A Kodagu family in distress, awaits Government help

Mysuru:  As rain fury, landslides and landslips have left a trail of destruction in Kodagu district, an affected family, which has taken shelter at the house of a close relative in Mysuru city, is wondering about their future. Thambukutira family of Megathaalu near Makkandur in Madikeri taluk was a happy family until the recent devastation caused by rain fury and landslides, which washed away all their dreams along with their house.

While the family’s elderly couple Thammaiah, 68 and Seethamma, 60, have taken shelter in a relief camp at Madikeri, the couple’s son Poovanna, 41, his wife Naveena, 33, children Sajjan Subbaiah, 11 and Greena Thangamma, 2, have taken refuge at a relative’s family in Mysuru.

The family had an 8-acre coffee estate, a tiled house, a jeep and a motorcycle and stayed at Meghathalu for decades. The family used to live a satisfied life from the earnings of the coffee estate and had also begun to construct an RCC house at a little distance away from their tiled house. The family had spent Rs.20 lakhs on the new house and 75 percent of the construction was over. But mild tremors that occurred at 10 pm on Aug.9, forced them to run out of their house. The family, after staying along a nearby road for sometime, returned to the house and engaged in setting right the articles that lie scattered on the floor of the house following mild tremors.

But the family members were in for a rude shock again in a week, when a huge landslide occurred on account of heavy rains on the night of Aug.16, following which all the family members came running out of their house and succeeded in climbing the top of a small hillock, where they stood on a firm area of the ground, holding their hands together. The family then saw a house nearby and ran towards it. But unfortunately for them, the house was found locked. It seems that the occupants of the house had already vacated it sensing danger. Later, Poovanna called the President of a Co-operative Society who was known to him and explained his family’s plight. The Society President then rushed to the spot where Poovanna was staying and took his (Poovanna) family members to the locked house. The President broke open the lock and allowed Poovanna’s family to stay in the house for the night.

After spending the night at the house, Poovanna’s family left for Madikeri the next morning and after a risky trek, succeeded in reaching Madikeri, when they took refuge at the Kodava Samaja relief camp. While Poovanna’s parents Thammaiah and Seethamma chose to stay at the relief camp, Poovanna’s family was brought to Mysuru by his (Poovanna) brother-in-law K.C. Nanaiah, who runs a provision store at Sathagalli. Poovanna’s son Sajjan is a fifth standard student at General K.S. Thimayya School at Madikeri and now Sajjan has to spend time at his uncle’s house in Mysuru.

Even as Poovanna’s family is yet to recover from the mental shock following the loss for their property at Kodagu, the Kodava Samaja here has extended an helpful hand by supplying groceries and other items of daily use to the family. But after losing all the properties that they had enjoyed for decades, the family is now wondering about the future, with a hope that the Government may come to their help in the coming days.

Meanwhile, K.C. Nanaiah, a relative of Poovanna’s wife Naveena, who has given shelter for Poovanna’s family, said that the family needs at least 10 years to re-settle in life. He expects the Government to come to the aid of all such affected families and give them hope of a better future.

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