India Floods: A Family’s Plight

Flood family

Twenty-year-old Kasturi and her two daughters sit in a hut made of sticks and old saris in a tent camp near Rampurum, India. She and her husband and daughters fled severe flooding that struck the area in early October. Photo by Laura Sheahen/CRS

“The water rose from my feet to my waist in five minutes,” she says.

She is nine months pregnant, and does not know where she will go for the delivery. “I will probably have the baby here,” she says. Her daughters’ stomachs are distended; it is believed they may have worms.

Kasturi and her family, like many survivors, fled to higher ground and evacuation centers like railway platforms with only the clothes they were wearing.

Many of the people affected were lower-caste daily wage laborers who work in rice or cotton fields. The crops were destroyed by the flood, and there is no work for them now. Sacks of rice that some people had saved were also destroyed but mud and water, so the survivors have no food of their own.

Flood relief

In southeastern India, villagers whose homes were destroyed or damaged by flooding receive CRS-funded plastic water jars, water purification tablets, pots pans, tarps, rope, and more. Photo by Laura Sheahen/CRS

Catholic Relief Services is distributing aid items to flood victims. The aid packages include kitchenware like pots and plates; sleeping mats and blankets; soap, detergent, and water purification tablets. Catholic Relief Services is funding the aid items to 7400 families in this area alone, and helping many more in nearby Karnataka. The government of India is providing some food rations.

– Laura Sheahen, CRS regional information officer, reporting from India

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