Kerala is witnessing the most dangerous disaster that happened since its formation. The people of Kerala are going through the toughest-ever times of their lives. In the last nine days, 324 people have lost their lives and many are still missing. The continuous rainfall in the state has resulted in overflow of rivers and created floods. The water levels of all dams in the state have reached the maximum and the level is still rising. The shutters of 35 dams in the state are kept open and the Nedumbassery Airport in Kochi, the fourth busiest airport in the country, has shut down. The inflow of water to the reservoirs is much higher than the outflow and as a result of this, some dams even started to overflow. Several roads and bridges were washed off in the flood and transportation facilities are becoming rough. The state government, with the help of state forces and central forces, is coordinating rescue operations to help the people who were stranded in several parts of the state. Lakhs of people have been evacuated to relief camps and the numbers are still increasing. Several houses were damaged and a large number of houses are fully or partially drowned in water. The government and many organisations are working hard to provide the required facilities to the flood-affected people.
I started working as a volunteer when my friend forwarded a Facebook link to me. The Facebook post was shocking! The situation in the state is the worst ever and we all know that this is not the right time for political blame game. Even the opposition front in the Kerala assembly, UDF, has set aside politics and the leaders are cooperating with the government as this is an issue of people. But after reading the post and seeing other posts I couldn’t resist writing this.
Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund is the main fund that collects donation and provides necessary aid to the disaster-affected people. CMDRF is very much transparent as it comes under the Right To Information Act and the details of donations and allocations can be accessed by the public. Many people including Rahul Gandhi, Sachin Tendulkar, South Indian actors like Surya, Karthi, Sidharth, and various organisations are donating for flood relief through CMDRF and encouraging others to donate. But a few days ago, when the rainfall was getting intense, there was a campaign on social media which asked people not to donate for flood relief. Many people who support right-wing ideology shared posts on Facebook and Twitter that communists, Christians and Muslims are the majority in Kerala and they deserve this fate. It was very shocking that some people are spreading hatred while an entire state is facing a calamity. Adding to this campaign, K Surendran (Here’s a link to this post) who is the state general Secretary of BJP has shared the account details of Seva Bharati organization which is a part of the Sangh Parivar, asking the people to donate to Seva Bharati for flood relief activities. Neither BJP leaders nor the BJP is promoting the CMDRF. The parallel fundraising by the BJP is extremely doubtful because one can’t be sure that all the amount that is being collected by Seva Bharati will reach the needy.
Also, right-wing trolls are spreading old pictures of RSS volunteers performing rescue operations in 2012 Gujarat floods, claiming that the pictures are from Kerala. It is very shocking that RSS is misleading the people and at the same time cheating people with a parallel fundraising while the state has a very efficient disaster relief management system.
Kerala is one of the few states in India where BJP has no influence among voters and no chance for coming into power in the near future. The party managed to win their first ever assembly seat in 2016 assembly elections and has no representation from the state in Lok Sabha. The people of Kerala reject the Hindutva idea and this irritates the leaders of
the party. The Modi government at the centre has always been reluctant to the needs of the state. Last year, when Ockhi cyclone hit the state, the centre was not interested in helping the people of Kerala. The cyclone ruined people’s lives, especially that of the fishermen community. The shores in Kerala are yet to recover from the loss they had in Ockhi. The state then, submitting all necessary documents, asked for a financial aid of 1,800 crores but the Modi government allocated only 169 crores while the same government allocated 1,055 crores to Gujarat where the cyclone had made no damage. While the cyclone was hitting Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Narendra Modi was silent about this issue and was busy in the Gujarat election campaign. But he tweeted urging his party workers to help the people in Gujarat when Ockhi reached Gujarat area. This clearly shows that Modi doesn’t care about the people of South Indian states just because BJP is not winning in these states.
During this rainfall, central home minister Rajnath Singh visited Kerala and the state government informed that a loss of 8,316 crores has been occurred till that date and demanded an immediate aid of 1,220 crores for the relief operations. But he allowed just 100 crores. The Modi government and BJP is clearly taking revenge on the people of Kerala just because there people vote for the Congress and the communists.
The national media is trying their best not to report the floods in Kerala. The people who held non-stop debates on cinema about a fantasy queen, shut their mouth when Kerala is facing such a big disaster. The news channels in Kerala, mainly Asianet, Manorama and Mathrubhumi have started helplines in their offices which have become of a great help to the people stranded in their houses. They have cancelled all the scheduled programmes and are helping the people.
Kerala, the only state in India which has better human development indices that can be compared with the European countries, is the most developed state in the country. The state has successfully blasted BJP’s air-filled ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ balloon. The national media always tried to degrade Kerala by spreading the fake news that Kerala is full of terrorists and jihadis.
Dear Arnab, Navika and all other journalists of national media, the 3.5 crore people living in Kerala are Indians. The tax collected from the south Indian states is used to reduce the burden made by north Indian states. So we need that consideration and this is our demand, not request.
Kerala is facing a disaster and we need your help. Many homes have been destroyed and thousands of people are now homeless. Search for #keralafloods on Twitter and you can see the calamity that affected the state. The government and other organisations are working hard to restore the normal life of the people.
You can also donate to CMDRF.