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Homeless, penniless!


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Inmates of Kerala relief camp stare at bleak future

Thiruvananthapuram : Her one-story house collapsed and savings of a lifetime vanished in a flash in the rain fury that has wrecked havoc in Kerala in the past few days.

Baby, in her early 50s, lost everything in a landslip and is currently lodged at a relief camp at Kalpetta in the high range Wayanad district.

“Everything turned upside down in a few seconds…Now, we have no house, no furniture, no utensils…what will we do…I do not know how will we live after getting out from here,” says the teary-eyed woman, reports PTI.

Baby is inconsolable when she says the rain even washed away the books and certificates of her children.

Baby is among thousands of people who had to leave their houses, destroyed or damaged in heavy rains, and seek refuge in relief camps.

According to the latest official figures, more than 60,000 people, including women, toddlers and senior citizens, have been lodged in various relief camps across 14 districts of the southern state following the unprecedented monsoon rains that triggered floods and landslips in several places.

Elsey Mathew, lodged in a relief camp in Idukki district – one of the badly hit along with Wayanad – says she left home following landslips in the area.

“Around 30 landslips occurred near my house. There was no other way than shifting to the relief camp. We had to leave home, abandoning many valuables,” she said.

Abdul Azeez and Biju, natives of Ernakulam, say a blank future stares at them as they have to rebuild their lives afresh.

“Our houses have been damaged. Rain water entered every room. Wells are filled with mud and silt. Future of our children is now blank. Their books and uniforms have been washed away,” they said.

Hailing from Edaykkod in nearby Attingal, Ammu shares the heart-wrenching story of losing her tiny hut, which she got under the government’s ‘one-lakh housing scheme’ (Laksham Veedu).

Although the intensity of rains has decreased to some extent, the anxiety and fear continue to grip the people living in relief camps across the state.

Many of them are scared to return, many are clueless about where to go and many are yet to get over their loss.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had on Saturday announced Rs 10 lakh as compensation to those who lost their houses and land in the rain, and Rs 4 lakh to those who lost a member of their family. The toll in the monsoon fury since August 8 has climbed to 37.

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