On the left side of one of the two rooms in the tiled house, a cot with its sides fenced hanged from the ceiling like a cradle. Household articles with modesty written on them - chairs, almirah, table - lay nearly submerged in water. One could spot a cooking stove and an LPG cylinder placed on a table in the other room.
The newly-acquired quasi-aquatic character of their house in Mundar near Kallara has redefined the daily routine of Kunjamma and Kuttappan, ever since it was inundated following the heavy South-west Monsoon. The couple has to wade through knee-deep waters to attend to other daily chores including cooking, before they retire to the ‘cradle’ bed in the night.
They sent their only son, who is studying in class 10, to the house of their relative, when the water level started rising. Domestic animals including goats were shifted to a make-shift ledge set-up in a dilapidated old house nearby.
The story of Kunjamma and her 60-year-old husband Kuttappan is not much different from that of the 1,000-odd families in Mundar, an agricultural village in Vaikom taluk. Every year, the monsoon brings to this agricultural village a pool of miseries. Paddy fields in wards one and two of Kallara panchayat, approximately sprawled over 3,000 acres, get inundated. Locals say that there is no sustainable project to address the woes of the residents here.
Many of them have to spend a significant part of the monsoon months in relief camps. Some times, if the rains are heavy, the water levels do not come down for two to three weeks even after the end of monsoon, since Mundar lies lower than sea level.