WB Rains: Wading Through Water to Earn a Living, Life is Not Easy in Kolkata

My friend Koushik Das and I visited waterlogged Baranagar and Dum Dum, to gauge the gravity of the situation.

My Report
3 min read

Video Producer: Varsha Rani
Video Editor:
Puneet Bhatia

This September, Kolkata recorded its highest rainfall in 13 years. Yes, 13 years!

It's been raining continuously for a week and this has led to waterlogging in many areas of the city.

The rainfall started on Monday, 20 September, and after brief intervals, the situation got worse over the next few days.

The water level at various places has constantly remained above the waist level.


Water, Water Everywhere!

My friend Koushik Das and I visited Baranagar and Dum Dum to gauge the gravity of the situation.

In Baranagar, we met Robin Dey, a building materials supplier. His house has been submerged in water since the last four days. He told us that it was difficult for him and his family to cook or sleep properly.

"This is the 12th time (in this week) that water has entered my house. This has been the condition for days. The water level is not receding. We are facing problems in our daily activities, like cooking. I shifted the gas cylinder to a stool and the oven onto a table."
Robin Dey, Businessman

The condition at Dum Dum was even worse. The water level was much higher than Baranagar. However, despite the situation, many people are still traversing through the water to go to work, because their survival is at stake.

We met Rakhal Biswas, a vegetable vendor at Dum Dum, who has no other option but to step out and sell the vegetables, despite of the non-stop torrential rain.

"The bed in my house is submerged in water. The water level is up to the knee. The sales are not good at the sabzi mandi due to this situation. I usually sit at the mandi. The water level has decreased at the mandi. Here, the water level is stagnant. I have go there, regularly. What can I do? This is my daily bread. There is no work due to lockdown. I have to do this. There is no other option. There seems to be no end to our problems."
Rakhal Biswas, Vegetable vendor

The continuous rainfall has thrown life out of gear for daily wage workers as their only source of income has stopped.

"I haven't been able to go outside my home for seven days now because the road, via which I go to work, is waterlogged. It started raining on Tuesday and since then I have not gone to work. But then also, I thought of going to work in these conditions because if I do not go to work, they will not pay me. There is no earning member in the family other than me. My sister's health is not good. She suffered from COVID. The whole burden is upon me. Nobody came to see us. You can see our home and the roof. It all got destroyed."
Shefali Talukdar, Daily wage earner

However, the situation is not as bad now as it was on Monday. We saw that the repair work had begun at Dum Dum. People are expecting that in two- three days, things will get back to normal. We're hoping for the best.

(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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