Reported by Amina Laskar
Bansra Birangana Seva Samity, South 24 parganas
“The girls are calling me up and crying for food. Puja says that she is asking for pantta bhaat from the people and eating. Didi, I could not contact all the girls but with the 11 I have been able to connect with, they have said that their houses have been destroyed,” says Amina.
A. Flood centres for safe shelters
1) The flood centers are useful, where there are no flood centers, high schools are being used. 3 in Basanti, 1 in Canning, 1 each in Bhangankhali and Sonakhali.
2) Out of 38 families that the organization is in touch with none of them went to the flood centers.
3) A lot of people are staying in the flood centers – almost 1 to 2 thousand people staying in each flood centre (100 to 150 families). BDO is supplying food to them.
B. Food and water problems in the community
1) All of them are facing food scarcity, water is contaminated. Many survivors are surviving on “bhaater fan” obtained from others, days old rice etc
C. Homes and homelessness
1) Out of 38, 11 survivors’ houses has been harmed away, they all had mud houses. There is an urgent need for tarpaulin and some have been using it for temporarily fixing their shelters.
2) A lot of the survivors and their families had taken shelter in high schools and neighbours’ houses for safety. Now they’ve returned. They are now returned and trying to rebuild again.
D. District and village administrative response
1) No govt representative have visited them – no member or Pradhan. There is a widespread perception that the negligence is due to party non-alignment.
2) Spoke with Jt BDO, Canning 2, Canning BDO have said they have not received any official funds or reliefs for dealing with the cyclone disaster.
3) The govt is absolutely silent – which is all the more shocking, despite knowing about the impending cyclone for so long.
4) The police is refusing to take cases, even of rape, and are asking them to settle. All is to be resumed after lockdown according to them, as the courts are closed.
E. CBO offices and response
1) Office is unharmed.
2) Some fundraising done from a donor in Gujarat to provide Eid materials to 50 to 52 families.
F. Survivors’ and families’ conditions
1) 25 to 30 of the survivors were connected with over phone. But not all could be visited. Amina visited some of them on Sunday. A lot of trees and electricity polls have fallen down. Main roads are okay, roads are still okay.A lot of places are still flooded by the river.
2) Pond water has been completely ruined and contaminated – fishes have died. Almost all of the families have members suffering from diarrhoea, rashes and skin infections. Medicines are not accessible.
3) Young women, along with their children, are on the roads begging
4) Returning migrant workers have now assimilated within the populace without testing. People are not thinking about it either, as taking care of the immediate needs are more urgent.
5) Aptar Ali Molla, another social worker, has received almost 25 complaints of domestic violence.