Monday, October 27, 2008

Update from Dr. Sandeep Pandeya

dear friends,
i'm leaving for bihar on 29th oct. to join asha parivar and NAPM flood relief efforts in madhepura dist. being carried out there under the leadership of mahendra yadav. if any of you wish to send anything with us please let me know immediately. a NAPM-bihar meeting and another 'kosi navnirman manch' meeting will also be organized, details of which are given below.
Meeting of NAPM on 31st October, 2008, to discuss strengthening NAPM-Bihar
Kosi Navnirman Manch to discuss reconstruction work in the flood affected areas on 1st November, 2008
at Paramount School in Babhangama, 6 km from Bihariganj railway station (can be reached via Purnea and Katihar)
Contact: Mahendra Yadav, 9973936658
all those interested in attending these meetings are welcome.
asha parivar & NAPM
p.s. financial contributions can be made in the name of 'asha' and sent to Vallabhacharya Pandey, Village Bhandaha Kalan, Post Kaithi, Varanasi-221116, Ph: (0542) 2618201, 2618301, 2618401, Mobile: 9415256848, donations made to asha are tax exempt under section 80G of IT Act.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Report from Nikunj from AID-Delhi


Written on 20 oct 2008

***************Pictures may be missing due to technical reasons***********

This is my first day in saharsa district of bihar. This place is changed in offices of NGOs working for flood relief work . The day I reached sahrsa station I saw lots of banners here and there signaling towards there relief work. Flood affected zone starts towards east of saharsa. There are four districts affected by flood here where our work is going on.

Aprox. Lakhs of people are affected and according to local people they tell that nearby lacks are dead too.

Ok lets get back to the details of my first day. I am putting it in order according to my understanding of situation and surrounding. In night I told Dharmendra Ji that I really I want to do real work and I don’t have any problem with inner visit. Well this was the day 18 oct 2008 when I reached here in AID India office around 2:30 pm and met dharmendra ji.

When I reached here I was quite desperate to meet dharmendra ji because I have already heard allot about dharmendra ji and his work in eureka. And after his huge effort in bihar flood relief work it was some urgency in me willing to meet him. I found that dharmendra ji was of same image what I had thought. Like a nobel person with such a calm face and smile.

Well I greeted him and entered in AID India ’s office in bihar for relief work. He asked me if I want to have bath or want to go for some work. Well talking frankly to you guys I wasn’t feeling fresh due to not having bath from last one day. I had my bath and left for AID’s store house of clothes. This was my first day. I went inside cloth store and saw lots of pople separating clothes and discussing things. This day I just talked to AID volunteers from patna and local volunteers engaged from last one month in relief work. They all were really good than me about their knowledge of flood situation. Talking to them really gave me better picture of situation. They told me that the place where this flood has devastated everything is not flood affected zone actually and these people are seeing such thing first time in their life. They told that almost everyone has lost one or more member of their family.


i waked up early than my usual time in city. I don’t know why but my biological clock becomes accurate in villages and in my home town , I do every thing on time. Some time I wish if we could have balance of life in cities between nature and development. I did morning routines and sat next to dharmendraji. He is seriously different person till this time I have understood that how much dharmendra jij is dealing with. He is managing every thing here and such a big drive of relief work perfectly.

Well today we had planes of distributing clothes in affected areas. We had list of areas and their panchayats. Panchayats made their list of needy peoples for clothes in their village. We were suppose to go there and distribute clothes according to the list. So this day we had 6 list of panchayats where clothes were supposed to get distributed.

First place where we were suppose to go was known as senate village. Below is image of a temple where relief camp was running

second phae work (6).jpg

This place was once a shelter for all people from nearby villages. We were here to distribute clothes but as Mukhiya of Panchayat was not there I thought of taking pictures around. So I started roaming with one man in village and started taking pictures. As I went out on road I saw this scene and took a picture.

couldn’t believe that this was once a agriculture field. Than a question raised that their present crop is all gone in flood water . And also they can’t proceed for their further irrigation for next season as their fields are in flood water and this flood has also destroyed fertility of their fields.
Below is picture of a roadsecond phae work (9).jpg

This road which is only link to villages was also in water. I followed this road and entered in village.

These were the scene which arisen in front of me when I started entering in village. All this house and situation were like as if some tornado hit them with full throttle. Then it was told to me that this entire village was half submerged in water. As I kept walking with villagers looking at me with awe , I started discovering broken houses and muddy floor , few left cattles of villagers.

People thought of me as some special person as I had camera. They requested me to visit inside situation village. I went inside and saw dump water here and there. This could become cause of lots of diseases I thought.

This is picture of destroyed houses. And clogged water around them.

this is photo of completely destroyed house.

second phae work (15).jpg

Above is picture of left parts of destructed house.

Some villagers said that they want to show some other broken houses but they were other side Of water. So I sat on boat and went there. There I saw more broken houses and people. Every where situation was same. I took some more pictures and left to return back on site of clothes distribution. But there I learned that our team has left us behind to move nearby another site of clothes distribution. On this site the clothe distribution was postponed as head of village was taking long to get the list.

I and my companion moved for next site by walking. I noticed destroyed fields of rice crops. second phae work (67).jpg

Then I finally reached place where our team was distributing clothes among people. It was really hurting to see actual situation of india. Such poor people with such limited means of life! And our government says that our country is developing with fast pace. Any country can never develop with leaving their countrymen behind and specially those who r filling stomach of entire nation. Looking at their faces could easily tell their misery of life they are facing. Those who give food to entire country now don’t have food for them selves. Not only food for every basic requirements of life they are struggling.

For any farmer their land and their animals are their asset, that’s what are their saving and in this disaster they have lost both. No work nothing. Question of their future is in front of them. Now once independent are now totally dependent on others help.

We distributed clothes there according to the list of most needy ones and promised to those who were not given clothes as they were not in the list to make second list of left people.

We then left for our next site on our jeep. The road was really bad as it was destructed due to flood. And we were getting lift up in air inside jeep. I was feeling as if I am on some roller coaster ride. We reached there and I only noticed broken houses and water around huts similarly like it was before in other places.second phae work (74).jpg We left soon from there as no. of people there was less or less were left. For our next place of clothes distribution we first went to the place with same crap road and after it we took boat for reaching to the other shore where the village was. I was a bit nervous because first current of water was strong and river was deep second I could not swim and third that the boy handling the boat was even much smaller than me. Well we reached there and distributed clothes. But every where I felt that there was shortage of our stock and need was bigger. Here also the demand was bigger. And I think it will increase as winter is approaching. And people out here don’t have clothes and blankets for winter. And we usually here even in common situations that coldness is causing death in Bihar and UP. So imaging the coming situation in this scenario is really serious.

On my return trip on boat I was comfortable now.

We did two more visit of distribution site and after the process we returned back to our office. It was quite late in our office. We went in a hotel to have our dinner and then went back. I dozed off as soon as I went on bed. And this is how my day ended which will be unforgettable for me. I know that coming days we will have more unforgettable moments. What I am looking forward to is seeing the actual problems in here and I think that I am lucky to feel the sorrow of people. It was seriously unacceptable that people do live in such conditions too , that life could be difficult and to this extent and every time. I was comparing comfy life in our metros we live and between the life similarly equal citizen is forced to live here.

second phae work (100).jpg20,oct,2008

I woke up late and quit my exercise session as it was late to do it. .

Today we planned to move to the highly affected place known as Madhepura. Situations in madhepura has still not changed because water is still on the same level. This situation is affecting relief work in madhepura. Madhepura is most affected and I think is getting least relief work and help. So we Aid india is going to strengthen its relief work in madhepura . it was planned that I will be staying there for settlement with other members. Three new volunteers were supposed to join us and we were waiting for them as they were coming from Patna. But due to some circumstances they missed their train and came very late so we gave up our plan of to our entire team visit of Madhepura. From morning only work was going on in our all stores. We planned to leave on next day for Madhepura.

In aid office all medicine cartons were opened and we were sorting out and listing out all medicines. This was for our coming work planes as we will be leaving for madhepura . in other stores of aid , pratham and goonj sorting – packaging of clothes was going on. All head man from Panchayats were here telling their actual need of clothes according to no. and type of people in their village. After doing some of the work I planned to sit down with laptop and make report of details. It was tough for me as I wanted to describe each and every situation and photo. It took me half day to complete my report as there were fluctuations in electricity and in evening you can’t sit with laptop first because of mosquitoes

And second because of grass hopper kind of insects which doesn’t let you sit as they bombard themselves on you if you are in front of light. Now every one is waiting for me to stand up as we are going to have dinner. Lets see what next day brings.


Aid Delhi