DIBRUGARH, June 11 - An on-the-spot assessment of the lives of the displaced people, particularly of the children sheltered in the relief camps in Baghjan area following the gas well blowout incident, has revealed that the inmates are living in a risky condition and, therefore, require urgent intervention by the administration concerned.
A combined team from Childline and North East Society for Youth and Masses (NESPYM), who visited three relief camps in the area yesterday and conducted on-the-spot assessment, reported that rooms are over populated and that social distancing has gone for a toss. The relief materials and other logistics at the relief camps are also not distributed uniformly, although OIL and local administration has stepped up their efforts.
The team from Childline and NESPYM visited the relief camps in Rupai ME School, Rupai High School and Diyamuli TE Lower Primary School. �In the three camps, there are about 875 persons staying. Among the inmates, there are about 200 children, about 30 infants and two 2 pregnant women. Similarly, there are about 1000 people at Guijan ME and High School relief camp. The relief camps are congested and lack adequate bathrooms and toilets. Although bedding have been provided, many are yet to receive one. The camps also need safe drinking water and proper waste disposal system, besides sex segregation is a must in every camp. Some inmates are going to the nearby households to use their toilets. There is need for soap for toilet practices as also for COVID-19. Though water bottles have been provided, it is always better to have water in abundance. Among all, there is huge need for baby and children food apart from clothing requirement,� Dr Chiranjeev Kakoty, Director, NESPYM told this correspondent.
Dr Kakoty also proposed to arrange play materials for keeping the children engaged in the relief camps. Proper security including uninterrupted lighting of campus at night and post trauma stress counselling (psychologiocal support) also may be needed in the coming days, he said.
About 7000 people including hundreds of children and infants are reportedly sheltered in some 12 relief camps. Admirably the local people surrounding the camps are also providing food and other necessary support to the people staying in the relief camps. Exact number of inmates in the relief camps is hard to determine as many men are sporadically returning to their homes, fearing theft of their properties, according to student organisations.
As there is no way to know how long these people have to stay in the relief camps although reports say it will take about 4 weeks for the blaze to be stopped, certain steps must be taken for the safety and security of these children immediately, said Dr Kakoty.