From 70,000 - 90,000 refugees from East Pakistan are facing death from starvation and malnutrition at the Deara Camp complex.
From 70,000 - 90,000 refugees from East Pakistan are facing death from starvation and malnutrition at the Deara Camp complex. Situated just north of Bongaon, the camp is virtually cut off from aid by floods, which have killed nearly 600 people in northern and eastern India.
The flood waters have cut all roads leading into Deara, leaving motor boats and country boats as the only means of transportation. It is a nine-hour return journey along the flooded Ichumati River from Bongaon, for the handful of army launches at the disposal of relief AUTHORITIES.
VISNEWS cameraman Kapoor Jagdish accompanied the army launches on their first relief runs to the camp on Friday (17 September). They brought in eight tons of rice, but relief officials in Bongaon said the camp needs at least 27 tons of rice and lentils each day.
SYNOPSIS: Several floods in northern and eastern India have killed nearly six-hundred people recently. In this area, north of Bongaon, ninety per cent of the sub-division has been flooded and most of the East Pakistani refugee camps have been directly affected.
Of these, the worst hit is the Deara Camp complex. With the roads made impassable by the flooded Ichumati River, the only means into the camp is by boat. This hand of army launches provides the only aid to the nearly one-hundred-thousand refugees in the camp, who are facing death by starvation.
Doctors say that more than fifty children aged one year or less have died in the month since floods first hit Deara. Without aid, more people will certainly die of starvation, malnutrition and cholera.
One the first relief runs made by the army launches on Friday, eight tons of rice was delivered to the Deara Camp. Relief officials in Bongaon, however, say that the camp needs at least twenty-seven tons of rice and lentils each day.
Chief physician at the camp, Dr. D.K. Shah says that young children are being fed on rice water, as no milk has been brought in during the last month, for babies and nursing mothers. Dr. Shah says that nine per cent of the refugees in the camp are suffering from dysentery malnutrition and ringworm.