Kerala floods in August 2018 were the worst in a century. The floods claimed about 300 lives (though official figures estimated them slightly below and unofficial estimates put them much higher). The floods also rendered over a million homeless, destroying property worth over Rs. 20,000 crore (Rs. 200 billion).
Along with Kerala, Karnataka’s Coorg (Kodagu) district also suffered massive loss of life and property, though as much as Kerala.
The Central Government run by BJP was asked for help, but the government did not heed the cry, because the government in Kerala is run by its political opponent – Communist Party of India.
But Kerala was able to overcome all the temporary misery in a very short time, in spite of the Centre’s refusal to help.
All the credit goes Kerala’s civilians and southern states. Fisherfolk were quick to come to the aid of the victims of floods with their tiny boats. People irrespective of caste, creed, and culture were quick to respond. Churches, mosques, and temples were turned into rehabiiltation camps for the suffering people. You could see pictures of churces, in which Muslims were encouraged to offer namaz.
Irrespective of the negativity by the Central Government (to whom all of us pay taxes), irrespective of differences, in spite of the hatred and hate-generating fake messages/ news circulated by a few right-wing majority organisations and people, spirit of humanity triumphed. Some right wing elements (including the top executive of the country’s federal bank Reserve Bank of India) said that the floods were a curse from God for eating beef and polluting Aiyyappa temple (referring to the Supreme Court judgement permitting entry to women to the temple, which has been banned for a few centuries in the name of women’s “impuruity”)! Some people just can’t rise from the muck they roll in no matter the gravity of the tragedy!
Rains have abated; people have been provided enough and more things for their immediate living than necessary for the time-being, by their fellow citizens. People from across the globe have come forward to lend a helping hand.
A bigger, longer challenge awaits us all: rehabilitation and reconstruction of homes and lives!