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Bihar minister cuts ribbons to inaugurate relief camps

September 05, 2008 17:22 IST

With hordes of channels making a beeline to flood-hit areas of Bihar, a senior minister has got himself busy in cutting ribbons to open relief shelters.

Umesh Chandra Yadav, Industry Minister and minister in-charge of relief operations in Saharsa district, cut the ribbon to open the large tented relief camp at the sprawling Patel Maidan here on Wednesday flanked by senior officials of the local administration. Meanwhile, the distraught victims had to wait for hours to make an entry. The welcome arch leading to the camp festooned with garlands was garishly decorated.

Yadav dedicated yet another camp to the victims of the savage Kosi [Images] deluge at Kalyan Chatrawas yesterday, but as he went through the ritual of ribbon cutting to formally inaugurate, a hungry and ill-clad crowd of displaced waited outside under the blazing sun for the ceremony to end.

"Babu, yeh natak khatam hoga tab bheetar jayenge na (Sir, we can go inside only after this drama ends)," said Rama Sada, a flood victim.

"Times like these are not appropriate for ceremonial inauguration of relief camps. The hapless victims should be accommodated as soon as they arrive, there is no need to make a show of it," says social activist S C Mishra.

The minister, however, has his own explanations ready.

"I do this not for cheap popularity. Many people don't know where relief camps have come up. When the media covers such ceremonies people start coming," he retorted when asked if inauguration of relief camps with fanfare during a tragedy was in sync with the sombre mood. 


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