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The bleak lives of Assam flood survivors

BY: BBC
Parents in Assam say they worry about the future of their children

The north-eastern state of Assam in India has been ravaged by deadly floods - one of the worst in the region's history - which has impacted millions of residents and forced thousands to take shelter in relief camps.

The BBC's Anshul Verma visited the flood-hit area of Silchar city recently where he saw thousands of people struggling to access food, medicines and drinking water as waterlogged streets made any travel almost impossible.

People searched desperately for boats, rafts or any mode of transport that would help them cross the waters to reach shelters set up by the government. Many said they struggled to evacuate the elderly and take ailing family members to hospitals.

The Indian army and the National Disaster Response Force have been carrying out relief operations in the state, evacuating residents from flooded areas and bringing them food and water.

More than 148,000 people are in 299 relief camps spread out across the state, Assam's disaster management agency said.

But the situation in the shelters is not much better as several families are crammed into small spaces, sometimes up to 30 people to a room. Many of these shelters are homes or schools that have been temporarily turned into relief camps to take in people affected by the floods.

Here too, access to clean water and sanitation remains a struggle. People who injured themselves as they fled their homes in the middle of the night said they had not been able to get medical attention in the camps.

Many said they had left all their belongings behind and lost important identification documents to the floods.

BBC