KOCHI: Mary, 71, stayed alone in her little house at Thuruthusserry, near Nedumbassery. She had five goats and a cow, which earned her a livelihood. The flood waters damaged her house and swept away her livelihood. There was nothing left, but heaps of mud in her house.The elderly woman was desolate and was staring blankly at the visitors at the relief camp at St Francis Assisi School, Athani, when Congress President Rahul Gandhi walked in.
He walked up to her unexpectedly, held her hand and tried to console her. Mary couldn’t hold back her emotions as Rahul held her close and assured all help. Tears rolled down her sunken cheeks and she couldn’t utter a word. “My husband Varkey died 21 years ago and the three sons are living separately. I lost five goats and a cow in the flood. My house was completely destroyed. Though the house was cleaned it may collapse any time. I used to for the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme and due to the flood there was no job,” she said.
The title deed and other documents of the house were also lost. Hearing her plight, Rahul directed Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala to take all steps to provide assistance to the hapless woman.
Aswin Antony, a Class VIII student of Angamaly Holy Family School, also got an opportunity to have a word with the Congress chief, whom he had seen only on TV. “He asked my name and inquired about my ambition in life. I answered that I wish to become an Army officer. He patted my shoulders and wished me all the best,” said Aswin.
Aswin, along with his father Antony and mother Soosan, who are residing in Angamaly, lost all their valuables after their house in Cherannallur was submerged in the flood.The Congress president who was scheduled to reach the camp by 4.30 pm arrived there only by 6.10 pm. He interacted with the inmates for about 10 minutes.Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, KPCC president M M Hassan, AICC general secretary K C Venugopal MP and Anwar Sadath MLA accompanied him.