen blankets at Ranipatti, Raghunathpur panchayat ( Murligunj) on 12-15 Feb 2008. Earlier last week we (Feb-2-4) we had distributed some blankets here along with areas near Bhawartola. We also distributed clothes, new & old to people in these areas.

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Many of these places in Singhwara, Bhawner tola or Ranipatti cant still be reached by boat or vehicle; we used to go there & distribute coupons for blankets & clothes depending on how much stock we had.

It was difficult not to be able to distribute materials to all people in the village, so we try to find the weakest & most deprived people and gave them coupons. It feels horrible doing so.. all the people are more or less in the same boat & need the relief blankets & clothes.

After so much time out here, you can almost make out the condition of the village before you enter can sense the gloom before you enter a badly suffered village.

Inside, everyone wants some relief. There is no pandemonium, though; they understand that all of them will not get relief material this time and line up accordingly.

Its remarkable.

These people have lived together amidst sorrow & pain for so long, cut away from the world, its almost like they all think the same communal thinking .There is also lot unstated mutual understanding and admiration for one another for having made it through.

A day after coupon distribution, the come to the nearest point where we can bring our vehicle ; and the relief is distributed to the coupon holders. At places where its very difficult for people to come out of the villages, we try & distribute relief materials in the villages.

At places, to reach a badly hit village, we have to go through other villages which were not so badly damaged, or have had already received relief from other agencies. It is difficult not to give any relief material to them & go to villages ahead to distribute the same, in such cases, we generally use the coupon for distribution.

Village Ratanpatti,Raghunathpur Panchayat, Murligunj, Feb 14- 15 2009.

Flood relief.. last few destinations

The last of blankets were distributed in Supaul & Madhepura ditricts of flood ravaged Kosi region. We always wanted to camp at Chatapur and do relief work around the area..twice already we had been there but couldn't go beyond 10 km of Chatapur.



This time Kosi had been moved back to its original path and many villages were now accessible by two wheelers. We took the vehicle as far as we could, borrowed motorbikes and bicycles & went in to villages which were cut off for the longest & were the farthest that we had been.

The pictures are from our last 3 relief distributions, all undertaken in last three weeks. The damage to the infrastructure is telling, & it looks more like a war zone at places. At other places, everything is so quiet that you can hear your heartbeat.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Update: 6 Feb 2009

Dear friends,

We have distributed blankets & clothes at Birpur (4 km from Kosi barrage) today and are returning to Ghospur where we will spend the night. Tomorrow, we will do distributions at Lakshmania & Balua villages where coupon for the same has already been distributed today by Ashok Ji, who is from Dr.Mishra's family.

We will move in to Chatapur day after tomorrow. There is still problems taking a four wheeler there but most of the interior places can be reached by two wheeler.

We didnt have much relief material with us, but we distributed around 200 blankets and 250 dress sets for children which we had in our vehicle, equally at these three places. Ashok Mishra Ji, from Balua has been helping us in local distribution of coupons and subsequent delivery of relief materials.

Anubha Ji, these 250 dresses were the last of 800 dresses send in two consignments from Jalandhar. Thanks a lot.

The cold weather in these areas is slowly wearing off, and more people can be seen in the open..and with Kosi flowing back in its course, things look brighter.

Thanks to all of you who have worked for the Kosi flood relief.

Thanks & regards,
+91 993 1763 070

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Its spring.

As one drives around Madhepura and moves ahead towards north, the countryside comes alive with the lazy sunshine of late winter mornings. Its lush green around with lots of marigold blooming
in the diffused sunlight. Its hard to believe that a river flowed over this area a few months back. Its been an amazing journey.. right through monsoons & the winter.Its been a tough time for everyone in this region..Many have lost everything. Yet, life goes a routine.And so does nature.

With the renegade river brought back on its old course, water level is ebbing away quickly..and
there is hope in the air. Expectancy.. for a new, better period ahead.
Its the beginning of spring,rebirth is in the air.

Beneficiaries from the villages (Bhawnertola & Singhwara) being given the relief materials (warm clothes /blankets).

It is painful to see people still suffering from massive floods that started almost five months back. These are the people at the bottom of the relief rope,too weak to go to big relief centers, too far n deep inside the Kosi labyrinth to be touched by relief agencies working here earlier. With the decrease in water level, some villages can be reached now by two wheeler. These people are from Bhawner tola & Singhwara, amongst a cluster of villages still cut off for major disaster relief.

Its the resilience & raw courage of these down to earth folks that has carried them through five months of water & cold damp surroundings.

The community hung around each other like never before..they helped each other with all they had..its amazing. Their attitude has been a revelation

for many of us. They have won their lives back by mentally not allowing even the thought of death enter their head; physically they are tattered...they had no control over what was happening around them..but mentally, they never gave away hope. Hope has carried them through this living hell.

Now, as our Government tries to give them whatall it has, lets hope that their life on the other side of this Kosi experiance is better, much better than what they perceive.

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Flood relief: Bhawer tola & Singhwari Village,Madhepura

Flood relief ; Blankets were distributed to beneficiaries from Bhanwertola & Singhwari villages,Gwalpada Madhepura. The coupons for distribution had been distributed one day earlier & the beneficiaries came and collected the blankets,clothes from us at Dighi Panchayat.

These two villages were highlighted by the media recently, and the condition of the villagers at these places were indeed bad. Now, with the Kosi flowing back on the original route and the breach plugged and patched, water flowing through the villages have stopped,and we hope traversable roads to places like these will be usable soon. This is good news for many villages which are still difficult to reach.

Beneficiaries with coupons come to distribution points & collect their relief material. This little arrangement has been pretty effective
in cutting down the chaos and getting the distribution done smoothly & swiftly.

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Flood relief: Bhawer tola & Singhwari Village,Madhepura

The roads which were washed away during the flood, cutting clusters of villages marooned by water, are being repaired with full gusto. Whatever materials are available locally,are getting used to restore the basic road network.
Blanket coupons were distributed at Bhawer tola for residents of Bhawartola & Singhwari villages.
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Flood relief: Bhawer tola & Singhwari Village,Madhepura

People come & que up early at the distribution site. We try to distribute the relief materials quickly as they have to go to their villages.

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Flood relief, Gwalpada





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