Five Moments of Pure Humanity During Chennai Floods
As Chennai returns to normalcy after the worst floods that the state has seen in a hundred years, here’s a recap of the many heartwarming acts of humanity that the city witnessed.
As people were left stranded without food, water and electricity, with no means to contact their loved ones, many volunteers stepped in and managed to save hundreds of lives if not thousands.
Here are five heartening moments from the floods.
1. Child Birth During Floods
Remember the video of the nine-month pregnant woman, being airlifted from one of the worst rain-affected areas of the city? She has given birth to healthy twin girls at a hospital.
28-year-old Deepthi Velchamy was rescued by the IAF on December 2 and shifted to the Tambaram Air Base. However, that was not the end of the ordeal.
She was rescued on December 2 and was nine months pregnant. I was in Bangalore when I received a call and reached Tambaram the next day. She then went into labour and had to be airlifted again to a hospital in Chennai. The two girls were born on December 4. I salute these brave men.Karthik Velchamy, Deepthi Velchamy’s Husband
2. The First Responders
Even before the NDRF and defence teams came to the rescue, the first respondents when the floods hit were policemen and fishermen who sailed their boats with the police to the flooded areas to help rescue operations.
The fisherfolk agreed to our request without giving any second thought. Six boats with seven men in each of them were in Kotturpuram in less than an hour. We can’t thank them enough. Their boats cost about Rs 2-Rs 2.5 lakh and they worked without expecting anything.Sam Vincent, Mylapore Inspector to The New Indian Express
The fishermen, on Wednesday, were invited to the Mylapore police station where they were served food and provided gifts for their timely help. The police have also promised to arrange for the damaged boats to be repaired and coordinate with the fisheries department to get them paid for their services.
3. The People of Tamil Nadu
73-year-old Laxman Rukmanne Katambale has a three-acre farm in a small village in Tamil Nadu. Due to a drought this year, he barely managed to break even and had already undertaken a loan of Rs 25,000. However, that didn’t stop him from visiting the Deputy Commissioner’s office to donate Rs 5,000 for the needy people of Chennai, affected by the recent floods.
Laxman lost his wife about 5 years ago and has no children. All his earnings go to charity. He also donates a cash prize of Rs 1,500 every year to the top-ranking student in his village’s government high school.
4. Work Comes First
On the morning of December 2, Radha woke up at 4 am as usual and went to the Aavin pick-up point at 5 am sharp.
By 6, she was at Srividhya Apartments, with 300 packets of milk. She had braved chest-level waters to get the milk and bring it to her customers. Just the previous night, Chennai had received 30 cm rainfall.
Following this, one resident had clicked a picture and within a week, Radha was an international Internet celebrity.
Read her interview here.
5. From US, With Love
Purnima and Rajagopal, two techies who work in the US had travelled to Chennai to get married when the floods hit. Four days before the wedding, the two families lost contact.
However, even that didn’t stop them from getting hitched.
The bride, who lives in Velachery, was rescued a few hours before the wedding, so was Rajagopal and his family – who took a boat to reach the venue on time.