Bihar had become a drought-hit area, and then recently got flooded, receiving 10% extra rain than usual. Arguably, was this a man-made calamity more than a natural disaster? Read on to find out the Bihari diaspora’s take on it.

In hard-hit Bihar, a bird’s-eye-view of state capital Patna made the city appear like a huge lake dotted with concrete structures. Posh low-lying areas like Rajendra Nagar and Pataliputra Colony were flooded. Private hospitals, medical stores and other shops were submerged in waist-deep water. In several parts of Patna, waterlogging had thrown normal life out of gear. Although the rains have stopped now, and waterlogging has receded in most parts, a closer look reveals a bigger picture than just a natural calamity. 

Owing to unexpected and torrential rainfall of 200 mm, almost all areas of the capital of Bihar have been flooded, with water entering homes, offices and other buildings, and standing on the roads. The social media was buzzing with netizens sharing videos of the flood affected area and making satire of #HowdyModi event in which the PM said, all is fine in India. 

Flooding in the city appeared to have been caused by a choked, damaged and dysfunctional drainage system, and delayed activation of pumps at the sump houses. The floods were so severe that animal carcasses were seen on several roads.

Dinesh Mishra, a civil engineer and flooding expert, while speaking to a national daily said, “The authorities have the resources, money and workforce to arrive at a solution. However, planning of drainage systems and efficient sump machines are nowhere to be seen. Authorities have pushed the city to the edge of disaster by misusing public money. Also, now, they all come up with the excuse of ‘climate change.’”

The state of Bihar has gloomed with tragedies this year. First the encephalitis outbreak in Muzzafarpur took hundreds of life in June 2019, then drought hit severel parts of the state in early September damaging agriculture, and then the recent floods have disturbed lives of millions of people in the capital city Patna. Floods are not a rare phenomena in Bihar, the Kosi river is infamous for flooding Khagaria and northern parts of Bihar every year, but the scale and intensity of this retreating monsoon’s flood was as big as the disastrous floods of 1987 and 2004 which took 1,400 and 3,272 lives respectively.

It was not only Patna but also towns like Kaimur, Bhagalpur, Araria, Banka, Munger and Muzzafarpur that faced the wrath of this catastrophe. A more haunting statistic suggests that 494 panchayats in 15 districts were submerged in water when the flood was at its peak. The death toll neared 120 in first four days. Lack of a robust political administration seemed to have aggravated the death toll and loss due to floods.

Rahul Kumar, a student of DU hailing from Buxar says, “What I think, is that the flood is a result of mismanagement and government failure. As a Bihari, what I think is in Bihar, government officials love good flood and droughts because they get chance to make money out of it. This is a man made disaster and not only the government, but we are also fully responsible for the same.”   

Suyash Jha, a fresher from the varsity who hails from Bhagalpur says that these floods have now become a routine affair. “The compound of my grandfather’s home at VIP Road, Laheriasarai get water from overflowing drains every year for the  last 10 years now. Despite several requests to the administration to work on the drainage system in the area no real action has been taken.”

Shivam Srivastava, a third-year student was in Delhi when the unstoppable rain started in Patna on 28th September.  He says, “It was really flabbergasting to see the Chief Minister say something like ‘Yeh toh prakritik apada hai, isme hum kuch nahi karsakte,’ (This is a natural calamity, we cannot help it,).”

Feature Image Credits: Rahul Kumar

Sriya Rane 

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Come monsoons, and the entirety of coastal India and Ganga basin fall victim to the heavy rainfalls. As one side of India faces acute water shortage, another side is cursed with deadly floods. 

Assam Floods

Traditionally, Assam has been prone to heavy floods due to both natural and artificial reasons. The Brahmaputra river is among the world’s top five rivers in terms of discharge, as well as the sediment it brings. Whereas, population, habitation, and deforestation through the years has led to higher sedimentation. Combined with the heavy rainfalls, floods are an annual occurrence.

Over 12 lakh animals have been affected by the floods. Kaziranga National Park has reported around 129 animal deaths, including 10 rhinoceroses- the world’s only remaining one-horned rhinoceroses. In order to escape the flooded Kaziranga, animals have been trying to cross the highway, and reach the nearest Karbi hills. Deers, tigers, and rhinoceroses have been scavenging for food and shelter in human areas. However, this is simply the tip of the iceberg; over 95% of the National Park is under water. 

As of 26th July, 27.15 lakh people have been drastically affected, the death toll stands at 80. Even though the worst of the rains are now over, residents are grappling for clean drinking water, food and basic amenities. 

Assam needs the help of the rest of India to rebuild itself.

Here is how you can help: 

  • Contribute to Assam Chief Minister’s Relief Fund on Paytm.
  • Contribute resources such as food items, utensils, clothes, toiletries and essentials at Goonj.
  • Contribute funds to Milaap, which would thus transfer the funds to Assam Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. 

Bihar Floods 

Bihar’s death toll has escalated to an appalling 127 and over 88 lakh people have been affected. More than 12 districts have been severely affected leading to a demand of 10,000 crores INR, and declaring it as a national disaster. 

As the water levels are gradually receding, people are going back to what was once their home. It is pretty sad to note that Bihar has been facing huge death tolls for the past few years, yet, both the State and Central government seem to have been ineffective at finding preventive measures. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar told the Assembly on 16th July, 2019, that the state is “fully prepared” to deal with the flash floods. Despite the promises, the common folk continues to face atrocities. 

Not to forget the ghastly 1987 floods which claimed 1399 human lives and 5300 animals. Mainstream media has been shying away from covering the floods, thus leading to minimum to zero attention on their real conditions. 

Even though the situation has improved, and is accompanied by light showers, Bihar needs the community’s help and support to regain their normal life. Here is how you can help:

  • Contribute to Goonj. Basic amenities required, such as clothing, food, toiletries and miscellaneous.
  • Contribute to crowd-funding or other NGOs collaborating with the Bihar government. 
  • Contribute funds to Bihar Chief Minister’s Relief Fund on Paytm.


India in today’s date is facing nature’s proverbial wrath. It’s time that the government took precautionary measures in flood-prone areas to not only save lives, but to preserve valuable yet diminishing natural resources. 

Feature Image Credits: NDTV

Anandi Sen 

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Standing against the Police mis-constructions, and in solidarity with the victims, the residents of Gaya and the people protesting nationwide, the JNUSU today protested the Gaya Rape case.

Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union (JNUSU) today organised a protest call-out against the inefficiency of the police and government in the two instances of rape and murder of minor girls in Bihar in the last fifteen days. The representatives also burnt the effigy of the Janta Dal United (JDU) and Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) alliance- lead by the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, calling them out for the deteriorating law and order system of the state.

The event was the immediate response to the alleged gang-rape of a sixteen-year-old girl in Manpur Patwatoli locality of Gaya District of south Bihar, and the later allegations of Police inactions and pressure-manipulations, falsely calling it an instance of Honour Killing.

The girl was allegedly kidnapped on 28th December 2018. After looking for their daughter for two days, the family finally approached the police on 31st December 2018. However, according to the local accounts and the family’s statements, the Police at the Buniyaadganj station constantly refused to file the FIR, and on the later persistence of the residents and media, finally filed the complaint on 5th January 2019. The dead body of the girl was found on 6th January 2019 in Baksariya Tola, a few hundred metres away from her home, badly mutilated, and the face burned with acid. The Police, in response, arrested the family members, constructing the murder as Honour Killing, allegedly on the basis of the account of the other 5-year-old daughter.

Addressing the crowd here at Sabarmati Dhaba, Ramesh Kumar, a native of Gaya, called the Police Department’s inconsistent constructions as Honour Killing, Horror Killing and Blind Case, insensitive. “The residents have no hope from the local police. The case should be handed over to the CBI,” he said.

Sarika Chaudhary, Vice President of JNUSU, called this cold-blooded murder a link in the bigger chain of caste-based targettings across the nation. “Before the nation goes out to vote this general elections, questions about women’s safety and rights should be asked.”

Picture credits- Nikhil Kumar for DU Beat.

Nikhil Kumar
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Bihar University printed the admit card of a student with the photo of Lord Ganesha on it. The cards were printed on Wednesday.

Bihar University is not new to controversies. And as is the case with this incident, Bihar University made it to the headlines with another tummy tickling incident. It reportedly printed the photo of Lord Ganesha in the admit card of a student. The admit cards were printed on Wednesday.

This happened with the admit card of Krishna Kumar Roy, a first-year student of Lalith Narayan Mithila University in Darbhanga. He is pursuing B.Com a Programme in the college. As reported by India Today, Roy said “I had filled the examination form correctly along with my photo, but I am shocked to see Lord Ganesha’s photo on my admit card. I am running from pillar to post to rectify the mistake but no one is willing to listen.” What’s more bizarre is that the admit card also has Lord Ganesh’s signature on it. Along with this, there is an error in the residential address of the student as well.

Defending themselves, the authorities of the University said that the mistake was committed by the cyber cafe. They also mentioned that they are inquiring into the matter and will make sure that the student will not face any problems in appearing for the exams.

Image Credits: www.india.com


Karan Singhania

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