Hunger, despair for India flood victims | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 19, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:51 AM, July 19, 2019

Hunger, despair for India flood victims

Chest-deep in brown, flowing monsoon water and holding bags of clothes and utensils above their heads, residents in the Indian state of Bihar are hungry and despairing.

“When many of us poor people drown, then the politicians suddenly take notice... But otherwise, nobody cares about us,” shopkeeper Raj Majhi told AFP.

Majhi’s home -- like many others -- is submerged, with only rooftops remaining above floodwaters. His family have found their way to a small patch of land beside a highway, where they cook on a small stove.

Bihar is no stranger to floods, and is usually one of the worst-affected regions during the monsoons, but as one of the poorest regions in South Asia, residents feel helpless faced with the annual deluge.

Some 67 people have been killed in the state and 4.5 million residents affected by the floods so far, and water levels are still rising.

In areas where floodwaters have eased slightly, villagers cram into small, wooden boats or swim home to retrieve belongings.

Some have received khichdi -- an Indian porridge made with rice and lentils -- from the government.

“My children keep asking me for food and say they are hungry, but what can we do?,” said Nima Devi, who only eats once a day with her children when the khichdi is distributed. 

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