Bihar flood: ‘Goats and dogs sharing meals with people’

Supaul/Madhepura, August 30: Fleeing the deluge, people are sharing their meals with dogs, goats and stray animals but the devastation has not stopped robbers and musclemen from having a field day in the marooned areas of north Bihar, now beyond the reach of law enforcement agencies.

"Snakes and cats have taken shelter atop trees with people. Goats and dogs are sharing meals with men," says Vibha Devi, who left her house in Balua Bazaar, one of the worst-hit blocks in Supaul district to take shelter at her parent's place at Karnapur village.


Faced with an uncertain future, thousands of men, women and children carrying suitcases, bedrolls and sacks containing whatever they could take before leaving their inundated homes along with cattle and dogs can be seen fleeing to safety on the 28-km stretch of NH 106 between Madhepura and Saharsa.


At a relief shelter at Triveniganj in Supaul district, women were engaged in prayers to propitiate 'Kosi maiya' as the swelling river showed no signs of receding.


Human misery notwithstanding, unscrupulous elements are making hay, with the sun shining only for them.


Dinesh Mandal of Rampur in Madhepura district sold the buffalo he had bought last year for Rs 10,000 for just Rs 500.


Sabiya Devi of Sirisiya sold her goat for a meagre Rs 100.


"How to escape death, how to escape the fury of mother Kosi is uppermost on the minds of people," says Dinesh.


However, the local toughs are having a gala time fleecing the hapless flood victims.


"I along with about 20 others boarded a boat taking it to be one of the relief boats of the government. Once we reached midstream the boatman started demanding Rs 3000 to drop us at a relief camp barely two km away and threatened to leave us if we did not not pay. We had to give them the money," said Om Prakash of Murliganj block in Madhepura district.