Incessant rains and severe flooding have rendered several people without homes, food or even a livelihood
As the waters recede, many of the relief camps have been dispersed. Several families, whose houses are damaged fully or partially, are forced to live with their neighbours or relatives, sharing food, clothes and space. Here are few people sharing their ordeal
“We had taken one acre of land on lease to cultivate paddy. The fields were ploughed and ready for the next season. Now, we will not be able to resume cultivation any time soon. I have no idea how would we pay back the landowner,” says Sharada, a resident of a village in Panamaram, Wayanad
“I am still trying to figure out what would I do once I go back. I went and checked the place where our house stood. There is nothing there, except a heap of mud bricks and broken tiles,” says Vinod, who has been staying at a relief camp with his pregnant wife Abita for more than two weeks
“It was 4am in the morning when the water came rushing in and we had to run for our lives. We could not take anything with us. Now that our house is also gone, we have no place to live. Where will we go with two young daughters?” asks Vasantha, who children Arathi (13) and Arya (12) are now at a relief camp
“I have no bag, books or uniform left to take to school once it re-opens after Onam holidays,” says Sunisha who is in the fourth grade. She was trying to dry her damp books. The flood waters came with no warning and she could not take along any of her books, as her family ran for life. “There is no electricity and we don’t even have any firewood left to cook food,” says Ambili, Sunisha’s mother
“My children have only eaten few pieces of bread since morning. We have no food or water,” says Sunitha, a mother of four. They are just back from the relief camp and found nothing left in the place where their house once stood
“I have only one prayer that the Onam holidays should get over soon, so that my children can go back to hostel. There they will at least get food three times a day,” says Shankaran. His children—Akhil and Akhila—study at a government school and stay at the hostel there. They have no place to stay or food to eat, when they came home after the school closed for Onam break. Shankaran has no work as the rain continues and hence no money to buy food for his children
“We are nine people living here. Though the volunteers are helping clean our place, it will not be very safe to live in here with small children. We do not have water or toilet here. The roof can fall down anytime,” says Gopalan as he watches the NCC volunteers clean his house.
“There is nothing much left. But, we are checking if there is anything that is still usable,” says Rajan as he salvages household items from the debris. Rajan is a daily wage labourer, who has a family of six to look after
“Luckily this sack of rice has not washed away. We cannot afford to throw it in the waste. I have washed it properly. We can use it once it dries,” says Meenakshi, as she dries a sack of salvaged rice
The future of Nikitha and her family looks bleak. “For the time being, I am staying with my neighbour. But how long can we depend on others?” says Janaki, Nikita’s mother. Their father left them a year ago leaving behind Janaki and four little children. Right now they are living at the mercy of their neighbours
“I want to continue my TTC (Teacher’s Training Course), but right now survival has become our primary concern. I will have to go for daily wage work at least for a year, to come out of the situation we are in,” says Shyama while sitting in front of their house that lay in ruins
“Resuming agriculture on this land is impossible for at least the next two years. The topmost and most fertile layer of the soil has been washed away. There will not be any yield even if we plant something here,” says Jose, a coffee farmer from Neervaram. His plantation has been completely destroyed in the floods. It was the fruit-bearing season for coffee, the most important time of the year. A farmer’s fortune for the year depends on this season. Several farmers in Wayanad face the same plight
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