September 3, 2008, The Hindu
NEW DELHI: Ready to lend a helping hand to those stranded in the middle of massive floods in Bihar, doctors in Delhi have got together under the umbrella of “Doctors For You" to launch a large-scale flood relief operation.
The umbrella organisation already has on board over 1,500 specialist doctors and other volunteers in association with Indian Railways and a non-government organisation, Youth for Equality. The group is now working towards mobilising more support for the campaign and is requesting people to be generous and donate dry foodstuff, clothes, medical supplies and other material to ensure that they can be useful to those rendered homeless and injured in the recent flooding.
Set to reach Bihar later this month when the flood waters recede, AIIMS Resident Doctors’ Association president Kumar Harsh said: “The Government is working at ensuring that the relief material reaches those affected by the floods. We don’t want to go there right now and hamper rescues operations. Doctors and medical help is required when the water recedes and we are hoping not only to treat the injured and diseased but also help prepare them to tackle the aftermath of the floods."
“In the first phase of operation, we will be targeting the six worst affected districts including Supaul, Saharsa, Madhepura, Araria and Purnia. Our interim relief team is already in the process of setting up control rooms at Mansi and Katihar railway stations for this operation. In the second phase, we will be undertaking rehabilitation work for three months after the flood waters recede," he added.
The Railways are providing all infrastructural support to doctors for the initiative. “The destruction caused by the Orissa cyclone and the recent tsunami pales in comparison when we look at the magnitude of destruction caused by this flood. And this has resulted in the biggest-ever evacuation of people witnessed in the history of mankind. Town after town is being converted into ghost places. Hundreds of thousands of people are lacking food, medicine and drinking water and the situation could get worse," said a medical volunteer with the group.
“We are now trying to ensure that the Union Health Ministry allow doctors to take leave and help out in relief work in Bihar. The people need the maximum medical attention when the water recedes and we hope to be there with them," he added.
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