Assam Floods Restrict Couple To Banana Tree Raft

My husband cannot move so I have to carry him, said 48-year-old Reena Hazarika.

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.

Reena Hazarika cannot take her husband to a relief camp due to his broken spine and is restricted to the raft.

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 villagers inside a packed relief camp in Balidua village in Khumtai.

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.