Boats of hope: Assam’s unique health lifeline
The merciless Brahmaputra river flows through the northeast Indian state of Assam and splices it into two halves. The mighty river floods, inundating the remote islands of the river, submerging and eroding large parts of the state year after year. For the three million people inhabiting the 2500 islands access to modern healthcare becomes a huge challenge. The construction of permanent healthcare facilities in these parts is almost impossible due to the recurring floods. Ferrying in hope are the unique boat clinics of Assam, which have become the primary access to healthcare for the people of the saporis or river islands. A total of 15 boat clinics serve the 13 districts of the state that is known globally for its tea and one-horned rhinoceros.