Narayani river submerges houses, people repose faith in Lord Shiva

Gopalganj (IANS) The surging waters in nearly 12 districts of the northern part of Bihar have submerged many houses. This year the Kosi river, which has wreaked havoc in Bihar, has not yet reached its most turbulent form.

However, the Gandak river, which is also known as Narayani, has devastated areas in Gopalganj and Champaran districts. People’s homes have been destroyed yet they have faith in Lord Shiva.

Houses and people’s belongings have been submerged by the overflowing Narayani. People did not want to leave their homes and go to relief camps, but to save their lives they had to take shelter in the higher reaches or relief camps set up by the government.

The Gandak’s water has wreaked havoc in the Sadar, Kuchaikote, Manjha, Barauli, Sidhwalia and Baikunthpur blocks of Gopalganj. The villagers in these blocks have migrated to other areas. The pain of leaving their homes is writ large on their faces but they have not lost faith in Lord Shiva (‘Narayan’).

Sushma, who is staying in a high school converted into a flood relief camp in Manikpur village along with her family, says that she and her husband did not want to leave their home but the locals brought them here.

She says, “Narayani river has submerged everything. Now I trust only Lord Shiva. If God has given us birth, he will make the arrangements for food.”

Gopalganj district magistrate Arshad Aziz said nearly 14 panchayats in the district are completely submerged while 37 panchayats are partially affected. He said 1.78 lakh people have been badly hit by the floods.

The condition of Pyarepur village is worse. The village is completely submerged. People have taken shelter in relief camps. Keshwar, who lives in Pyarepur, is living in a roadside tent with his family. They say no assistance has been provided by the state government. Community kitchens are open but children are not getting adequate food.

They say, “Everything is destroyed. Water entered the house and submerged everything. A kutcha house was built there, whether it will have to be built again, God only knows.”

The Gopalganj district magistrate says nearly 1.33 lakh people have been evacuated from the flood-affected areas. He said that relief and rescue operations are still on. As many as 13 relief camps and 112 community kitchens are functional in the district which house more than 5,100 people.

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