PATNA: Residents of north Bihar’s 11 flood-hit districts are struggling to find dry land to cremate or bury the dead. In many areas, floodwaters have risen to the waist level.
“Whenever someone dies at this time when the flood has inundated almost all areas, including cremation ghats and grounds, no dry land can be found on which to set the pyre or bury the dead body as per Islamic rituals,” Ram Chandra Kumar, a resident of Darbhanga said.
Recently, residents of flood-affected Mahisaut village in Darbhanga district had to perform the last rites of a person.
As no dry land could be found, a raised platform, made of bamboo, was set up in the waist-level water.
The dead body had to be carried spot on a boat. Many such reports have emerged from the flood-hit districts of the state.
“Almost all these cremation grounds and ghats have been flooded. So, it has a problem to arrange cremation if anyone dies in flood-affected areas,” Dinesh Yadav of East Champaran said.
As many as 388 panchayats in 11 districts, including East Champaran, West Champaran and Saran, have been affected by the flood, according to a statement by the Disaster Management Department.
As many as 16.61 lakh people have been affected by floods in these districts and many of them are finding it challenging to find a spot to bury or cremate their loved ones.
When no dry land could be found, people are forced to take dead bodies on boats to areas where they can be cremated.
“This flood has come on top of the miseries caused by Covid-19. As witnessed during the peak of Covid-19, there is a shortage of space to cremation the dead,” Kumar said.
11 districts affected
Eleven districts—Gopalganj, East Champaran, West Champaran, Saran, Sheohar, Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, Darbhanga, Samastipur, Madhubani and Khagaria—are affected by floods.