The Kosi flows from
Nepal into Bihar. It is a turbulent river, continuously changing course. Over
the years it has been forced to flow between embankments. Although the river
cannot be confined by walls, the state government insists on creating kilometres
of mud walls. When the river rises, people break the embankments at many places
to enable the flood waters to flow out, lest they drown in it. And year after
year, the government remakes the embankments. This has created persistent
The embankments meant to protect people living
along the rivers have breached often. The Kosi breach of 1984 was the worst of
them all; it washed away villages, drowned many and left millions homeless. The
floods of 1987 too created numerous breaches on the embankments.
here talk about the floods all the time – which, between the old and the newly-constructed
embankments, have become even more devastating.
The film featured here was shot in August 2015. It was made as a part of Sayantoni Palchoudhuri's 2015 PARI fellowship.
Camera and editing by Sambit Dattachaudhuri, a self-taught
cinematographer and editor. Over the last two years he has been collaborating
and working on stories related to farming, public health and education.