Meghathal village is situated in Kodagu district of Karnataka is a picture of lush green valleys that offers enchanting aroma of coffee. Kodagu is the birthplace of Kaveri river and a hilly terrain. The pleasant climate and hilly terrains attract hundreds of tourists every day. I am Gagan Nanaiah resident of this place, The members of my family include my parents, brother and my grandmother. It was always blissful every time to go to my home in Kodagu. A river flows in one side of the home and the rest three sides are covered with mountains. We have a agricultural land area of about 15 acres mostly hills. We cultivate coffee extensively here along with cardamom, areca nuts, and oranges. This year we had invested a good amount of INR. 35 Lakh on this cultivation, partly the investments were done with bank loans. We were expecting a good yield this year
Me with brother and parents
On the day of Kodagu floods
I was in Bangalore when more than six weeks of ruthless rains in this village lead to devastation. On August 16 heavy rain flooded my home, swept away the coffee estate, the field in front of my house was piled up with logs of wood, sand, and huge stones. There was a landslide in front of my house and the connecting road collapsed. The river flowing in some distance had changed its course and started flowing in front of my home. The land had become very tender and anytime our house could fall off with the landslide. My parents were blocked from all the three directions, telecom services disrupted due to rain and strong winds uprooted the trees and electric poles. I intimated the DC control room about the situation in my village on their helpline.
“There was a moment when my grandmother asked my father to move ahead leaving her so that at least they could save their lives.”
In order to save their lives, my parents and my grandmother along with other villagers started climbing the hills. During this, my parents and other villagers were struck in the landslides in the mixture of sand and water. The people held on to each other and saved the people. There was a moment when my grandmother asked my father to move ahead leaving her so that at least they could save their lives. Though the NDRF team were trying to establish contact and save the stranded people, they were unable to do so with the communication lines cut out and not knowing the whereabouts of people. Father holding his mother, traveled from my home to the neighboring village, with the trees rolling and the sand and water flowing over the legs for almost 24 km. Somehow the family managed to reach the neighboring village of Hebbatagiri and established contact with the NDRF team. My family stayed in the flood relief camp for 2 days and then got shifted to a rented house in Suntikoppa.
Before and after image of the our land
“The fertility of the soil is completely lost and is not suitable for cultivation. This is now just a wasteland”
Post-flood loss evaluation.
It may take years back to lead a normal life. The fertility of the soil is completely lost and is not suitable for cultivation. Moreover, we won't be able to demark the land area as to whom the land belongs. Because of this heavy floods and the landslides, the mixture of sand and the water was up to 5 feet from the roads.The Government of India had brought the ISRO people to study about the situation in the village, they have told that it would take a minimum of 8- 10 years for the mixture of sand and water to get dry in that place, even they have warned it to be the red alert place and suggested not to stay there for lifelong as this situation will arise again. The situation has left us nowhere else and we do not have a way to make our livelihood now and I don’t think that growing our cultivation once again in this place is possible.
After the devastation my family was interviewed by Public TV, a major Kannada news channel. Here is the link to view the same. Public TV - Kodagu floods
Grandmother, father and mother being interviewed - caption talks about son walking 24km to save his mother about to be washed in flood
Because of the flood and the landslides we have experienced a total loss of almost 7.5 crores, and now it has been a difficult condition for us to rebuild our house and to maintain my grandmother’s and mother’s medical expenses and also the bank loan amount which has to be repaid. Even we do not have enough funds saved for my brother to complete his graduation. At least for a year’s sustenance, we would require support to pay all our immediate requirements.
Below are the details of immediate expenses:
1. My brother's education and boarding expenses – boarding expenses – INR. 72,000 per year
2. My mother’s and grandmother’s medical expenses – INR. 36000 per year,
3. House rent – INR. 42000 per year
4. Bank loan repayment – INR. 14,00,000
College and hostel yearly expenses
Medical expenses monthly bill
Milaap seemed to be a good platform to put across our story and seek the crowd support. We have set a goal of INR. 15,50,000 as the amount to be raised for all the above supported details. We would be obliged for the support we get in this difficult times.