KOCHI: It’s where they had shared their joy, but when earth caved in following a spell of heavy rain on August 17 last year, what stood in place of their living room was a deep 30-feet gorge. Joseph Chacko, of Koduvelil House at Chelachuvadu in Idukki, was left with only a tiny room, where five members of his family, including a one-a-half-year-old child, squeeze into day and night.
If the sight from outside evokes sympathy, you feel scary once you step into the ruined remains. The walls and tiled roof are held together by a plastic rope! They do not seem to have any option to change their destiny, but stare at it.
Chacko, his wife Beena, son Jubin, daughter-in-law Sruthi and granddaughter Niha have been living in this dilapidated house for the past one year. They take shelter in a neighbour’s house when it rains heavily. “After the house collapsed, we took refuge in the relief camp for 10 days. Later, we shifted to a rented house hoping that the government would give rent.
But as nobody turned up to help, we were forced to return to this house,” said Beena.The Kanjikuzhy panchayat initially refused to sanction compensation. But when Chacko demanded a certificate that the house was habitable, they sanctioned `4 lakh as compensation.