Demonstrators expressed the mounting indignation in East Pakistan over the weekend (21-22 November) at alleged government slowness in mounting an effective aid programme for the flood survivors in East Pakistan.
Demonstrators expressed the mounting indignation in East Pakistan over the weekend (21-22 November) at alleged government slowness in mounting an effective aid programme for the flood survivors in East Pakistan. Informed estimates put the number of killed by the flood around the half million mark and many of the survivors are still without real help.
The demonstrators were followers of Sheikh Mujib or Rahman's Awami League. His policy in the recent election campaign was one of almost secession, and appeals to Bengali nationalists. Now his platform has been virtually confirmed in the eyes of East Pakistanis.
Only very few children can be seen now, in an area normally teeming with youngsters at play. Most of the dead were women and children, those too weak to resist the flood. The children left are in a desperate position, starving and prone to disease, especially cholera.
Disease is the biggest danger now. Everywhere corpses are to be seen, lying exposed and putrefying. The carcasses of cattle dominate the landscape in many areas. But relief workers from the area and from outside are at work cleaning up.
One of the most immediate tasks for those capable of it is to save as much as possible of the rice crop. Much of it was washed away and trapped at the embankment. Depending on the patch, each man in a day can salvage from 60 to 100 pounds of paddy, a small but invaluable contribution to the general salvage work.
Many of the dead lie in hastily constructed graves, but many more were washed out to sea. Of the latter, about 90% are believed to have been washed back again. The unidentifiable bodies, bloated through exposure, were placed in mass graves.
In some parts of the delta all the huts were destroyed completely. In others, survivors were able to set up house again in the grim remnants of their homes. But many more are without shelter, awaiting help.