Kerala floods one month after: Destroyed by floods, Chengannur cries out for help

Visiting the worst-hit places in Chengannur, the Express team was approached by many elderly people, especially women.

Published: 17th September 2018 02:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th September 2018 09:13 AM   |  A+A-

Ponnamma removes household items that were destroyed in the floods at Thiruvanvandoor in Chengannur | B P Deepu

Express News Service

CHENGANNUR: “Child! Do you have water in your car? Or can you spare me some money? If not money, maybe some clothes or food? Don’t you have anything in your car?” asks 65-year-old Ponnamma, a spinster who lives alone in her crumbling house.

This was not an isolated incident. Visiting the worst-hit places in Chengannur, the Express team was approached by many elderly people, especially women. Despair and dejection were writ large on their faces, unsure of where to and how to restart their lives.

“Many of these people don’t even know the government has begun distributing the compensation amount of Rs 10,000,” said Sarasamma, a resident of Edanad.  However, Ponnamma was sceptical. “Can you tell me as to how much the amount can buy? Try getting a mattress or two and some household goods with it,” she scoffed. Her neighbour Vani was of the same opinion.

“Do you know how much we had to spend to get our houses cleaned? A single labourer charges `800 per day. Houses need multiple cleaning and it takes around two to three weeks at least to make the building habitable. Besides, a coat of paint, cleaning of the surroundings... everything requires money. For those who can afford it, it’s a cakewalk. But for people like Ponnamma who earn their bread and butter by doing odd jobs, it is a tough task,” she said. The floods have washed away the means of livelihood of many people.

“People have locked up their houses and gone off. Cleaning and repair works are going on, so they don’t need household servants now. It will be a long month or two of unemployment and financial struggle,” said Vani. She said the authorities should ensure these elderly people living alone are notified of all the benefits announced by the government.

“They have no means of learning about the schemes. They should also ensure the benefits actually reach them instead of undeserving people who may try to exploit them,” she said.

Stay up to date on all the latest Kerala news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.