(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
October 18, 2009
AP FLOOD HAVOC
CPI(M) leaders serving food to the flood victims in Vijayawada
the wake of the
unprecedented floods in the state of Andhra Pradesh and the state
utterly tardy response, the people were virtually left to fend for
They were supported in this hour of crisis by fellow citizens,
and some political parties, including the CPI(M). Due to lack of
warning, most of the people in the worst affected districts of
machinery did not rise to the occassion. It was totally absent in most
affected areas as even a week later all the roads in the towns and
still under water, with layers of slush, stenching smell with
drainage water etc. The people who came back to their homes after the
of flood waters waited in vain for the authorities to clear this. In
situation, hundreds of CPI(M) cadre swung into work with shovels and
implements to clear the roads and bylanes of the huge amount of mud and
other clogged up waste. This was done as part of the “Shrama Danam”
which was launched by CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and state secretary B
the CPI(M) state committee
giving a public call on October 5, 2009 for aiding the flood victims,
of Party cadre from other districts like Ranga Reddy,
at the confluence of Tungabhadra and
Party Anantapur district secretary along with cadre removing the slush from the streets of Kurnool
from clearing up
the clogged streets and bylanes, the CPI(M) relief effort also
comprised of setting
up community kitchens for providing food to the victims. In this aspect
the government failed so abysmally that in
Another area of intervention by the Party cadre has been in rescuing the people stranded in their homes, on rooftops and other places as the water levels rose dangerously in the initial days of the flood. They were escorted to safety by organising dingy boats and sometimes through use of ropes. In the districts of Krishna and Guntur, where there was danger of parts of the levee on the Krishna river giving away, hundreds of Party cadre rallied the people in strengthening it in those places. In places where it had breached, efforts were made to fill them.
Truckloads of relief material – comprising primarily rice and clothes – have been sent by the Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy, Khammam, Nalgonda and Vishakapatnam district committees of the Party. With feedback about most victims not preferring to wear the old clothes being sent, the Vishakapatnam district committee bought new clothes worth around Rs 2 lakh from the money they collected for relief and sent them in the truck.
Apart from the state committee, which has set up a separate fund to collect money for the relief effort, almost all district committees and mass organisations have also undertaken mass collections for relief. At the time of writing the state committee has received Rs 11 lakh for its fund. More is expected in the coming days. Those willing to send money for the Party relief effort may do so by cheques/DDs in the name of “CPI(M) – People's Relief Fund” and mail them to The Secretary, CPI(M) AP Committee, M B Bhavan, 1-1-60/2, RTC X Roads, Musheerabad, Hyderabad – 500020.
At the all party meeting called by the chief minister on October 3, CPI(M) state secretary B V Raghavulu had demanded from the government provision of 30 kg rice, kerosene, cooking utensils, blankets etc to all flood-affected people immediately. Later, a suggestion was made to bring in large number of labour to the affected areas and engage them in sanitation and clearing of debris works under the NREGA. With the administration paralysed due to the ongoing power tussle within the ruling party, it is far from acting on such suggestions. And, it is the people in the affected areas who are paying a price twice over for the negligence and callousness of the government machinery.