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 it...you 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.
These people have lived together amidst sorrow & pain for so long, cut away from the world, its almost like they all think the same way..like 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.