Friday, November 16, 2007

They are not just traumatised...

The Statesman

Saket Sundria
KOLKATA, Nov. 15: Nearly 4,000 people cramped into a relief camp in Nandigram, merely 4 quintals of rice to feed them, that too only once a day. If they are lucky enough, a fistful of puffed rice in the evening to round up the day’s meal.
Medicines are a forgotten commodity even though hundreds of injured seethe in pain, including several children. But the circumstances, being as tragic and heart wrenching as they are, hardly surprise when the chief minister himself has disowned these unfortunate citizens of Nandigram who were hounded out by his men “who were anxious to return home”. Those sheltered in this camp are, however, facing another threat.
Trauma would be a mild word to describe their mental state as CPI-M toughs make frequent rounds of the area shouting intimidating slogans and threatening those housed in the camps. People are spending sleepless nights in the camp in a Nandigram school.
For those injured, especially children and women, things are only getting worse by the day due to lack of proper medical aid. “A fear psychosis grips women in the camps. They are not venturing out for fear of being raped,” said Ms Rituparna Mahapatra, a nurse accompanying a medical team from the city which visited Nandigram on Tuesday. Dr Tarun Mandal, a member of the team, said the government had not extended any medical facility to the injured. “We diagnosed at least 600 people, out of nearly 4,000 in the relief camp who urgently need specialised treatment. They include several children,” he said. Enteric diseases like diarrhoea pose a threat.
The doctors were today stopped by armed CPI-M goons from entering Satengabari and other affected areas despite the CRPF's presence. The administration has made no effort till now to provide any relief to the people even as their own resources are drying up.