PATNA: Hungry flood victims are eating rats in Bihar as the stagnant floodwaters in the villages have caused acute scarcity of food materials.
Villagers and witnesses said poor flood victims are not only eating rats but also selling them at exorbitant rate to earn money.
“We are catching and eating rats under compulsion as we have no food to eat. We can’t move outside in search of livelihood as our villages are flooded,” Prabhu Sada told a local media today. He is a resident of Banahi village under Salakhua block in Saharsa district.
Rats are the easy targets as they are fleeing homes to take shelter in safer places with the overflowing water flooding their holes in villages.
Former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi also expressed concern over scarcity of food grains in the flood-hit districts of Bihar, prompting the villagers to survive on rats.
“Such is the scarcity of food materials that the hungry villagers are surviving on rats. The poor rats are being sold for Rs 40 a kg,” said Manjhi today.
Reports said although the chief minister has ordered for supply of food materials to the food victims, they are not reached to many victims.
The state government authorities, however, said 15,000 dry food packets each were being rushed to the flood-affected districts.
According to an official report, floods have affected a total population of over 2.19 million settled across 1,789 villages in 10 districts of Bihar.
The worst-affected districts are Purnia, Kishanganj, Araria, Drabhanga, Madhepura, Bgalapur, Katihar, Saharsa, Supaul and Gopalganj.
A disaster management report said floods have claimed 26 lives and destroyed standing crops in 90,000 hectares of lands, besides also damaging thousands of homes.
On Thursday, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar conducted an aerial survey of the flood-affected areas as the overall flood situation turned further grave.
Soon after conducting the aerial survey, the chief minister held a meeting with the officials at Purnia airport and reviewed the flood situation. At the meeting, he directed the officials to launch massive relief and rescue operation.
Image Courtesy: Dainik Bhaskar