By Saudha Kasim
My parents and relatives in Kerala escaped the worst of these floods through a combination of sheer luck and a healthy skepticism of building anything near a water body. Most of them are in okay health, so that has helped. Our area in Thrissur also has so far not flooded because the canal was just cleaned up and widened less than a month ago by the municipality when the rains wouldn’t stop in July. They – my parents included – are marooned in their neighbourhoods with access to supermarkets for food. So far. The supply routes from Coimbatore to Kerala are still blocked as of last evening because of landslides at Kudiran and the ghat roads, according to my mother. So everyone’s unsure of how long food is going to last in the stores as well. Uncles and aunts who live in Malappuram have taken in affected families into their own homes. One maternal uncle has taken in two additional families in his house. The one uncle whose house was completely surrounded by water in Thrissur is a resourceful person who worked in the Oman Armed Forces and spent years in some of the most extreme environments on the planet and he’s managing well.
Like I said, it’s just been sheer luck that saved my family.
But I have friends whose parents are in worse-off situations and rescue teams are simply getting stretched thin. It’s looking grim with more rain coming down. It’s especially hard for children who are outside the state watching their elderly parents struggle and depend on the kindness of strangers in order to stay alive.
This is going to be a hard and long recovery and we need all the help we can get. So if you can, please consider contributing through monetary donations or in kind. Relief materials are being collected in various cities across India. You would have seen the lists, they are being shared across social media platforms. You can contribute to the relief efforts through Amazon India as well. And of course, monetary donations can be done to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund through http://keralarescue.in
There has been a lot of cynicism about contributing to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund. Please note that this fund comes under the RTI and you have every right to ask, as a citizen, for a full accounting of funds collected and how they are being spent.
Saudha Kasim is a writer and communications professional living in Bangalore.
Note: Here are some other ways in which you can contribute.