During 1924 deluge, Mahatma Gandhi, collected Rs 6000 for Kerala. Through his publication, ‘Young India’ and ‘Navjivan’ he urged people to contribute to the “unimaginable” misery. People donated gold and their small saving for the relief work of “Mahapralayam of 99” (Malayalam year 1099).
How similar are the two deluges
The flood in 1924 was in Travancore, Idukki, Thrissur and Kottayam. The same places were flooded this time too. The similarity ends there.
The great deluge of Kerala, 2018, is greater than the great flood of 1924. There was massive destruction of infrastructure and property. While thousands of lives were lost in the flood 100 years ago, thanks to the rescue operation in 2018, the heavy casualty was avoided.
If the water reached 6 ft then, now it was more than 8 ft.
Unlike in 1924, now Kerala was on the path of rapid development. Kerala has the highest development index. There are IT parks and Startup hubs generating jobs which in turn improved the quality of life of the people. There are hi-tech buildings and roads that lead to every nook and cranny of Kerala.
As the infrastructural development was at a rapid pace, the loss was also massive. 221 bridges were destroyed, 10000 km of road damaged and 3 lakh farmers were affected. The Government of Kerala has estimated a loss of more than $3 billion (Rs 20000 Crore).
Dream homes shattered
A house of one’s own is everyone’s dream. Kerala is famous for the huge mansions built along the length and breadth of the state. Even the poorest of the poor own a piece of land and a house in it. They make their houses as cosy as they can afford.
The flood completely destroyed 7000 houses, mostly of the poor. 50000 houses were partially damaged. Because the water gushed into the houses and engulfed the house for two-three days, some houses have become weak. They are not safe to stay.
Since furniture was not waterproof, most of the things were destroyed in the water. The water entered the cupboards, shelves and kitchen. Soiling the clothes, kitchen gadgets, cars, grocery and documents. They have nothing left other than the clothes they were wearing when they were rescued.
The earning of a lifetime was gone with the waters. Some of the houses were on loan. Now they need extra money to restore their homes. The houses are to be cleaned and sanitized. The electrical and plumbing lines are to be repaired. Books and uniforms are to be brought for children. Medicines were washed away.
In schools (especially government schools) the entire furniture, documents, books (including library books) and computers were spoiled. Restoring the schools is a mammoth task which includes labour and finance.
Some hospitals were also flooded causing damage to the medical equipment and medicines.
Some still in camps
The people of Kuttanadu are still in camps. The water has not receded properly. They are basically hardworking farmers. With a little support, they will back to life very soon.
Tragedy strikes twice
A lady tailor’s husband died suddenly of a heart attack ten years back. Her youngest child was 6 months old at that time. She supported her family of three children and in-laws by stitching. After the flood, only the house is left. Everything inside the house was destroyed.
Her story represents the story of more than one million who were displaced or remained on the rooftop until the water receded.
A heart-warming story
One man who lost a few of his household items in the flood gave a cot and a mattress to his neighbour. Because when he had lost only something his neighbour lost everything.[/plain]
Funds Kerala received so far
The Central Government has promised Rs 600 crore. The donations in the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund has crossed Rs 700 crore so far. In total Kerala has received around Rs 1300. And if the UAE Government provides Rs 700 crore, the aid will reach 2000. Still, the State needs ten times more funding for rehabilitation.
How the fund helps in rehabilitation
The fund will not only take care of the reconstruction of the roads and bridges but also help in rebuilding houses and rehabilitating the victims of the flood. The funds will also provide relief to the farmers. They had taken heavy loan hoping to reap a profitable harvest during Onam. Unfortunately, a few days before Onam, the crops were destroyed.
How to #HelpKerala
Massive fund for rehabilitation is required. What we can do is to donate generously to the Chief Minister’s Distress relief fund.
Account number: 67319948232
Bank: State Bank of India
Branch: City branch, Thiruvananthapuram
IFS Code: SBIN0070028
Name of Donee: CMDRF
Providing material support
Almost every school and institution in India is sending material support to Kerala. You can contact the nearest schools and colleges to know if you can contribute in some way.
When the people are returning home from camps, empty-handed, they need the basic essentials to start their life once again. Some of the items that are required are:
- Stationery for children (Notebook, pen, etc.)
- Gas stove
- Nighties and Lungies (Unused)
- Water resistant chappals
- Rice and green gram
- Mat (Chatai)