More than 50,000 volunteers across the state of Kerala are helping out to drain out water and clean homes before people can leave the relief camps. They are working as carpenters, plumbers and electricians and helping out ordinary people in the time of crisis, restoring a new hope in humanity.
Aarthi Vaidyanthan is a Disaster Management Consultant based in Tiruchi.
The Kerala floods may have resided but what it has left behind is a tremendous challenge. As people return back to their homes from the relief camp, what remains to meet them are often dilapidated structures, ruins of assets and a huge loss that might take years to be compensated. Kuttanad in Kerala was one of the first places in Kerala to suffer the damaging floods.
As the rainwater led to flooding across Kerala, people were taken to rescue camps in schools, colleges and auditoriums. The task that lies in front of the government in a place like Kuttanad is to enable more than 1.5 lakh people to return back to their homes. Several hundred volunteers along with the help of Panchayats are carrying on the massive operation of cleaning. Kuttanad is located in a low lying area of Kerala and thus many of its paddy and rice fields are still submerged.
The cleaning -up campaign will go on over the next three days. For taking up the work of restoring cleanliness to the area more than 50,000 volunteers are working day and night. The volunteers who are taking part in the process are draining water from fields and cleaning homes and clearing the slush. From carpenters to plumbers and electricians, it is the volunteers who are providing essential services to the locals whose homes have been devastated.
The panchayats are also working towards making sure that clean water reaches to the localities. The state of Kerala will need enormous time to deal and heal with the aftermath of the flood situation. The work however done by the volunteers in places like Kuttanad is commendable. It is the spirits of the local community alone that can restore normalcy in flood affected Kerala.