Photo Essay – Bihar Diary VI, Dignity at All Cost
Losing everything but not grace.
[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]
In September, 2008, the Delhi Walla went as a volunteer to the flood-hit districts of Bihar. Things were dire: poverty, loss, death. But the countyside was beautiful – water everywhere. Villages and farm fields had disappeared under the flooded river and the partially-submerged huts looked pretty.
But what about the people who lived in those huts?
The saddest part was meeting refugees, especially children, who appeared to be much happier in relief camps than in their homes in remote villages where there were no schools, no doctors, no food.
Hopping through such hopeless scenes, I stumbled through a heartwarming story of a love lost and recovered but it wasn’t even two days and I started missing my Delhi. My urban soul was done with the heart of darkness.
Like a disaster tourist, I also clicked bhookha-nanga pictures: hungry, crying, screaming, grieved people.
However, I also came across victims who might have lost much in the calamity but not their dignity. I clicked their pictures, too. This final post in my Bihar Diary is dedicated to them.
We’re in it together
More smile, please
Need no pity
Vulnerable, and strong