Khumtai, Assam: With a broken spine, 58-year-old Mridul Hazarika lies helpless in a small raft as his hut remains inundated in flood waters in Assam’s Balidua village of Khumtai, 390 km from Guwahati. By his side is Reena Hazarkia, his 45-year-old wife, who is unable to shift him to a relief camp owing to his restricted movement.
Ms Hazarika said she has to carry him around everywhere and after the deluge, it has become a struggle to carry out even the basic daily activities.
“The floods have caused great inconvenience to us. My husband cannot move so I have to carry him,” Ms Hazarika told NDTV. “Our house needs to be mended. If we get some medical help, it would mean a lot to us,” she added.
The couple’s daughter was sent away to a relative’s place in Golaghat town after the flood waters started to rise in the village.
More than the spinal injury, it’s the ‘crippling life’ that Mr Hazarika has to lead – stuck amidst flood waters – that’s giving him sleepless nights.
“People helped us making two banana tree rafts. We have been staying on them,” said Mr Hazarika before breaking down into tears.
The situation in the relief camps in no better as men, women, children and cattle, packed under a small shed, await for their only meal of the day that is provided by the government.
“We are now running out of whatever relief shots we have,” said Pradip Bora, a local villager.
While living amidst flood waters is not new for the villagers, the telling signs of a disease outbreak once the water recedes has them worried.
With their croplands awashed and houses dilapidated, the villagers seem listless on where to begin their lives again.