-by Dr. Bitopan Das
This is Dadabil – one of the most severely affected areas in the district of Chirang, BTAD. Cut off entirely by the fury of the otherwise meek Aie river, the island has been reduced to almost 60 % of its original land area and had suffered near complete inundation within a course of just 3 days. Part of this explains my reasons for not resorting to social media without having done my part.
But you would need to understand the need for this post to happen, for the world to know that Assam is in a state of real emergency, having witnessed one of the most devastating floods to have ever occurred.
This has been my third visit so far to this area. Initially having to cross the tumultuous waters of the ‘mighty’ Aie with the National Disaster Response Force(NDRF), I had conducted a medical camp serving closet o 200 patients on each visit.
Today was a bit different.
We decided to come to this place without any help from the NDRF. You might think how we doctors could be so brash about things like safety, but we had our reasons.
Some three days ago, one of our medical teams were left stranded in neck deep flood water by the NDRF itself when one of its boats lost an engine and they told our team to fend for its own in the force majeure. The team walked 13 kilometers and crossed the river holding on to a rope and 7 Muslim boatmen, who offered Namaz to Allah abhorring him to spare their souls this one time.
One of the senior-most doctors of the district, Dr. Johnson Daimary, decided that enough was enough and hence both of us went on foot and crossed the river on a civilian boat to reach the place.
We walked close to 15 kilometers to reach the spot where people had organised themselves to receive us and tell us their problems.
To date there are still more than 400 people with ailments, however minor, with the possibility of flaring up at the slightest contact to notorious epidemics.
It is another issue that we haven’t been provided even the basic necessities like packets of water or a few packets of eatables for a camp for close to 9 hours. But the main takeaway is this – the plight of these people is going to get alleviated only by consolidation of individual contribution.
The ministers will come and go, the promises will be made and broken, the medics will be at their service forever and people who wish to help, in cash and kind, are invited to join us in our journey to make their world a better place to live again.
Let yourself be your own God and theirs as well. For once.
Dr. Bitopan Das is currently serving as a Medical Officer in Bengtol CHC, Chirang.