INDIA In times of flooding life goes on

 Emergency Response
 9th Sep 2008

“I have never experienced such fear as I did in the last few days,” says the very soft-spoken Sarita Devi, a resident of Majura village, in the flooded district of Supaul, Bihar state. “I was full-term pregnant when the waters began to rise.”

Her family helped her to a higher place in the village to keep her safe, but the 12 days she spent waiting for rescue teams to arrive were the hardest days of her life.

But life has a certain tenacity that defies time and tide; in the midst of widespread death and destruction life still carries on. Sarita delivered a baby boy this morning at the public health clinic in Triveniganj. Bharavi, a woman from Manganj village, also delivered a baby girl today at the same health clinic.

This year’s devastating monsoons caused the Kosi River to break its normal course along the India-Nepal border, and flooding hundreds of villages in North Bihar. People in this region are not used to dealing with floods of this magnitude; the floods left them completely helpless and caught the administration unaware. The Indian government is conducting one of its largest relief and rescue operations in the country’s history.

While Sarita and Bharavi have been lucky to have survived the evacuation and safely delivered their babies, it is now extremely important that they are provided with proper neo-natal care, along with nutritional food. Also the newborns need a safe, clean environment to keep them from contracting diseases.

Realizing this basic need, CARE India has taken over the comprehensive management of one government relief camp in Supaul district. This camp is providing special services such as hygiene kits, pregnancy kits and supplementary nutrition, along with services of a doctor and health worker. All pregnant and lactating mothers have been registered and their needs are given special focus.

CARE India is striving hard to provide a life of dignity to thousands of displaced people and supporting them in once again starting life afresh.

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