Three years post Kerala deluge, Six-year-old returns to see Cheruthoni dam gates open

“Suraj was already down with fever when I left home in the morning that day. When I returned by noon, his condition had become serious.

Published: 20th October 2021 06:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th October 2021 06:21 AM   |  A+A-

Suraj and father Vijayaraj watch the water level rising in Cheruthoni river after the authorities raised three shutters of the dam on Tuesday | EXPRESS

Express News Service

IDUKKI: A rescue team member running through the rickety and teetering Cheruthoni bridge to fetch an ailing child when the river water was gushing was a heart-rending scene at the time of the 2018 flood. 

The boy, who was three then, didn’t miss seeing the dam water entering Cheruthoni town on Tuesday. His father Vijayaraj carried him to the reconstructed bridge and described to him how he was saved by the rescue team on August 10, 2018, when the authorities opened all five shutters of Cheruthoni dam.

“Suraj was already down with fever when I left home in the morning that day. When I returned by noon, his condition had become serious. Since he needed medical help, I took him to the hospital despite the rain,” Vijayaraj said.

However, the river had swollen and the authorities stopped people from using the bridge. When the rescue personnel came to know about the child’s condition, one of them grabbed Suraj and ran through the bridge to take him to the hospital. Within seconds, the bridge collapsed. 

Although Suraj could not understand the enormity of the incideen, the six-year-old was happy to watch the gushing waters on Tuesday. Suraj’s family, including mother Manju and sister Manjima, lives in the Idukki Colony area of Cheruthoni.


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