From rescuing stranded people and livestock to organising free kitchens and provisions for the flood-affected, Mrinal Saikia has been at the forefront of flood relief efforts.
It is rare to see a legislator wading through chest-deep water to rescue people. But that is exactly what Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Khumtai in Upper Assam, Mrinal Saikia, did on Sunday (12 July). And the accolades have been pouring in since then.
Over the past few days, ever since flood waters of the Brahmaputra inundated many parts of Khumtai, the 54-year-old Saikia has been personally spearheading relief and rescue efforts.
From participating in missions to rescue stranded people and livestock and taking them to relief shelters to organising free kitchens and provisions for the flood-affected, Saikia has been at the forefront of flood relief efforts.
Saikia posted videos of his flood relief work on his Twitter handle two days ago. This video shows him wading through chest-deep water to rescue a woman and her two infants, who had been marooned in their mud hut. This shows him in knee-deep water rescuing goats from a pen.
He also posted a video of flood-affected people being fed from one of the mobile kitchens he started since 12 July evening.
The videos earned him hurrahs and cheers not only from netizens but also from senior party leaders. He has received congratulatory messages from Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Local journalists at Jorhat and Golaghat, the two largest towns near Khumtai, who Swarajya spoke to said Saikia had always been actively involved in community affairs much before he became an MLA in 2016.
In fact, they say, it was because of his community service and the good reputation he enjoyed among the masses that he was given a ticket by the BJP four years ago.
Saikia, they say, always takes the lead in relief and rescue efforts whenever natural disasters like floods, which are quite common in this region, strike.