It was long hours under a blazing sun on Wednesday for Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi as he visited relief camps crammed with displaced multitudes in flood-ravaged Araria district.
Clad in his trademark kurta-pyjama and sneakers and sporting a stubble, he hugged an evacuee and threw his arms around another as he heard their tales of woes in the aftermath of the deluge caused by the Kosi, which played havoc with the lives of the people in north eastern Bihar.
Alighting from his Innova car, Rahul walked up to Mohammed Haseebuddin, an aged evacueee, and hugged him before asking him, "What are your problems, how are you faring in the relief camp?"
He requested Haseebuddin of Beria-Kamal village in Supaul district taking shelter for the last several days at a relief camp at Sonapur, some ten km from Forbesganj, to show him around and the septuagenarian readily obliged.
Mohammed Moinul, also of Beria-Kamal village, could not hold back his tears when the Congress leader asked him how he was.
"My daughter died I could not get medicines to save her," said a sobbing Moinul, whose two-year-old daughter Sitara Khatoon died at the camp yesterday.
Unlike Tuesday, the scion of the Gandhi family spent more than 40 minutes at the Sonapur relief shelter.