Aug 15, 2006 1700 hrs
Neeraj was the lucky one, valiant efforts of the local people was able to save him from the water which flooded Bhopal, the capital city of the state of Madhya Pradesh on the Sunday night, but his elder brother was not so lucky. His body was recovered by police from Mahamai Bagh in Bhopal today.
As the water recedes people in Bhopal were seen trying to come to terms with the loss of their beloved ones and the property. For thousands the unfortunate few hours when water gushed into their localities from the overflowing drains they had lost almost everything.
Rajgarh Colony in Bhopal is a low lying slum areas of ward no 16 of the city household materials like beddings etc. was lying cluttered and damp with water on the streets. Hundreds of women and children were found waiting for help. Nobody had visited them. ‘A mother of two’ in the area said it has been two days since they had anything to eat. Police had arrested their ‘men’ in these areas as they had taken to streets, to protest for the problems they were facing. Dead animals like rats were found in the stagnant flood water still seen on the streets. Many had expressed fears of spread of the some kind of epidemic. No bleaching powder spray has been done to prevent any kind of epidemic. Residents of these localities were drinking water which was available, which may not be safe !
In Gautam Nagar another area in Bhopal city, where water levels had touched 10 – 15 feet in height, people were trying to come back to terms with the loss but it may take days or weeks before the life gets back to normal. Similarly in Tila Jamal Pura, another low lying area of the city people had only lost their belongings but even the animals like goats, which were bread earners for few. Lot of them were awake all the night, some with fear and others were trying to recover their belongings from dirty flood waters. Some local volunteers here had gathered courage and collected some money and were found cooking ‘puris’ which they were distributing among people to help them to get some food, may be better then waiting for the district do something. Sitara B of the same locality was feeling frustrated and vented her anguish when local elected representatives and media visited the area. May be it helps bring some relief to the affected...
yours truly - anil
(these are personal opinions of the writer)