Sonitpur, Assam: The situation in flood-hit Assam has improved with the water level in the Brahmaputra and its tributaries receding. The death toll has, however, reached 121 while 16 are still missing.
An estimated 22 lakh people have been affected in Assam's worst floods in recent years, causing large-scale devastation in 2,809 villages in 27 of the 28 districts of the state. And for those displaced by the floods, returning back to the normalcy of their homes and daily lives is still just a thought.
At Panpur village in Sonitpur district, the flood waters have receded, but a family is battling its darkest hour.
17-year-old Tapan Chhetri was killed by the fury of the Brahmapurta on May 28, on the second day of the floods in Assam, as he herded the family's animals to higher ground.
"What can I say, I have lost everything. It is for the government to see how best they can help us , but I am completely devastated," said his mother Rajina Chhetri.
Across Sonitpur, there are many places where road communication has been cut off due to the floods and villagers are using boats to reach from one village to the other. The district has seen six deaths due to the floods, and has 60 flood relief camps, the maximum for any district in the state.
Hundreds of women and children who have come in from flooded villages are camping at relief camps set up by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for medicines and food.
"We are getting relief, but it is not enough. A lot of the relief is being pocketed by the middlemen," said Mohd Abdul , a resident of the Sootea village.
The current wave of floods has devastated the world famous Kaziranga National Park where more than 540 animals, including 13 rhinos, have perished, officials said.
The situation in the world's largest river island Majuli was also grim. Almost the entire island is submerged and over 75 families have been rendered homeless due to heavy floods and unabated erosion.
Those affected get three kg of rice and half kg of dal per family, and is handed out every two days. People say it is not enough for big families. In a flood that's the worst in many years, getting back to normal life is certainly going to take time.
Story first published:
July 08, 2012 14:44 IST