The day started off as a routine one for me. Along with a volunteer and our associate Mr. Rajendran, I reached Devikulam Grama Panchayat. I travelled through bumpy roads enjoying the scenic beauty of Munnar to reach my destination. As part of our damaged well validation exercise, we visited Mr. Sabu’s house. He and his family welcomed us with a warm smile, offered bananas and passion fruits from their garden.

While in his house, I noticed a heap of debris – when asked, Sabu shared that his house was destroyed due to the recent landslide in Kerala. Currently, he lives with his elderly mother, wife and two daughters in the tarpaulin shed. He said “Thanks to CARE India for providing the shelter kit. We are using all the items given in that kit, especially those 2 blankets which were given as a part of the shelter kit are helping us to stay warm in this extremely cold weather”.

His family members thanked us for offering to clean their damaged well which serves water for the nearby seven houses. When talking to Sabu, he shared, “We are grateful to you all for scheduling to clean our well that caters to nearby seven families. At the moment we have to travel a long way to fetch water from another well. Once CARE India cleans the periphery, interior wall, exterior wall of the well, de-weed the surrounding and does chlorination, it will be highly helpful for all us as a community”. We explained to Mr Sabu, as a part of the exercise, CARE India will not only clean the well, but also will be educating them in maintenance aspects. He immediately asked, “Will all the other wells in the surrounding area will be cleaned?” and we confirmed that we have validated 16 wells for cleaning in Devikulam Grama Panchayat.

When finished with our work, a neighbor of Mr Sabu, volunteered to walk us till the main road. On the way, he shared that even his house had damages, but his farm was safe, so his livelihood is intact. He recommended us to help Mr Sabu.

It was great to see how the community there was so giving, despite all their hardships. Mr Sabu who has lost almost everything in the recent floods, offered us whatever he could from his garden and thanked us for scheduling to clean his well as well as wells of other people in the community.On the other hand, his neighbor despite his partial house damaged said that he could manage his living. He did not ask anything for himself or his family but requested us to help Mr Sabu.

Hari Balaji VR