Pata Bibi’s Struggle Against the Tide
21 September 2004
Pata Bibi and her family
During the floods, the family were forced to evacuate their house, and take refuge in the Union Parishad’s storeroom. It was a safe haven from the floods but there were no sanitation facilities. To avoid frequent bathroom trips during the day, Pata Bibi and her daughter would eat less than they needed.
During their stay, the UP provided meals of khichuri (rice and lentils). The family also received food from IR.
Pata Bibi's family sit down for a meal
When her husband was alive, the family just about managed on his meagre income from day labouring. Now, they were forced to survive on barely one meal a day. Mainuddin, Pata Bibi’s youngest child, is 12, but due to malnutrition he looks about 8. Fifteen-year-old Alim is also sick, and unable to work.
When she returned to her flood-damaged house, Pata Bibi was relieved to find that her crockery was undamaged, although she had lost three of her chickens. There was no food to be found, and the house had tilted to one side.
Pata Bibi is thankful that her family survived the disaster, but she cannot help worrying about their future. Her relatives are unable to help, as the flood affected almost everyone.
Thanks to IR, who provided Pata Bibi with rice, pulses, oil, high energy biscuits and salt, the family can continue to survive for a few more days. After this they face destitution and may be forced to beg.
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