BHOPAL: Though it is no longer raining and the flood waters have receded, the woes of Damodar Rawat, 42, a resident of Khiriya Sunwai village in the Narwar Tehsil of Shivpuri district, are not over. The small village is about 17 km from Narwar.
The around 50 members of his extended family, comprising the wives and children of the five Rawat brothers, have returned to their homes and are trying to cope with the damage done by the flood.
All of them, along with their cattle, had taken refuge on a ‘Tapu’ (an elevated mound) about four km from their home after water entered their village at 2 am on the intervening night of August 2 and 3.
“We woke up to the sound of water entering our home. We immediately untied our 15 cattle heads and left the home. We did not take anything with us. At that time, the priority was saving our lives,” Rawat told Free Press over the phone.
They lived on the ‘Tapu’ for three days, surviving on food supplied by the residents of the nearby villages. The villagers also provided fodder for the cattle. “We did not receive any help from the administration. Patwari sahab came, saw our condition and left,” he said.
A villager showing grain damaged in floods | FP
Women removing sludge accumulated after the flood-water receded | FP
Rawat and his brothers jointly own about 50 acres of land. The standing paddy crops on their fields have also been destroyed. Their household goods have been swept away and about 25 quintals of wheat, rice, gram and mustard stored in their house has got wet. “We are now drying the grains for feeding them to cattle,” he said.
Some parts of their house, which were kuccha, have collapsed. The pucca parts have also been damaged. “There is slush all around. All the family members are busy cleaning the place,” he said. “Our family members, especially women, broke down on seeing the condition of the home,” he said.
There is no electricity and they are using vehicle batteries to charge their mobiles. The prosperous farmer family is now dependent on other villagers for food. “We have been ruined. Our home and the soiled clothes on our bodies are the only things we are left with,” Rawat said.
Hemant Rawat, another resident of the village says that of the 15 kuccha homes in the village, 12 have completely collapsed, rendering around 100 residents homeless. The pucca houses have also been damaged.
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