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 

[email protected]




Demonetisation in our economy has given us the ride Prime Minister Modi wanted to provide, a time when we are running cashless, so as to drive out the black money from the country and fulfill the PM’s dream of making India a cashless society.

With a sharp increase in the number of digital options, it is quite possible to manage most of the day’s expenses without too much of hard cash. You can pay for a taxi by using a mobile wallet. Those travelling by metro, bus or train, can use smart cards to pay for the service. Lunch in the college canteen can be bought using coupons. Although the occasional shopping from fruit vendors and roadside tea stalls calls for cash in hand, it isn’t a major amount. So, the government order banning currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 should not really scare anyone, right? No. Cash is still king for a large number of Indians simply because it is widely accepted and very convenient.

The challenge in going cashless is that there is no other close alternative to cash. Thus, digital payments account for only 10 percent of the transactions whereas cash payment makes up the other 90 percent. But the number of banks providing card payment option has increased from barely 60 in 2011 to more than 700 today. The card base- both credit and debit card- has also crossed 750 million. In a more speculative manner, the government is trying to drive the force to move into cashless transactions but are quietly ignorant about the spending habits of the people. The penetration of acceptance infrastructure is currently at dismal 1.3 million point-of-sales terminals. As long as the acceptance infrastructure in India does not match the pace of growth of cards and other cashless modes, customers will use cash, says an economic advisor. For a vast country like India, having only 2.3 lakh ATMs and 14 lakh POS terminals is too low. For ATM transactions, while the acquiring banks would like the ‘interchange income’ to go up, the issuers are not interested. Even White Label ATM (WLA) providers have stopped expanding the ATM network under the fear that the acquiring fee would be under stress if it is revised downward. For POS transactions, it is primarily an issuer market and profitability of the acquiring business is under threat.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi admitted that he understands making the transition to cashless economy is difficult and hence he urges people to move to less cash society. However, the whole exercise of moving from cash-driven economy to cashless economy has somehow been mixed with demonetisation which was apparently done to suck out liquidity from the system to dig out black money. It is a mammoth task to achieve even one of the two. Aiming for both in one move is risky and to some extent reckless. If the move was aimed at turning India into a cashless economy, then the ideal thing to do was to make people adopt e-payments as a change of habit and not as a last ditch option in a cashless crisis situation. Though services like internet banking, online transactions, initiation of mobile wallets like Freecharge and PayTm have been promoted and encouraged nation-wide, in rural areas, farmers and poor people are still struggling to get their hands on their own money. They are selling their produce in the markets at throwaway prices because buyers don’t have cash to pay them. Mobile ATMs and Micro ATMs have been a rare sight and normal ATMs usually stay shut at least a couple of days every week now. So the change in habit seems to be forced rather than incentivised and simplified for convenience. Also, it remains limited to urban areas. Rural population is left in worse off conditions. So it has left people wondering which way is right!

Radhika Boruah
[email protected]

Image source: Google.com

Demonetization conjures images of almost every issue related to overpopulation – insanely long queues, the inevitable loss of livelihood, the few deaths, the many problems of penury and even creates a long standing love for the humble 100 rupee note. However, ironically the one thing that doesn’t come to mind is the fact that our economy is being weeded of black money (myth or fact, ‘who knows’ which ultimately leads to the stage of ‘who cares’). Well, no fear for Paytm is here – at the risk of sounding like a very cheesy advertisement with the long somber sound of “Paytm Karo”, I give you reasons why Paytm is truly a lifesaving hack. I mean. Truly!

I know most of us think of this as a rather taxing procedure but once you’ve managed to add money to your account, you’re sorted. I discovered Paytm when Delhi University recently postponed the GE examination from the 12th to the 13th December, I had no option but to reschedule my flight. With skyhigh rates and six thousand already down the drain, Paytm was kind enough to offer me a ticket for only Rs. 5000, a day before and with cashback!

It doesn’t stop here, you can book movie tickets for half the price, get a million different discounts for a range of restaurants, get killer discounts on travel options, buy electronics for cheaper , and go on for days without cash, even paying your Uber driver with Paytm. The list is exhaustive with its many benefits and it even works at Nescafe in college, I mean what more could we ask for!

It takes about five minutes to set up and serves you forever, so what are you waiting for? Devote some space on your phone to a useful application. After all, we do deserve to watch a movie for free once in a while.

Anahita Sahu

[email protected]

Image Credits: 3ghackerz.com