India Floods: The Barren Land of Worries
Lakshmi Devi, a 45 year-old single mother from Dumaith Badwala village in Kalsi, looks endlessly at her barren land which was once blooming with green and colourful seasonal crops and flowers.
The flash floods which lashed the northern state of Uttarakhand in June have destroyed everything which she had acquired after toiling hard day and night for 20 long years.
Lakshmi’s husband had left their family 4 years ago, nobody from the village knows where he is.
“He used to drink day and night and also fight with us…but one day he suddenly disappeared and now I don’t want him to come back and add to our worries,” she says.
Lakshmi came to Kalsi with her husband and his family after she was married.
She has a 20 year-old son who works in the city of Chandigarh some 80 miles away and earns 5,000 rupees (£55) per month, as well as a 9 year-old daughter who studies in class 3 in the local village school.
After the horrifying night of 17 June when the waters of the Yamuna river flooded and damaged Lakshmi’s fields and home, she had no option but to flee away with her young daughter to save their lives.
After crying over her loss for a few days and out of options, she went to a nearby village which is on a slightly raised platform to look for a temporary shelter for her and her daughter.
After much pleading the owner of the house agreed to give her a room for 1,000 (£11) rupees per month.
No means to earn
She has no means to earn her livelihood now. Her everyday schedule is to visit her destroyed home and collect whatever she can find after digging through a thick layer of rubble left by the river water.
Her only concern at present is to find a shelter of her own so that she make sure her daughter is safe. But she sees no future amidst the barren land of worries.
Lakshmi Devi is one of the 110 families (550 people) who received food baskets for 30 days and relief materials from Save the Children as part of or response to the floods in Uttarakhand.
Our teams in India are supporting families like Lakshmi’s affected by June’s flooding in Uttarakhand but we need your support:
Please donate to our Emergency Fund
This post was written by Devendra Tak, Media Manager with Save the Children India