Rivers are a source of life for a country. They irrigate the land and make it fertile. Sometimes, however, they grow unmanageable and cause untold hardship to the people. They overflow the banks and spread havoc.
This year the rains were in abundance and it was hoped that the rains were over. But nobody knows what the Almighty has in store. In the second week of September there was heavy rainfall in the catchment area. The rivers of U.P. began to rise and they soon over-flooded vast areas of the country. Most of the rivers began to flow above the danger level and thousands of acres of land appeared turned a vast sheet of water. Thousands of steam boats were deployed to carry people to safer areas.
The news of this devastating floods gave anxious moments to the country. The army was asked to help as many people as possible. The relief societies came forward to help the people. The Prime Minister made an aerial survey of the area and ordered a grant of 50 lakhs from the relief fund for the help of the people. In spite of all help hundreds of people died. The other day the chief minister too made an aerial survey of Jaunpur, Sultanpur and Lucknow and ordered thousands of tons of food stuff to be air-dropped for the stranded people.
Rescue and relief efforts continued on a war footing, although more than 300 people died and hundreds of acres of land was water-logged. ‘The floods this year were of an unprecedented scale and caused a huge loss of cattle. Most of the deaths were due to house collapses.
The loss in the countryside was very great. Apart from the loss of property the poor villagers were hard hit because the land became useless and no cultivation was possible in a water-logged land at least for some months. Water which is God’s blessing proved to be a curse. It will take months before the poor villagers are able to make up for the loss in spite of the help of the government. It is learnt that the government has granted 5 crore rupees to rehabilitate the people and to help them to start life again.