“The Bed, The Cupboard, The Table … Nothing Is There … The Water Had Risen Above Our Heads”

“The Bed, The Cupboard, The Table … Nothing Is There … The Water Had Risen Above Our Heads”

Caravan Magazine |
August 21, 2018

The whirring blades of a descending helicopter drew the attention of everyone present in Christian College in Angadickal village in Chengannur, late in the afternoon on 19 August.

 “Look, it’s an airplane,” a young girl told her mother, who told me that they had come to “just watch” what was unfolding on the ground adjoining the campus. For many others currently residing in this town, however, the arrival and departure of the Indian Air Force helicopters—which carried food, water and other supplies—had become an essential feature of their day. Many of them had recently moved to a relief camp set up at the college to escape the worst flood they had seen in their lifetime, and that Kerala had seen in nearly a century.

Chengannur, a taluk in the state’s Alappuzha district, is among the worst-affected regions in the disaster. The severity of the crisis in Chengannur came to the fore when the local MLA, Saji Cherian, made a desperate plea requesting airlifting operations to rescue those stranded in his constituency. “50,000 people will die tonight. I am sure,” he told the Malayalam channel Asianet late in the night on 17 August. “Please can you tell Modi … if helicopters are not brought in, we will die,” Cherian pleaded, referring to the prime minister. “We have been asking for the navy’s assistance for five days.”

Credit by- Caravan Magazine

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