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'Bihar is destined to die. Nobody counts us'

September 02, 2008
"Who listens to us? Nobody. Biharis keep dying due to floods, but nation doesn't take notice of them. I know so many families in north Bihar who have lost their homes 14 times due to floods after Independence. Then, so what? Does anybody care for them? Do you know last year 960 people died due to floods in North Bihar? Nobody reads news from Bihar. That is Dinesh Kumar Mishra.

Environmentalist and engineer from IIT, 62-year-old Mishra adds poignantly, "Bihar is destined to die. Nobody counts us."

Mishra is also the convenor of Barh Mukti Abhiyan, which tries to organise communities in Bihar's flood-prone areas. It already has, he says, 700 rural groups of "flood historians".

"The coming 30 days will be chaotic in north Bihar because till October you cannot repair the embankment fully. Second, even now, nobody knows how many people are trapped in flooded areas waiting for rescue team. It is very important that rescue teams reach out to all the people in flooded areas soon," says Mishra.

Image: An aerial view of temporary camps near the submerged village of Kumarkhad village in Madhubani district in Bihar and (inset) Dinesh Kumar Mishra.
Text: Sheela Bhatt | Photographs: Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images

Also read: Floods and Drought: The Great Indian Paradox!

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