Floods are a perennial problem in Assam and Majuli – the world’s largest inhabited riverine island – is in a constant struggle for survival. The people in this fortress of Neo-Vaishnavite tradition is perennially at the mercy of the Brahmaputra.
To save the people from the onslaught of floods, a floating shelter has been built to give refuge to the residents of the island when the mighty river Brahmaputra is at its full fury.
An official stated that the floating shelter is totally a private project and not a government scheme and has been supported by the National Award winning Assamese filmmaker Sanjib Sabhapandit who is also a renowned engineer of the State.
Sabhapandit stated that the project is still under examination and can be termed as a lab-to-field project. How effective the floating shelter would be will be best demonstrated once the people board it during floods. The shelter has the ability to host 50 people at a time. Though it is still under development stage, it can still be used.
Sabhapandit, who is also a writer, engineer and business administrator has developed this Flood Relief Camp Capsule which is a portable structure with a collapsible camp system and takes two hours to assemble. The best part about it is that it has zero maintenance cost.
The floating shelter which has been designed and produced at Maanpee Creation, Noonmati, comes with a bathroom, study table, water storage tank, kitchen table and the tent is erected on barges to help the structure float on water. The shelter named ‘Mother Craft’ was demonstrated before officials and executives of the North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Limited (NEDFi) on the banks of the Brahmaputra at Nathgaon under Bhuragaon revenue circle in Assam’s Morigaon district on October 1 last year.
Sabhapandit said that he made this floating shelter especially keeping the plight of women in mind during floods – lack of privacy for flood-affected women and grown-up girls.