Published: 23rd August 2018
This IIMC Kottayam student from Kolkata narrates her tale of being rescued in a boat during the floods
When Bidushi Das came down to Kerala, she never knew that a life-changing experience was waiting for her there
There are many people from other states who are in Kerala for various reasons -- students, stranded tourists and even people who have been living here for a few years.
One such was a PG Diploma student from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in Kottayam. Bidushi Das, a 24-year-old from Kolkata, had landed in Kerala only a month ago. She gives us a day to day account of her ordeal.
I went out for a reporting assignment at the police grounds. It was already raining heavily. I noticed the water level in the ponds and paddy fields near my residence near the H Mount post office in Kottayam had already started rising.
By the time I came back a part of the road in front of the house was flooded.
Next morning, I looked out of my room's window to see that the water from the ponds had overflown completely flood the road. Water had almost reached our porch. The power went off too around 8 am. It rained heavily throughout the day.
The PG's compound during the floods
The water was waist-high on the ground floor. It rained incessantly throughout the day, water levels rose steadily and it was almost neck-deep water outside on the road. Some rescue boats had started plying. We saw a lot of them rescuing our neighbours. Our area has small residential structures and large acres of land around them. There are approximately five to six people in each of the houses in the vicinity. Most of them had been evacuated but a few were still stranded. The family I was staying with shifted their belongings to the second floor as water came up to the first floor as well. Evacuations were being carried out mainly by the locals and the fishermen in fibre, wood or rubber boats.
There was still no sign of electricity. The water levels were rising steadily and it kept on pouring. I was really apprehensive as I had never seen something like this before or experienced anything of this magnitude ever in my life. I decided to ask my pg owner for a rescue boat. I took only the essential stuff with me -- my laptop, purse, chargers and very few clothes to suffice for a few days. I called two of my friends from college who came to the main road as there was water all around the house and in the adjacent areas as well. I was taken on a boat and trust me it was extremely scary, I saw snakes crawling past the boat. The boat was carrying more load than it could take water started to seep in through the edges. Once we reached the main road I took a bus and came to a Christian hostel in Thellakom where some of my friends were already staying. The management at the hostel let me stay free of cost, as long as the power got restored and the water did not recede. We made a field visit to a relief camp in Kottayam after my college re-opened on August 20.