Kosi River: Life and death for people of mithila

September 9, 2008 at 2:10 am 1 comment

Kosi River: Life and death for people of mithila

– Nihar Ranjan
Known as “Sorrow of Bihar”, the river Kosi brings both life and death to the people of mithila. However, when I say life, I mean just a mean of making both ends meet. When I say death, I mean the worst ever devilish form of any river.

Life in Mithila: Once you enter in the Mithila region of Bihar(or any part of Bihar in general) you will see the pall of gloom desceded till where your eyesight might go. Poor people, malnourished children moving vagarantly around railway stations either begging or selling “Chana (fried Gram)”. One more thing that you will notice while enetring the mithila region is sudden upsurge if Peda( a milk product) sellers. From train window you can see the broken muddy roads and overcrowded buses plying on them. There is no industry. Literacy too very bad. All you will see is dicthes and large waterlogged areas . Some green paddy fields and maizes as well. People feeding themselves “Khaini (tobacco)” for kick and ready to work. Loudspeakers airing marriage songs from distant places. People feeding cattles in front of huts. Groups of people gossiping about what government is doing or their local politicians are doing or simply whats going on in the village. Yes this is real mithila. My motherland. My dear motherland, I always love it, despite all odds.

Scourge of Kosi: Kosi river has total control of the people of mithila. Floods every year were part of life for its people until early 50’s where embankment was built on Kosi. However even after 50 years from then, nothing has changed much. People are still poor. Roads are still bad. and same old everything. People still die of waterborne diseases. Every year pear die of diarrhea, kala-zar due to the lack of health care. Because of poverty, people heavily rely on stomach filling but nutritionally null diet. May poor families just eat steamed rice (Bhaat) and some salt and mustard oil and few jalepenos (Mirchis) to keep their throat watery enough to keep those morsels of Bhaat getting stuck in their throat. Those who live in villages close to the river fish very often and their is plenty of fish thanks to the Kosi river. So fish is part of their food there. Thats only for the villages which is really close to the embankment. These areas are far from the modern world. Though some villages in these remote viallges have some televison sets radios and now mobiles phone too, but that doen’t mean development. The healthcare is very poor. People have to come about 20-30 kilometers to get checked for a deisease in a good Hospital of their area. Every year roads are broken by waterlogging and heavy rains. Once they get broken , it takes years to repair them, forget about rebuilding them.

Why Kosi is life of Mithila: Since there is no industry in the region, people either farm or fish as a means for their living. A small percecntage of people rely of odd goverment jobs. Farmers in the areas of river shore get highly fertile land by the river and usually prouduce good enough grain ( Rice, maize) and Moong for thier uses provided their is no flood. Besides , fishing from the river gives them cash. Aprt from that people grow “makhana” and thats gets them money too. But all of this is just enough to feed themselves and buy some clothes. If they need some expensive operation, they just cant afford it and mostly people still die of diseases that can be easily cured if you have some money. They can’t even make their houses of bricks because they don’t have money. They keep waiting for schemes like Jawahar Aawas Yojna and similar ones to get some financial aid.

Why Kosi is death to them: I don’t need to answer. See the current flood and you will how the whole area has been swept way in Kosi’s womb. Whatever the river gave to these poor has been taken back.


Entry filed under: Articles. Tags: , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. santosh kumar jha  |  January 19, 2009 at 11:41 am


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