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Thursday, December 05, 2019

‘The first thing I grabbed as the Yamuna rose…’

23,000 people have been evacuated since the river crossed the danger mark. The Indian Express spoke to some of them about what they made sure to take from home.

Written by Shivam Patel | New Delhi | Published: August 23, 2019 3:05:45 am
Yamuna water level, Yamuna water level danger mark, delhi floods, delhi rains, Yamuna flood, delhi yamuna river water level today, yamuna water level today, delhi news Boys help a woman to board a boat to cross a flooded lane on the banks of the river Yamuna in Delhi (Reuters)

23,000 people have been evacuated since the river crossed the danger mark. The Indian Express spoke to some of them about what they made sure to take from home.

Rajesh (25), labourer

Rajesh

“We do not keep any valuables in our house anyway, and my instinct was to protect my two infants first. Food, clothes and charpoys can be bought again, but my family is irreplaceable.”

Kajal Meena (21) grabbed hold of idols of Durga, Shiva and other deities her family kept at home: “I have a strong attachment to these and could not have seen them floating away.”

Babli Meena (25), housewife

Babli Meena

“I had packed all my belongings by Tuesday evening but I went back looking for three puppies that we had found here sometime ago. They were hiding behind some bushes. They looked scared and if I hadn’t brought them with me, they might have drowned.”

Rajkumar Kevat (50), street vendor

Rajkumar

“My immediate reaction was to get my family out to the tent and save my important documents, such as identity cards, from getting wet. I kept them in a case, put a lock on it and brought it with me before returning for the rest of the things.”

Chattrapal (50), a farmer, said, “I realised my cattle would have to be moved but I could not bring them up to the bridge. So I untied them and brought them to a patch where water hasn’t reached.”

Kirti (22), homemaker

Kirti

“We kept hens at home and after the police asked my family to move to the tents on Tuesday, I grabbed hold of the bird cage first. We can do whatever it takes to save ourselves from drowning, but what would these birds have done? They cannot even scream for help.”

Dharmendra Meena (24), Gardener

“I asked my brothers to break the lock of my bicycle and bring it with them. Yeh meri rozi roti hai, iske bina kuch kaam nahi ho payega (This is my bread and butter, I can’t work without it).”

Dinesh Morya (35), farmer

Dinesh

“The first thing I did was to grab hold of my 18-month-old son Ankit and my wife… They are the ones who are most important to me. Everything else is secondary.”

Gudiya (30) heard the news of flooding in the capital on a television she kept at home. “We had bought the television on loan and could not afford to lose it. I immediately wrapped it in a cloth and my son and his friends carried it up here,” she said.

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