Reports from India today (June 9) indicated that the cholera outbreak there is under some control and that the refugee crisis may have reached its peak.
GTV PAN People living in stored sewer pipes
SV People living amongst pipes (2 shots)
SV & SCU Family in pipe eating
SV Small boy
LV Children in pipe
GV PAN Tents & people queueing
CU Women queueing (3 shots)
SV Man being finger-printed inside tent
CU People receiving rice ration
SV & CU Women cooking
SV Man eating
SV & CU Women queueing & receiving water from water wagon (6 shots)
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Background: Reports from India today (June 9) indicated that the cholera outbreak there is under some control and that the refugee crisis may have reached its peak. Some 8,000 people, mainly the East Pakistan refugees crowding into India, have so far died from the disease. The death toll continues to rise, but massive relief operations by into national agencies are beginning to have a noticeable effect -- especially in the attempts to halt the spread of cholera.
Indian authorities, however, are still struggling to accommodate and feed the estimated five million refugees stretched from the border right into Calcutta, the West Bengal capital. This film, shot in a refugee encampment in the Salt Lake area of Calcutta, illustrates the crisis.
SYNOPSIS: Any shelter at all from sun and rain -- even a sawer pipe -- is better the none as far as Commentary Pakistan refugees in India are concerned. For they have nothing when they arrive -- often undernourished and diseased: many dying by the wayside on the long journey into India -- and are grateful for whatever help they can get. The people in this camp in the Salt Lake area of Calcutta are luckier than others. They, at least, have food and shelter -- meagre though it is.
But these people are only a tiny proportion of the five million refugees who have fled from the fighting in East Pakistan ...creating enormous problems including a massive cholera outbreak, large-scale starvation, and serious over-crowding in a country that is already over-populated and poverty stricken. Reports from the area, however, indicate that the crisis may have reached its peak, and that the cholera situation -- in which an estimated 8,000 people have died -- may be under some control. The death toll is still rising, but massive international relief operations are beginning to have a wide-spread effect -- especially in efforts to halt the spread of cholera, dysentery and malnutrition.
Thousands of tons of supplies and medical equipment are pouring in to India, and more than GBP13 million in aid. has been promised to the United Nations for the crisis. However, the leader of the India relief operation, Mr B.B. Mandal, said on Tuesday that there was only one real solution. The refugees should return home to East Pakistan, he said. India was already over-populated, and could not cope. The Pakistan News Agency, meanwhile, claims from Dacca that refugees have already begun returning home, President Yahya Khan is said to have given an assurance that legitimate residents would be allowed to return, and reception camps are reported to have been set up along the border to accommodate them.