August 2, 1981, Forty Years Ago: Flood Woes

Floods in the major rivers of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar had by the night of August 1 engulfed 37 districts in the two states, while in Assam the deluge compelled the authorities to seek the help of the army in Dibrugarh subdivision for relief and rescue work. According to official reports, about 9.3 million people were in distress in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar caused by heavy rains and floods which have destroyed crops, flattened or washed away houses and breached roads. The Army was called out to assist the civil authorities in Telpani area of the Dibrugarh subdivision. The surging waters of the Buridihing washed away 200 metres of the embankment on July 31.

Jaipur Doc Awarded

A 54-year-old doctor from Jaipur who has spent the past five years developing artificial legs for thousands of amputees has been selected to receive the 1981 Ramon Magsaysay award. The award established in honour of the third president of the Philippines cited Dr Pramod Karan Sethi for “applying his surgical genius” which enabled the crippled and limbless from Rajasthan to resume near-normal lives. The artificial leg Dr Sethi and his associates have devised is called Jaipur foot. “When a formerly legless man with his new Jaipur feet and limbs bicycles off to his village, he is a new man with an opportunity to become a productive member of the community,” the citation noted.

Cong (U) Accounts

The Reserve Bank of India has instructed all the banks in the country to freeze the accounts of Congress (U) following instructions from the Union government. A circular to this effect issued by the Agriculture and Credit Department of the RBI was sent to all state, central and primary cooperative banks on July 25. The circular stated: “The Election Commission has derecognised the Congress U and declared the Indian National Congress (I) as the real Congress. This decision of the Election Commission may please be taken note of with a view to ensuring that the deposits of the Indian National Congress are not allowed to be withdrawn or operated upon by the party which has been derecognised.”

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