Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
The brave peoples of Orissa have defeated the pernicious flood.
In my personal album, I have always kept this picture. It shows how a mother was carrying her son to safety braving the devastative flood in Balasore district in 2006. UNICEF had circulated this picture and as a reminder of how daring could be a caring mother I have preserved it and perused it umpteen times. It is an imperishable evidence of how a brave woman of Orissa had defeated the deluge in 2006 in her fight for safety of her child.
The 2008 scenario reaffirms the braveness of our peoples.
The picture in the right side shows how a small boy is trying to ferry his ailing mother away into a safe place when the picture in the left
is of a couple that wades through the severe spread of water putting the two children on a bicycle in search of shelter.
Gushing water forces into houses. No food to eat, no water to drink. No shadow of a semblance of state help.
In a hope against hope, under unbearable thirst, a boy of 5 dares the muddy deluge and harps on the handle of a tube-well if that helps him survive.
Home is ruined.
But man tries to provide shelter to his pets.
Flood surges into streets, inundates homes. Its fury engulfs the croplands, shatters the roads. Man tries to overcome the danger.
Flood engulfs the horizon. But brave peoples of Orissa do not collapse.
They propel their boats ahead.