Flood victims face the brunt as Yogi, Maurya say ‘cheese’

Amid the photo ops of Government and the ruling party’s relief distribution drama, the common man ravaged by floods is facing the actual brunt in Uttar Pradesh

NH Photo
NH Photo

Biswajeet Banerjee

Avdhesh Kumar Singh, a resident of Narainpur Jaisingh village in Gonda, UP, found himself utterly helpless when his village got inundated after a breach in Charsari Elgin dam. The water of river Gandak swept away the dam in no time, flooding Avdhesh’s village. They waited for government’s help. As the wait stretched to 12 days, he sent a WhatsApp message to news reporters seeking help.

“One fine morning around a fortnight back flood water entered our village and within hours we were wading though neck deep water. I along with my family were shifted to a highway and waited for government help. We waited for 12 days but no help came. Your intervention helped us to get some relief material,” he said

Two days back he shifted his family to a relative’s house because they were not getting enough to eat. “The relief material we got was not enough for the family of seven. So we decided to move to a relatives’ house,” he said.

Flood victims face the brunt as Yogi, Maurya say ‘cheese’
A hand-written letter by Avdhesh asking for flood relief

Sudhir Maheshwari, a government official said the Government is trying its best to extend help to people but the magnitude of flood is so high that we are not able to cope up with it. We might not have evacuated people but are regularly dropping food packets.

He said two Mi-17 choppers have made 145 trips and have dropped 114.85 tonne of relief material in last three days.

According to the government over 23.30 lakh people spread over in 25 districts of Uttar Pradesh are affected by flood where swelling water of various rivers like Gandak, Sharda , Rapti and Rohni have inundated a large swathe of land. Government spokesman Manish Sharma said that undeclared release of water from Nepal has caused floods in UP.

“The state is witnessing one of the worst floods of its history.  The toll has gone up to 90 in this rainy season. Nine more people have died in last 24 hours.  Rains have been intense but the release of water from Nepal aggravated the situation. As over a dozen small dams were washed away in a week’s time the water swept away villages after villages,” he said.

“The flood has left a mark of destruction in the area. In 103 villages roads, houses, schools and hospitals have been washed away forcing people to put up make-shift tents on the highways,” he said.

The official says that total number of flood affected villages is 3008 of which 1368 are still marooned.

As the water has started receding there is an apprehension of spreading of infectious disease. Dr Badri Vishal, Director, Epidemics & Vector Born Diseases in the state department of health said that insecticides and bleaching power have been sent to all flood ravaged villages. Over 60 lakh chlorine tablets and 21 lakh ORS packets have been distributed among people.

“As this is the time when there is increase in cases of snake bites 5489 anti-snake venom injections have been dispatched to the affected areas,” he said.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath flagging off relief material for flood victims was made a media event on Thursday morning when Information and Publicity department of the state government went an extra mile asking Bureau Chiefs of different newspapers and news channels to send their photographers. Same was the case on Wednesday when BJP state president and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya flagged off truck load of flood relief material from party headquarters.

Amid these photo ops on Government and ruling party’s relief distribution drama, the common man ravaged by floods is facing the actual brunt. The figures provided by the government is a reflection of government’s seriousness to help people. The flood bulletin claims that total population affected by flood is 23.30 lakh till August 22 but the people who are rescued are 1. 02 lakh and people residing in relief camps are 56,194.

This means around 1.58 lakh people have either been evacuated or taken to relief camps but what about the others among 23.30 lakh population affected by flood? The fact is the rest of the flood affected population have been left to fend for themselves. They themselves are moving out of flood affected villages and settling on state or national highways.

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