Assistant Professor IIT Delhi, Manabendra Saharia called out for declaring Assam Floods as National Calamity, which severely impacts lives of lakhs of people every year and has already claimed more than 100 this year. He further added, socio economic impact of Assam floods as a National Security issue apart from a humanitarian one. FLO, the Women’s wing of FICCI, witnessed the views from artists like Kalpana Patowary, Abhineet Mishra, Zublee Baruah, Abhineet Mishra and Joi Barua during the webinar organised by them
Manabendra discussed his findings “India losses Approx. $10 Bn a year to natural disasters and roughly 70% of it is because of floods. In the last 90 years, Assam has experienced at least 70 big floods, and this might be an underestimation as in reality we have experienced many medium sized floods which are dangerous as well. He also called out governments for looking for a long-term solution and save Assam people from this yearly tragedy.”.
Floods wreak havoc in Assam every year, and this year has been no different. The State is facing one of the worst floods ever with many casualties and lakhs of people becoming homeless. Lives are affected in many villages and people are facing difficult times, even as it confronts COVID-19. In totality, with 28 districts submerged in the floods and more than 45 lakh residents affected, the Assam flood situation is grim, painfully displacing both humans and wildlife.
Jahnabi Phookan, National President FLO said, “The idea of EVERY VOICE MATTERS, National Campaign for Assam is to connect our great nation together to think as one, feel as one and work as one. Both Central & State Governments are stepping in to alleviate the suffering. Therefore, pre-emptive and proactive handling of the situation requires mobilisation of national political will”.
Jahnabi further said “Today you have all come together with us for a very important cause and raising awareness about Assam Floods and helping us mobilise some help for relief and rehabilitation work. I feel proud that each one of our panelists have been exemplary in their area of work and at the same time, paying it back to the society by your immense social contributions. We have tied up with Goonj, an NGO for the donations in cash and kind”.
Sharing their views
Indo fusion violinist and vocalist Sunita Bhuyan played Vande Matram during the event and also said “Assam and North East are the mainstream of India and when we say Vande Matram, it represents each and every state of our country”.
Kalpana Patowary, Indian playback and folk singer from Assam said “ I am delighted that FLO has brought the issues of Assam on National platform and said we North east should be treated like a mainstream state and a solution for this problem have to be sought.”.
Social Activist, a renowned singer and composer in Assamese film industry, Zublee Baruah said“Every Voice Matters is one great initiative that is enabling to us to speak about our people who have been affected by the Assam Floods on a national platform”.
Abhineet Mishra is a stand-up comedian “My biggest grouse is not with our ability, but I feel a lot can be done, the study on embankments can be a possibility. And I can see there is lot of intent for solving this issue.”
Bollywood singer Joi Barua said ” People need to wake up and figure out as floods have been the longest standing problem in Assam. It is for all of us to come together and think about it and focus into finding permanent solutions”.
The session was moderated by Rituparna Bhuyan Chief of Bureau, CNBC 18 and the session was put together by Ankurita Pathak, Joint Director FICCI FLO.