Saturday, October 17, 2009

Trip to Kurnool flood victims

Today morning, I had booked the tickets to Kurnool and return too. My bus would start by 9PM from Majestic, Bangalore. We had already purchased the items to be distributed to flood victims near by Kurnool.

** I had spent my Diwali time with flood victims in Kurnool areas by distributing some of the needy items. **

17-Oct-2009 7:15 PM Started from my home to Majestic, the bus took more than an hour. At the end the bus was not moving from Majestic theatre. So took a chance to walk down to Majestic bus stand.
17-Oct-2009 8:35 PM I had met the friends Kumar (Actually Kumar is started a new trust called 'SahayamIndia' to service the public, where ever he can) and Mohan there. So the trip started with the efforts of Kumar only. God bless you Kumar.
17-Oct-2009 9:10 PM Actual Journey has been started and probably by 11PM, the bus has been stopped for dinner and had hot hot Roti and Veg curry at Chikka Ballapur area.
18-Oct 2009 6:00 AM got down at Kurnool and doesn't feel like some flood came there and went to Hotel S.V.Regency (for fresh up). While going to hotel through Auto, we were noticed the mud marks on the walls. We were inquired Auto driver (didn't ask his name) about the situation. He was explaining us like "there are areas where the water has come till mid of third floor". We met Mr. Mallikarjun (NGO, from SERUDS, Kurnool) at Hotel and asked us to get ready by 8:00 AM - 8:30 AM. Other friend (Murali) also joined us by 7:15 AM.
18-Oct 2009 8:50 AM, Had a good and nice break fast at Hotel Amaravathi deluxe, which quite opposite to Hotel S.V.Regency.

Post break-fast, we were going by Auto to SERUDS office and kind of struck in traffic jam (also traffic police was present). The traffic jam was because of about more than 50 tractors (>50) were lined up at Agricultural Market Committee Yard. I had inquire with Auto driver (Mr. Reddy) and got to know that they are clearing up all the mud piled up in the yard up to 2 feet.

Yes, we had reached SERUDS office (Location Budhavara Peta)
SERUDS and below is the team namely Kumar Mukkala (Founder of Sahayam India), Gangadhar Kotu, Mohan Vayyala, Muralidhar Reddy. The house almost dried up but no roofAlso checked the stock of items (200kgs of Rice, 100 kgs of Dal, 100 litres of Refined Sunflower Oil, 200 bath soaps, 200 washing soaps).

After 15-20 mins, we wore masks as going to all flood effected areas as a precaution. We have started the camp from here. The following is the map of what areas we had visited.
******* Map image
a. Have been to Mala giri and met the people there. Understood that they have lost everything and some of the houses are not in a position to enter in. Power was still an issue in the houses here. They are getting power only during the day time and no power during night times as the house walls are still wet.
NGO explaining the situation to our Team


b. Have been to Madhiga giri and met the people there. Here there is no big loss to the houses as almost all are buildings.
The house almost dried up but no roof
The areas a &b got flooded with water almost 35-40 feets height and people used small boats to go to the better places. In both the areas the people are daily wages couple of days back. But now, they are workless, homeless, foodless and even hopeless for some days as no one are visiting them and giving a hope. No govt officials are visiting them.
c. Have been to One town and people are still showing the flood marking points.
The house almost dried up but no roof
d. Have been to Kummara veedhi and observed that the Muncipal employees are now trying to clear off the mud from the places. In some of the streets, water was still there which was not even floating. We were observed that they are still cleaning up the bowls (which still had mud...). The area got flooded with water almost 20-25 feets height.
Mud in the placesStill water in the roadsCleaning up the bowls
e. While going towards to Jammi Chettu centre, we have observed that the school was complely with the mud and no one is clearing them. A small picture was taken there and also can be observed the car, books (including Khuran) left unattended.
Muslim SchoolThe house almost dried up but no roofMuslim booksCar in the mud
We just move forward to see how the Tungabadra and Handri rivers were sweeped off the areas. While on the way, my god, it was horrible, we were seeing in TV channels only but upfront here. There was a lorry of goods to be distributed and people are rounded around the lorry and rised up their hands to catch which ever can hold. And the people in the lorry are throwing items (rice, dal, water, ashirwad atta,....) over the air. Somebody are getting them because they are jump and catch them. Some of the goods are ground touched and there are people to even get them.
The house almost dried up but no roofThe house almost dried up but no roof
The following click would give you a real-time feel, who is even trying to get those ground touched food grains.
The house almost dried up but no roof
There was some worse here, somebody scolding her not to pick that grains. But how does the others knows what kind of hungry they are in. Heart touching .. huh?
The following picture shows you what was the level of flood in the river area. You can observe the dry rice leaves (వరి చెత్త) are hanging to the power lines (main grid lines).
The house almost dried up but no roof
You can also observe there are lots of rice bags (wet in flood water) which got wasted during the time.
The house almost dried up but no roof
The following is the cinema hall in that area.
The house almost dried up but no roof
While moving towards Adarsh Nagar/ near by Chanakya puri, I felt like more thirsty and drunk water. We went to Adarsh Nagar (earlier it was posh area) and understood that almost all the houses are getting vacated and moved to other areas even though less affected with the flood (kind of 8feets height). Luckily because of Dasara holidays, the Montissori School was closed otherwise there would have been a big issue to almost 3000 students.

By now, almost the visiting camp was done and back to SERUDS office. We were started packing the items to be distributed. I felt here like the items would not be sufficient for the people. But we were tried our best to serve atleast to some of the people.

We were actually planned to help 100 people and also distributed the tokens to the people. And were involved in packing the items to each. The items in each packet are 2kg of Rice, 1kg of Dal, 1litre of Refined Sunflower Oil, 2 bath soaps and 2 washing soaps.
The house almost dried up but no roof
Once the packing was done, we all went to Hotel Meenakshi and had nice lunch there.
By the time, we were back to office, there are almost 35-40 people are waiting for us in the sunny area. We just took rest for a minute or two and started distributed the packets. Going on fine.. Rajesh is clicking us here..
The house almost dried up but no roof
One woman came who doesn't have a token (means, she is not from the selected area but affected one), so had asked her to wait for sometime by saying "we would give you if anything left". She was scolding, cursing like why don't you select us (people living after the graveyard area; seems to be no one is going that area) also as we also lost everything. Kind of telugu version of the cursings [అయ్యా, మేము సమాధుల అవతల ఉంటాము. మమ్మల్ని ఒక్కడన్నా పట్టించుకోని చావడం లేదు. కనీసం మీరైనా పట్టించుకోండి. ఏఁ మీరైనా పట్టించుకోని చావచ్చు కదా! మాకు ఇవ్వకుండా మీరేమి బాగు పడతారులే? ]
People are coming.. and collecting, ....... coming.. coming & collecting .... ....

In between, there were other 5 women (inlcuding old aged [75-80] beggar) of same kind who doesn't have tokens. We sent 2 of them returned to get the tokens. We were sure that we could really give them but like to wait till all the token holders are collected. But they were not even ready to wait till that time. I personally convinced them to wait for sometime, ofcourse the other woman was waiting since 90 mins to 120 mins time, she had rised up like anything.. you will be destroyed, not get anything... OH MY GOD.. lots of cursings even for the good work (మీరు బాగుపడరు, మీరు నాశనమై పోతారు, ...). We understood her angryness, hunger feel and not to consider her cursings but helped our best with other victims.
4:30 PM, There was no point of waiting for other token holders and given 4 packets to these non-token holders. Still 4 more packets are pending for distribution. We had asked Akshay (attender) to distribute them to other token holders.
4:40 PM, Left from office to Konda Reddy Buruju (the fort from '' movie), Right behind, there was a Police Parade ground (below picture), which was completely gone with the flood.
Police Parade grounds, SP Office
5:10 PM, Went to Tungabadra river. The house almost dried up but no roofThe house almost dried up but no roofCross by, we also a look at ex MLA 'T.G.Venkatesh' house. It was not a house but a modernized fort. It was just on the bank of the river. Even his whole house was filled with flood water. If you see the area outside his house, all are occupied with thick mud of almost 3/4 feet height, which was still unattended and disgusting smell.

I was always being involved in a Public Relation matters (not only here, I did the same when I went to Kakinada fisher men place to distribute general medicine to them in Mar'2005). I was more happy to directly meet the victims and help them with my hands.
I am also in the plans of starting a charitable trust (the name would be "Sanjit Ram Kotu Charitable Trust") to help the poor people, old age people, ....

Happy Service. Serve the needy people. !!

~ Gangadhar Kotu

2 comments:

Mega Star said...

Thank you for what all u have done.

Vijay . said...

Great Work