Everyday Harmony: Muslim groups organise drinking water in flood ravaged Silchar The Assam town's locals found government's efforts insufficient

27, Jun 2022 | CJP Team

At a time when one only hears about the growing communal divide, Assam’s Silchar town embraced communal harmony as a means of surviving the flood. Thanks to local journalists like Silchar News’ Krishnakant Sinha, who have picked up their camera and work with the relief groups in the area, reports are coming in of how Muslim groups from nearby areas are providing drinking water to trapped residents.

Despite the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) detailing 63 relief camps in the town, there are still no relief distribution centres. Thanks to this and the chest-high water-levels, residents have taken to climbing to rooftops with red flags in hand to signal the NDRF helicopters where relief packages are required.

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In these times of distress, local journalist and blogger Sinha is using the Silchar News YoutTube platform to talk about life in Silchar in his series ‘Survival for Life’. Starting from June 21, Sinha provides a daily blog of what is happening in the town. Showing different aspects of the town’s survival, on Day 4 of this series he talked about help from nearby regions.

In a BJP-ruled state, Sinha talked about how Muslims from nearby areas ferried over to provide water. Using rowing boats, two to three youths arrive in the town bearing bottled water for locals. This water is especially for those families who are seen trapped inside houses where the ground-level is completely submerged.

“We are still fighting,” said Sinha in his video.

Although this water is a paid service, people in Sinha’s videos can be heard saying how grateful they are for this help. Sinha observes that despite the divisive politics of Hindutva by politicians, people remain peaceful and help each other in any way possible.

On June 23, Sinha filmed his visit to Sonai road where people told him how thieves had entered the city via boats the day before. Angry locals had condemned this reality where the government fails to send boat services to the town but criminals have the required mode of transport.

The problem is not only regarding fresh relief supplies, but also the destruction of existing facilities. Cremation grounds are inundated even though the death toll continues to rise by at least one death every day. People are out on the street distributing ration using cable wires to keep themselves from being taken away by the flood water. At the end of the video, the group of people can be seen approaching a supermarket to get more supplies.

As per the ASDMA, nine deaths took place over the weekend. On June 26, the ASDMA reported five deaths –  four children and one woman. Before that, there were four deaths in Barpeta, Cachar, Darrang and Golaghat, including two children. Silchar is located in Cachar district.

Due to the incessant rainfall, sluice gates were closed and embankments flooded over in many areas in and around Silchar town on Sunday. Within the area, Link road, National Highway road point, Ambicapatty, Church Road, Chandicharan Road, Bilpar, Public School Road, Subhas Nagar, Sonai Road, N.S. Avenue, Premtala, Chengkuri Rood, Malugram, Kanakpur, Tarapur Chandmari, Itkhola, Ghoniala, Meherpur have all been affected.

Image Courtesy: Youtube

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