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'All our possessions swept away'

india Updated: Sep 17, 2008 14:27 IST
Chitrangada Choudhury
Chitrangada Choudhury
Hindustan Times
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Sanath Singh, Age 42, Village: Digi, Madhepura

"I was working as a security guard in Mumbai for 10 years, but left the city with my family for Digi two months ago after harassment by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. Raj Thackeray's men would come to our slum at night, drunk, and abuse us North Indians and our daughters, and the police would not do anything. I had admitted all of them in an English convent school, but pulled them out and decided to leave my Rs 10,000 job and return to Bihar, and set up life afresh in my village. But now that home and all our possessions are also swept away, and we are reduced to living in a relief camp. Priya Dutt visited the camp yesterday, and scolded me for leaving Mumbai out of fear and harassment. I said it is better than being abused and attacked. I tell my children each night that God is testing them at this young age, so that they can endure all future trials"

Shyam Yadav, 25, Lakshmipur, Madhepura

"When the waters swept through our village on August 22, 6 people from my family including 2 children rushed to take refuge on a canal. The whole village of 4000 people and our animals were crouched on it. Private boats were plying to ferry people to dry areas, but they were charging Rs 200 per person. Those who could pay such money left, no labourers like us. There was no helicopter dropping relief. On the third day on the canal, my elder brother Suresh was desperate to bring us some food from our home just 500 metres away. But he drowned in the currents, and died before our eyes. We spent 7 days there before a rescue boat came to our village. The fields are destroyed, so I do not which zamindar can hire labourers like me on their field. I will migrate with my wife to Punjab or Delhi for construction work."