Babul Gupta has set himself a routine as soon as the day dawns, he sets out to visit tents set up for flood victims like him. In the last two weeks, he has moved from one camp to another, but for nothing.
The 26-year-old shopkeeper is looking for his one-year-old daughter Rita and his parents-in-law. They went missing after Kosi flooded his village Miriganj in Madhepura district. He was away at his shop in Murliganj, 25 km from his village.
The camp he stays in at Purnea was a dairy farm. Now, 7,000 flood-victims live there. He goes from one tent to another, he has to be meticulous — there is no list, no record of the people missing since floods.
This morning, he has decided to meet camp in-charge Animesh Pandya. “The system of recording details of missing people and uploading it on a website has only started from today. It’ll take time,” is what Pandya tells him.
Volunteers at Gupta’s camp took Rita’s details five days ago, but the administration has no information. When HT asks him about the number of missing people, Pandya says, “One”. (HT meets three families within an hour.)
And when he gets to know that Gupta is not from Purnea, but Madhepura, Pandya just dismisses him. Gupta is not even told that in Patna a website is being put together with the help of IBM to help people like him track family members separated by flood waters.