A village hero Prem Verma fought against flood for his fellow villagers in his entire life, could not rescue himself from Covid 19 and left for his heavenly abode.
Prem Verma Secretary of a nonprofit organization Samta Khagaria (Bihar) was associated with the villagers of flood affected areas in his district. He ran programs for their rescues, relief, relocation during every flood and inundation and breakage of embarkments. He helped in rehabilitation of the villagers after flood. He was one of the pioneers working towards safe drinking water to the rural families in flood affected areas.
I happened to meet Premji in the month of January 2016 in context of a study on flood affected belt of India with Tata Trust. He was such a support to me in terms of providing information about the flood issues. He also accompanied me on the field visits for 3 consecutive days. It was impressive to see how every villager irrespective of age and gender used know him and showed all the respect to him. He made my work so easy by giving such positive introduction of me among the village women, and provided a ground that I could get all the information I was intended to collect. There were long discussions about the flood of Bagmoti river, villagers, local politics and their work how hard time he and his team has been facing for working with the villages during flood and post flood situation. From discussions I could sense how daring and confident personal he was.
He came to railway station to see me off and told me to call him once I reach my destination. I still remember, he told me that it was relief for him to know that I reached my destination safe and his duty was over. Afterwards we had many interactions over the line for information while compiling the report and also during festival times. Last 3 years after I left India I hardly could interact with him and suddenly saw a post in face book from Eklavya Prasad and could not believe myself. Yes, unexpected news is in heap since last one year and Premji’ demise is one of those.
I salute this village hero who fought his battle for his fellow men not fearing all the menace of flood and finally defeated by this executioner virus.
Premji you will always be in the minds of people who recognize the value of a selfless soul. Rest in Peace.
Author-Mayuri Baishya is based in Bangkok, Thailand.