(An appeal to aid and rehabilitate displaced people in riot-hit Assam)
Since Friday, July 20 when the orgy of violence began in lower Assam and Kokrajhar town more than Two Lakh people have fled their homes, with at least 500 villages belonging to both Bodos and Bangladeshi immigrants in Kokrajhar and Chirang districts reduced to cinders. In relief camps, overcast skies, billowing smoke, and pale faces of thousands of people huddled in groups spoke of the scale of the human tragedy, inviting comparisons with the last time such killings had occurred, in 2008, when 60 people were butchered and more than one lakh displaced in the violence between rogue elements among Bodos and Bangladeshi immigrants. On Tuesday, July 24 inspector-general of police S N Singh confirmed 32 dead but other sources warned the toll could be higher and many wounded by either sickle or knife attacks or bullets could die in hospitals.Tales of suffering are no less poignant from members of the Bodo community. Durga Basumatary of Malgaon in Kokrajhar ran for safety leaving behind her home and property, all of which is now gutted. She had no one to turn to for help and was disconnected with her family. Her village, Malgaon in Kokrajhar, was set afire by miscreants on Tuesday morning. About 50 houses were destroyed.
Durga gasps for breath as she explains what she went through. "We ran for our lives when our village was set ablaze. I didn't know where I was going when I left my village. My husband went in another direction," Durga wept.Tensions ran high in Sishubari of Chirang district on Tuesday July 24, when miscreants armed with firearms and sharp weapons reached the banks of Huthoti River, which divides the Bodo and Bangladeshi Immigrants villages. A face-off was averted after both sides assured that they won't enter each other's villages.While Sishubari is little relieved for the time being, other villages across Chirang and Kokrajhar live in fear. Outsiders are chased out and even journalists have been prevented from entering some villages.
v Total Relief Camps Run by Sewa Bharati, Purbanchal – 303
v Deaths in Camps – 124 Children.
v 2 Year age Children in Camps – 8,076.
v Pregnant Women – 2428.
v Total Needy Patients – 93,789.
v Diarrhea Patients – 14994.
v Dysentery Patients – 3374.
v Malaria Patients – 100.
v Viral Fever Patients – 23088.
RELIEF & REHABILITATION ACTIVITIES
SOON after the violence spread in Kokrajhar and some other regions of Assam,Sewa International Bharat's partner organisation Sewa Bharati,Purbanchal activists swung into action and immediately provided relief to those who were displaced from their houses and forced to live in makeshift camps.Sewa Bharati,Purbanchal has set-up three base camps for medical relief—two in Kokrajhar and one in Gossaigaon. Two ambulances and two teams of doctors and paramedical staff have been pressed into operation at these camps. Medicines are being provided for contagious and water borne diseases. Apart from the medical relief, the materials of immediate requirement are also being provided in the camps. Mosquito coils, Medicines, Bread, Biscuits, Blankets, Utensils and Bed sheets have also been distributed. The activists expect that the people will stay in the relief camps for at least 20 days to a month as many areas are still under grip of violence. Curfew has been lifted only in few parts of Kokrajhar and Gossaigaon, where violence was abated. But there are other areas and districts where the violence still continues and curfew is in vogue.According to Sewa Bharati,Purbanchal activists working in the relief camps, the victims are in dire need of books, clothes, foods and medicines.
Materials to be needed for Rehab:
Note: Ready-made homes with a tin roof and bamboo walls will also be provided to house these affected families.
Total Families to be rehabilitated– 2,000
Expenditure per family (Approx) –Rs 20,000
Total Expenditure – 2,000x20, 000 =Rs 4,00,00,000 (Four Crore only)
Sewa International Bharat reiterates its commitment to provide relief & Rehab to people in distress through this appeal.