20, Jun 2022 | CJP Team
The incessant downpour in north eastern states like Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram has led to rivers overflowing their banks and flooding villages, forcing displaced people to seek temporary shelter in relief camps. It has also caused landslides in some places, and hampered communication with electricity, mobile phone and internet services down in several areas. However, despite this the Assam Team of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has persevered and is continuing our humanitarian work while following all safety precautions.
“33 out of Assam’s total 35 districts are affected. This includes 5,137 rain and flood affected villages. 74 deaths have been recorded so far, and 1,86,424 people have been displaced and are living in relief camps,” says CJP Assam state team in-charge Nanda Ghosh. “Many people feared losing their documents due to the floods, therefore we went and collected them and are keeping them safe till these people are able to return home from the relief camps,” said Ghosh.
Every day of each week, a formidable team of community volunteers, district volunteer motivators and lawyers—CJP’s Team Assam – is providing ready at hand paralegal guidance, counselling and actual legal aid to hundreds of individuals and families paralysed by the citizenship-driven humanitarian crisis in the state. Our boots on the ground approach has ensured that 12,00,000 persons filled their forms to enlist in the NRC (2017-2019) and over the past one year alone we have helped release 41 persons from Assam’s dreaded detention camps. Our intrepid team provides paralegal assistance to, on an average of 72-96 families each month. Our district-level, legal team works on 25 Foreigner Tribunal cases month on month. This ground level data ensures informed interventions by CJP in our Constitutional Courts, the Guwahati High Court and the Supreme Court. Such work is possible because of you, individuals all over India, who believe in this work. Our maxim, Equal Rights for All. #HelpCJPHelpAssam. Donate NOW!
The downpour has been going on for over a week, causing flooding in the riverine region and water-logging in many places. Reports have also come in of landslides in many parts of the state. Five people were feared dead when a boat capsized in the Brahmaputra rive in Dhibrugarh’s Rohmoria. According to Ghosh, some of the worst affected areas are located in the three districts of Barak Valley – Cachar, Halaikandi and Karimganj. “In the Brahmaputra Valley, districts such as Kokrajhar, Goalpara, Chirang, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Dhubri and South Salmara-Mankachar are severely affected. Other badly affected affected districts include Baksha, Bajali, Darrang, Dhemaji, Hojai, Morigaon and Nagaon,” he said.
“Electricity was out for 11 days in some parts of Bongaigaon, Chirang, Dhubri and South Salmara-Mankachar. In my own house, there was no electricity for four days. The electricity supply had to be shut down in wake of concerns surrounding electrocution,” says Ghosh. “The continuous rain threw daily life completely out of gear. Communication services are also badly affected. Roads, railways and agricultural fields were completely submerged in many areas,” he says adding that there was also several water-logging in Kamrup (Metro) district where the capital city of Guwahati is located.
A few images of flooding may be viewed here:
We spoke to Roshminara Begum, DVM Goalpara, who was out and about on the field, meeting and helping people. “I am currently in an area called Dolguma. For the last few days, the water-level was above the knee. But at the skies cleared for a bit today, I am on the ground,” she said. The mother of three has other worries as well, “Due to the floods, the schools have been shut and children in the area, including my own children have not been able to go to school.”
“It has been impossible to step out of the house for several days due to water-logging, all the roads are completely submerged. But I still managed to go meet some people who needed help in nearby villages after the water levels subsided a bit,” said District Volunteer Motivator (DVM) Abul Kalam Azad. “Villages that are closer to the river are worse affected, entire agricultural fields are totally submerged,” he said.
Dhubri district, which lies in a predominantly riverine area has been difficult to traverse. “I had to leave the CJP vehicle behind and take a boat for a part of the journey, then wade through knee-deep water for about a kilometer before I reached the house of a person who had asked for CJP’s help,” Dhubri DVM said Habibul Bepari. “Many families are now living in relief camps that have been set up by the government, where they are getting food and bottled water,” he said.
Tripura, Mizoram and Meghalaya have also been badly affected due to the heavy rains. Rail connectivity had already been impacted due to the flash-floods of May 16, and is yet to resume in many places. Plans to air-lift flood-affected people were also impacted due to the weather. The Meghalaya administration was forced to shut down portions of National Highway 6 after parts of it caved in.