Audio files: Bihar floods - The survival story

Anshu Gupta, the man behind Goonj - an NGO - visits flood hit Bihar and faces the different aspects of this historical disaster. Here is a narration of his experiences and evaluations

Following is the summary of an interview of Anshu after he along with his team did their part in the rehabilitation processes. The summary narrates Anshu's experiences and evaluations on Bihar flood.

The first conversation deals with current situation in Bihar. In Anshu’s view, it was not a usual flood. More than 90% of the flood victims lost their houses and still they were forced to go back to their villages from the camps.

In the second conversation, he criticizes the stand of Central government and State government on this issue. Both governments failed to provide sufficient number of boats for rescuing and evacuating the affected people. Again, even after one month there were many people trapped in affected areas.

Next conversation deals with the worst affected districts in Bihar. He found that Supaul, Madhepura, Purnea and Khagaria were badly affected by the flood. People of these districts have been experiencing similar kinds of disasters for the past few years but, this time it was some thing far worse.

Fourth conversation shows a clear picture of how the people of Baragaon village reacted to the flood. A huge part of the population consisted of tribal people. It takes 6 hours to get to this place by boat. Relief had not reached the area even after 45 days since the flood hit. When Anshu’s team went there the people co-operated well and were very happy to see them.

The vision and mission of Goonj is explained in the fifth conversation.

In the sixth conversation, he tries to prove that the disaster happened in Bihar was a man made one. Even if the authorities knew that the dam was over lived and expired, they did not take any action to fix the problem.

In the penultimate conversation, Anshu shares a painful memory that occurred in the rehabilitation camp. A young doctor from Maharashtra was struck by lightning while he was treating the affected people.

Anshu passes on a few messages to the government authorities, corporates and NGOs in the final conversation. He lays out some failures of the government in managing the post disaster situation effectively.

  • Flood victims did not get sufficient materials to survive in the post - disaster period.
  • The authorities should have arranged sufficient number of boats to evacuate affected people.
  • The supply of food and drinking water was ineffective.
  • NGOs should learn about the areas, people and the situation well before they get in to rehabilitation processes.

Audio files of the interview

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