The floods have been bringing along devastating consequences each time it pays a visit. It catches everyone off guard and at a loss for words to describe the pain and difficulty. Times haven’t gotten better and the year 2020 feels like an impending dark cloud that is reluctant to go away. This is the third year Kerala has been hit with the floods and the battle hasn’t gotten any easier.
The floods, when it first hit Kerala in 2018, left many homeless, injured and missing, many lives were lost too. It was the worst flood Kerala had encountered since the flood in 1924. For the first time in history 35 out of the 54 dams were opened within the State and around 1/6th of the population was evacuated. It rained continuously in many parts of the State and everyone was at a loss for strategy. It didn’t get much better in 2019 and 2020 is not planning to change its course either.
Times have tried our people yet they seem to have nothing but positivity to radiate. Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic, there are still so many of people willing to step out to help others overcome this drastic situation. Keralites are quick to throw themselves into action and as a result no deluge can sink Kerala. The floods helped everyone realize the love and generosity the people of Kerala have for their land and people. People from far and near volunteered to help, sent monetary aid, offered their expertise and many risked their lives to save others. It goes without saying, we’re a strong pack.
The fishermen of Kerala were some of the first to step in and offer help. As many as hundreds of fishermen set out to help people in the worst-affected areas, they came from far-flung places, at their own risk, spending their hard-earned money to get boats and fuel to the needed areas. In areas that air-lifting was not possible or available, it was the skill of these fishermen that helped security forces rescue many stranded families. Fishermen helped in transporting essentials and rescuing people while putting their own lives at risk. This helped us confirm that not all superheroes wear capes and fly, some wield oars and paddle to the rescue.
Kerala’s expatriates helped by sending essential items and providing monetary aid. In the span of just 3 to 5 days into the disaster, help was pouring in from all over. The fact that the aid was not coming from just wealthy people but communities of Malayalis channeling efforts to make a difference is highly overwhelming. It doesn’t stop here, people who were better off in the State helped in organizing relief camps, getting supplies, spreading awareness and doing everything they possibly could to help. Many of the youth volunteered to help in many aspects of flood relief. Colleges and schools were turned into camps, and students pooled resources to provide essentials to the distressed people.
People tried to offer help using their skills and expertise, doctors came to help at relief camps, keeping the health of the evacuated people in-check. Apps were created helping people to be located and to measure rainfall in areas, though these advancements happened gradually, it was done in very less time when considered in the context. The kind hearts of its people is what kept Kerala afloat, it is what saved lives and gave hope to everyone all over the world. There were kind souls like Noushad, a street vendor, who donated his whole stock of garments to flood relief camps. Actors and celebrities like Tovino Thomas and Asif Ali who helped out in every way they can, setting examples and spreading awareness to people who then didn’t understand the severity of the rainfall and deluge. There were so many people from different walks of life pitching in to raise Kerala out of the waters.
It would be a lie to say it has gotten easier to deal with the floods this year, the Pandemic isn’t making things easier and everyone is struggling in one way or the other. At the end of it all, all we have to remember is the resilience of our people and the strength within us to overcome absolutely anything.