People in Assam and Bihar are reeling under a natural disaster, we can give them a helping hand.
While most of us are looking forward to a well spent monsoon, 50 people have lost their lives and the fate of more than 40 lakh others in Assam and Bihar hangs by a thread.
Even as the rains have wrecked a havoc in 2 of these Indian states, measures taken to salvage the situation seem to have no concrete effect.
Why are Assam and Bihar facing floods?
There are 3 major reasons for the floods in both states.
- The first being, high rainfall that lead to rising water levels in the rivers.
- The second being inadequate dams and reservoirs to contain the rising water levels of the major rivers flowing through the 2 states.
- Melting snow from the Himalayan regions that merged into the rivers that run through these states, increasing the water levels, causing them to overflow.
The floods have not only affected the humans residing in these areas but also livestock and animals. Many people have lost their livelihoods and entire life savings. Apart from that,
- Hundreds of houses are washed away in the deluge in both the states. Most of villagers have abandoned their homes and livestock
- Mobile connectivity is lost in many parts of the state, and power transmission towers have been toppled.
- Since the roads, highways and villages in more than half of the region’s in Assam and in Bihar are flooded, rescue operations have been hampered and are moving at snail’s pace.
- 32 districts flood-hit.
- Worst affected– Lakhimpur, Golaghat, Bongaigaon, Jorhat, Dhemaji, Barpeta, Goalpara, Dhubri, Darrang, Morigaon and Sonitpur.
- Over 2.13 lakh hectare of crop areas in Assam and are damaged.
- Death toll– 23 and rising.
- The Kaziranga national park in Assam that is home to two-thirds of the world’s one-horned rhino population is 90% under water. One rhino dead, many displaced.
- 10 districts flood-hit.
- Worst affected– Kishanganj, Katihar, Madhepura, Purnia, Araria.
- 1.83 lakh hectares of agricultural land in Bihar, damaged severely.
- Death toll- 27 and counting.
How are the victims being helped?
The government is trying its best to provide relief to as many people as possible. NGOs and other non-governmental institutions are also working hand in hand with the government to help the victims.
- 500 makeshift relief camps have been set up.
- 150 distribution camps, to provide food and other necessities to the affected people, are in operation.
- The army has been deployed to engage in relief and rehabilitation of the flood victims.
- The National Disaster Response Force has deployed 11 teams with 22 deep divers, 38 boats and all other life-saving aids in the affected areas.
- NDRF has also set up a mobile hospital in Majuli, Assam.
- Rhinos and other displaced animals are being rescued by Kaziranga National Park and Centre of Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC) team.
- 8,850 boats and from NDRF have been reached Bihar.
- 9 rescue teams of from NDRF are engaged in rescue operations.
- 3.89 lakh people are evacuated so far.
- 357 relief camps are being run by the government.
- 15,000 packets of dry food that include flour, sugar, small salt packet, candle, matchbox, a torch, powder milk have been sent to Purnea from Muzaffarpur, Madhubani, Saharsa and Madhepura.
What can WE do to help?
During floods those affected have many requirements, we can help by donating supplies to the NGOs like World Vision India, Oxfam India, Save the children and other organisations that are undertaking relief work on-site.
We can donate anything that can help with the victims’ immediate needs like:
Canned food items,Plastic sleeping mats, hygiene kit washing (buckets with lids, bath soaps, washing soaps, disinfection liquids, sanitary napkins),packaged drinking water, tarpaulin, mosquito nets, clothes and bed-sheets and so on.
Generate funds for their rehabilitation
The floods have caused excessive damage to life and property and providing relief and rehabilitation requires enormous funds. There is a constant need for financial assistance for building secure shelters, rescue operations, providing supplies in the flood stricken areas. We can provide funds to the PM relief fund or to relevant NGOs and organisations to help them cater to their needs. Funds for the victims can also be raised online on crowdfunding websites like Impact Guru. This multiplies the donation from one individual and expedites the rehabilitation process for the victims due to ready availability of funds. (see how Impact Guru previously helped the Chennai flood victims by raising funds for them)
Reach out to local NGOs and local government authorities
Contacting local organisations helps us gauge the bigger picture and immediate needs of the victims. Coordinating with the NGOs and local government authorities gives a first hand picture of the affected regions and the needs of the victims by giving out information like how many food packets are required, how many new shelters are being built, how many volunteers are working on site, what is the number of those gravely injured and so on. This will give us a clear idea of how much help is required and how much we can contribute to it
Here are the contacts of a few NGOs and Governmental organisations we can use:
|Name of the organization||Phone number|
|Kaziranga National Park||+91 98540 4004|
|Guwahati emergency number||100|
|Official helpline for Assam flood||108|
|ASDMA- Assam State Disaster Management Authority helpline||1070 / 1079
|Border Welfare Society (BWS) NGO||919954261654|
|World Vision India NGO||+91 44 42287070|
|Jajari Bahumukhi Unnayan Committee NGO||9854234052|
|Save the Children NGO||0124-4872100|
|Oxfam India NGO||+91 (0) 11 4653 8000|
Those affected, need much more than just money or food; they need reassurance and a sense of support and security. As a community, we should reach out to them and provide help in this disaster.
These floods have claimed innocent lives, devastated families and shattered entire communities in Assam and Bihar. But with our help, they can overcome these trying times.