Assam MLA's mobile kitchen for flood victims win hearts

Assam MLA's mobile kitchen for flood victims win hearts

Assam MLA Mrinal Saikia distributing cooked food among flood-affected people in Golaghat district in upper Assam. Photo by Mrinal Saikia

Amid surging water and the cries for help, cooked food items carried in boats and distributed by an Assam MLA himself not only provided respite to many marooned people but won hearts.

As thousands got marooned in floods on Saturday, Mrinal Saikia, BJP MLA from Khumtai assembly constituency swung into action and asked his staff to cook food in a PWD inspection bungalow near Kaziranga National Park and took them in a boat for distribution among the affected.

"Many people distribute relief materials including rice and dal but I have seen those seriously affected by floods either can't cook food at their homes or are not in a mental state to cook food. So I decided to distribute the cooked food myself so that they don't remain hungry or don't eat unhygienic food outside," Saikia told DH from Dergaon in Golaghat district in eastern Assam, about 180-km from here.

"Today we have distributed fresh cooked rice and dal among bearly 2,000 people. We have covered between 1,800 to 2,200 people daily ever since the flood hit our state on Saturday. We have distributed food in five boats among about 10,000 people in at least 20 villages so far," he said.

He started the initiative with his personal money but is now accepting food items or donations from anyone willing to help the flood-affected.

Saikia started the initiative last year but it benefitted more people this year. "Initially we took the food to many homes but today we distributed among those taking shelter in relief camps," Saikia said.

More than 57 lakh people in over 4,600 villages have been affected by floods so far of which 1.51 lakh are taking shelter in 816 relief camps.