CHENNAI:Chitra and Mohan just had a child, a darling baby girl whom they named Yunus. How else does one express the gratitude towards a man who rescued them during the floods?
Chitra’s baby was due just days before torrential monsoon showers flooded Chennai and its surrounding, inundating the neighbourhood in Urapakkam where she lived, on Tuesday.
Like her, there were more than 400 families in the area who were left stranded, as the floodwater entered homes, reaching right up to the first floor.
When he heard and read about people crying for help on instant messaging apps and news channels, Mohamed Yunus from Nungambakkam and his friends decided to reach out to the stranded people.
But their attempts to get help from various agencies went in vain. When his team tried to bring in boats for rescue, the boatmen were reluctant. After convincing them, it took four hours to find a vehicle to carry the boats to Urapakkam.
Narrating his experience, Yunus told Express: “There was no power and people were hanging on trees and building slabs calling out for help. Near a petrol outlet there, we found two families in neck-deep water. Only after we got them into the boat we knew one among them was pregnant and her due date was just two days away. She later gave her name as Chitra.”
It took 15 minutes for the boat to reach the main road, and during this short journey, Yunus realised that Chitra was under a shock. He narrated a story to calm her down.
“She was under panic, especially after the boat almost toppled when it hit a uprooted tree. I told a story that conveyed a message that money is nothing but a piece of paper until it helps someone,” Yunus recalled.
Soon afterwards, she was taken to a hospital in Perungalathur, where Chitra delivered a baby girl on Saturday. A day later, Chitra and her husband, Mohan, named the child Yunus.
Recalling the effort by Yunus to keep Chitra strong, Mohan said that they will never forget the lesson on wealth Yunus taught them on the boat, and promised to share part of his salary with the poor and the needy each month.
Reacting to this, Mohamed Yunus said “What can be a greater bliss? I’m in Cuddalore right now helping relief operations there and will soon visit the young Yunus once I am back.”