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Assam: Job cards, the sole hope for Assam’s flood-hit by Rahul Karmakar August 04,2020   |  Source: The Hindu

Goalpara, one of seven aspirational districts in the state, is seeking turnaround from COVID-19 and flood. Dharmeswar Banai of Pub Zira village was one of some 10,000 migrant labourers who returned home in eastern Assam’s Goalpara district, mostly from southern and western India after the nationwide lockdown was clamped on March 25. Not keen on migrating again for work, he applied for a job card at the central screening centre before the combination of flash flood from the adjoining hills of Meghalaya and a major breach in an embankment on the Brahmaputra devastated the district.

Brittle embankments add to flood woes in Assam

He is among 1,041 such applicants given job cards with a skill test over the past couple of months. Mr Banai’s village was spared the kind of damage that Sujit Hajong’s village Dhamor Reserve, about 60 km west, suffered. The latter lost his entire paddy crop on about 5 bighas of land, as did most of some 800 families in his village. Assam has since May 22 lost 109 people to several waves of floods affecting 56.72 lakh people across 5,309 villages and damaging crops on 2.58 lakh hectares. Twelve of the dead were from Goalpara district where 4.70 lakh people — almost 46% of the total population. “I have lost the entire investment of toil and

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