Saturday, December 20, 2008

Meeting with flood zone heroes in Madhepura 0n 18th Dec 2008

Meeting with flood victims
Activist meet
Date: 18/12/08
Venue: Law College, Madhepura
Time: 11:30am to 4pm
Total no. of participant: 200+

Meeting was chaired by Mr.Sanjay Kumar who is our local collaborator in Khagaria. Also present were Dharmendarjee, Shankarjee from Indus creative vision and Priya Ranjan from USA.

Rajesh Kumar from Supaul addressing flood relief meeting. His heroic efforts have save many lives.

This meeting was organized to discuss the feedback on north Bihar flood relief work led by Dharmendarjee and his collaborators. People from Supaul, Madhepura, Saharsa, Khagaria districts participated in this meeting in large numbers due to active local support.

This meeting was organized after exactly 4 months from the day the Kosi breached in Bihar, i.e., on 18/8/08.

The meeting started with inspiring poem in Maithili language by Shree Dharmendra Verma (who is a well known poet in Madhepura). People came forward to share their experience and give testimony on flood relief action and joint efforts of AID-India, Indus creative vision, Goonj etc.

Some of the shared experience and testimonies are;

1. Shri Kamaleshwari ( Alam Nagar)
• Witnessed many dead human bodies and cattles.
• Organized medical camp with the help of AID-India.
• Appreciated relief work, since it reached to many people including some of the poorest communities like Mushhars in an organized and peaceful manner.

2. Enthusiastic voluneteers like Nitish Kumar from Saharsa, AID volunteer Suneel who heads Madhepura office, Chandrasekar (who runs his own group in Saharsa), Anil Varma (Saharsa) who are with the people on field for past four months also shared and expressed their feelings. These volunteers had sense of satisfaction during their service to some of the most unfortunate victims of flood. In fact, they form strong base of volunteers who can work tirelessly at the grass roots and they have managed to get a lot of things done.

3. Jagat Yadav (Kumarkhand)
• Witnessed many dead bodies been floating during flood.
• Expressed heartfelt thanks to AID-India, because it was the only organization which reached with relief materials and conducted medical camp in their village before the government.
• Demand: He kept a big demands during this meeting to construct a big community hall in their village so that in future people can take shelter during such disaster.

4. Dharmender (Poet)
He expressed his deep poetic feelings for the sufferings of people in flood zone and also blamed the administration in his poetic style.

5. Pavan Kumar (Madhepura district coordinator- AID-Bihar)
• Expressed his grief on the disaster and continued his talk with emotion.
• Overwhelmed with anger on state government relief work condemned government for announcing this flood as natural disaster rather accepting it as man made disaster and failure of his administration in Bihar.
• Made appeal to participant to know the reality and fight back for their rights.
• Expressed his interest to work with AID-India in long run especially to enlighten people towards education.

6. Raman (Murliganj, Madhepura)
• A senior citizen and social activist helped AID-India in distributing relief material in their village.
• Expressed heartfelt thanks to AID-India for providing blankets to victims of their village timely where no one has done much relief work especially for winter.
• Interested to work with AID-India for children and youth with regard to education.

7. Akshudev (Madhepura, Kranti Club)
• A young person hailing from Madhepura came forward to share his house to use as store house and office for relief work at Madhepura district.

8. Seema (Madhepura)
• A girl belonging to Madhepura district talked about her experience of how her family members helped out in relief action.

9. Dr. Shivkanth (Pratapganj, Supaul)
• Very much satisfied to work in medical camp organized by Aid-India.

10. Priya Ranjan (AID - US)
Priya Ranjan talked about responsibilities of scientific and technical communities in informing people about such calamities before they happen and putting alarms in right places so that lives and livelihoods can be saved. He also talked about such human calamities in the context of India declaring itself economic and IT superpower when some of its most vulnerable citizens are suffering under severe financial distress.

As a whole meeting was a huge success, 200 people came to show their gratitude to AID-India. This essentially puts more responsibility and raised expectations on AID India to serve the people it claims to work for.

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