Flood problems hit India’s poor but not the rich
Posted by robertpriddy on August 13, 2007
Once again Indian Authorities gives low priority to its poorest citizens – 14 million flood victims. The top national Norwegian daily newspaper Aftenposten (9/8/07) reports that critics consider the Indian authorities should have done more to hinder death and destruction which comes of the yearly monsoon. “Every single year, the monsoons rain clouds gather over the Indian subcontinent, and every year thousands die in flood resulting from the predictable rains. India has been struck by an unusually heavy monsoon this year. Numerous experts say that Indian authorities could have done more to strengthen defences, build necessary dams and make evacuation plans. They point out that several years of preparations in Bangladesh have contributed to reducing this year’s sufferings. A permanent flood warning system was set up, but similar warnings do not exist in India. Nineteen million people have been driven from their homes in India. The flood banks in Bihar fell like card houses, says Rabri Devi, the acute opposition politician in the poor state of Bihar. Norway has sent ca. US $2.5 million in extra emergency aid to flood victims in South Asia.
The Indian leadership have other priorities than to compensate the worst hit
As reported on the web, here for example, we read: [http://www.awakenedwoman.com/flood.htm ] : “The national government has not organized any emergency relief. But it has this past week spent $1.6 billion on 66 Hawk Jets. One church agency is helping in 20 villages but there are 300 villages in one district of Chhattisgarh alone, and international aid agencies are absent. Local government help is limited to 200-500 rupees, ($5-$10) and even that goes only to a few homeless families, and a one-off ration of 7-10 pounds of rice. As in the recent flood in Argentina, corruption by officials is widespread. They have been refusing the meagre compensation to households headed by women and are as usual discriminating against Dalit and Tribal families.”
The current government has a PM and Ministers who are followers of Sathya Sai Baba
He has in the past called on his followers for service activities for flood and tsunami victims, but he has been silent this year, probably due to his increasingly reported senile symptoms. Despite many efforts by local authorities, there have been angry protests, road blocks and the kidnapping of an official by the affected who were neglected too long. Apart from paramilitary direct aid action to prevent death (the toll is near to 1,5000) The governmental devotees of Sai Baba (PM Singh, Home Minister and many more, including the new devotee President Patil) certainly appear to have no plans to provide adequate compensation for these flood victims – many of whom have lost everything and who are overwhelmingly poor people (in the eastern states of Bihar, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal). Rich interests constantly ignoring those of the poor. The help that is given, when it eventually arrives, is never sufficient to compensate the losers. Meanwhile the Indian economy races ahead and vast wealth is created, yet it is evidently NGOs and international relief agencies on which most of the survivors must depend to avoid mass hunger and disease.