Relief workers distributing food during Kosi flood 2008
Income losses of more than 50 percent during the first three months after the floods were reported among all households. Most of the affected people were casual and agricultural labourers and they suffered major losses due to the flood*.
When we talk of dignity for all, it is important to remember that dignity needs to be preserved even at the time of a disaster. How relief work is conducted, how you distribute rations, how you are treating the people who have already faced perhaps the biggest crisis of their life. What often happens is that relief workers throw away small packets of food standing tall on a truck, unknowingly perhaps, creating a hierarchy and reinstating a clear demarcation between the ‘giver’ and the ‘receiver’. I always say that these things can only happen if you start believing that the person standing with extended hands is not human, that they are not worthy of dignity.