Harpur Bochha is a village in Vidyapatinagar block of Samastipur district of Bihar. The village, which has a population of about 11.5 thousand people and 2349 houses, remained inundated with rain and floodwater throughout the year followed by waterlogging.
Since last week, people of Birjain village have been protesting against erosion by the river bank. They are demanding that the government should put in efforts to prevent river erosion and save their houses, otherwise they will continue with their Satyagrah and perform Jal Samadhi (suicide by drowning). Sattore, a flood-prone Panchayat has about 3000 houses.
“We went through a lot of trouble over the month. By God’s grace, we are still surviving."
Floods coupled with erosion increase the woes of Bihar
For about last three weeks, Dhananjay Kumar along with his wife and children have been living on the embankment under their plastic shed following the late night July floods that submerged their house.
Lockdown in April to May 2020 due to COVID-19 led to the mass migration of workers from the cities to villages. Despite strict measures by the government to stop any movement, people facing lost jobs and high cost of living in the cities began to walk back or use whatever transportation was available to travel to their home villages.
Monsoon 2020: Countrywide deficit of 10 percent in July; September may have heavy rains
Two weeks ago, the Kanakai River flowing through Kishanganj rendered dozens of families homeless. While the people in the region are staying under plastic sheds, the government has turned a blind eye to their plight.
Mohammadin is also one of them. He tells the India Water Portal,
"All of a sudden, water entered the house at night. Goods and cattle were submerged. There is no place to eat or drink. We have been in trouble for three days, but no one has come to help us.” The elderly Gauri Singh complains, with mixed feelings of anger, pain and helplessness.