Around 20,000 people had to trade in their homes for a shelter from floodwaters and rain in Kerala’s Wayanad. At least 10 people have died in the massive monsoon triggered landslides and flood – they are among the 164 people who have died in the state since August 8.
Kerala has been hit by the most savage monsoon in a century, and rivers and reservoirs have been overflowing, flooding a large part of the state. At least 100 people died yesterday in rain-related incidents. Around 2 lakh people have lost their homes and take shelter in relief camps, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said.
NDTV visited Wayanad’s Munderi School, one of the 1500-odd relief camps that have been set up across the state. Over 200 families have been living here for the last 10 days. As we were shooting, we heard the children heading for a regular “relaxation” programme and we tagged along.
In one of the classrooms of the school, Haritha was singing, accompanied by young children drumming on the desks. Haritha had to leave her home near Kalpetta because of the heavy rain that has been battering Kerala for days.
She used her beautiful voice as part of a programme to lessen the stress faced by children in such camps — an initiative of the Wayanad District Disaster Management Authority and Childline.
Mujeeb, a social worker, told NDTV, “Social workers, psychologists, school counsellors are all working as a team to help these children relax. We play games, sing – it keeps them smiling.”
Laughter and shouts filled the air as the children — in the middle of the devastation brought by the rain — were allowed to be children. After singing, there were boisterous games with a balloon, dancing and a whole lot of open laughter.
Rescue efforts have been progressing on a war footing in the state. The military has pushed in more than 200 boats. Another four aircraft and three Coast Guard ships have also been brought in to rescue people marooned in areas cut off by vast stretches of water.