MANGALURU: C M Hussainer, 45, a mason, has not been working since August 17. A laddle has replaced the trowel in his hand and he is mostly found in the kitchen of the Government School in Kallugundi village of Sullia taluk, which has doubled up as a relief centre sheltering over 150 flood-affected people of Kodagu.
Hussainer, who lives just behind the school, is one of the dozen villagers who have turned volunteers for the relief centre working as cooks, running errands and even contributing their might. Ask Hussainer, a father of two, as to how he meets his family expenses without going to work, pat comes reply: “God will take care of it. Right now, my job is to help these people who are in distress.”
The villagers have come up with a WhatsApp group to ensure that the people in the relief camp face no difficulty for want of things until their stay in the village. Though relief materials have been pouring thick and fast, some things are in short, for which the villagers chip in.
Soon after the demand for anything is raised at the relief centre, it is posted in the WhatsApp group and the members ensure that it is provided at the earliest. Be it vegetables, hot water or even cellphones for those who have lost connectivity in the devastation, help has been pouring in the form of cash and kind.
“They are like our guests now. Its our duty to reach out to their needs during this time of difficulty,” says Yamuna, former president of Sampaje Gram Panchayat, who has volunteered as a cook along with Rathna, Bhavani and two others from the same village.
Last Sunday, the chicken stall owners of the village donated about 60 kilos of meat for the people at the relief centre. On Bakrid Day, it was the turn of a businessman Iqbal Elimale who provided chicken, rice, ghee and other materials required for a sumptuous Eid lunch.
Kishore B S, treasurer of Sarvajanika Ganeshotsava Sangha in Kallugundi, said they have decided to keep this year’s Ganesha Festival simple in view of floods. There will be no sports and cultural programmes. Even the procession will be simple, he said.