From breaking piggy banks to collecting relief materials from across states, people of all ages have come forward to do their bit for victims of the Kerala floods. Adding to the innumerable kind gestures that have been making headlines in the past few days is KJ Jaydeep, a native of Neelamperoor in Kuttanad near Kottayam, who decided to convert his wedding venue into a relief camp. He turned Good Samaritan by converting the marquee erected in front of his house for the pre-wedding ceremonies into a relief camp as several neighbourhoods were hit by the floods.
Speaking to TNM, Jaydeep says that his marriage was fixed with Surya Sarath, an Ayurveda medical practitioner in Vechoochira on August 19. The families of the bride and bridegroom were forced to postpone the wedding after nearby towns of Ranni and Erumely were flooded and roads leading to the wedding venue were waterlogged at many places.
â€śBy August 16, we realised that holding the marriage would be a near to impossible task as most of the areas around Kuttanad were inundated. As we had already erected a marquee in front of our house for certain wedding ceremonies, we decided to convert the space into a relief camp for people who were displaced from areas around lower Kuttanad.â€ť
Jaydeep says that there were about 10 to 15 people who had come from lower Kuttanad in search of shelter and food, who initially decided to stay at their makeshift camp. â€śMy mother and a few other ladies from the neighbourhood prepared food which we distributed among the many whose houses were inundated. But we faced issues as ours was not an authorised relief camp. After receiving help from the Panchayat, we now have an authorisation and are able to help in the rescue mission on a larger scale,â€ť Jaydeep says.
Jaydeep, a builder by profession, along with his friends are now engaged in providing relief materials and food to people, who are returning to their homes in Kuttanad. â€śMy family, friends and neighbours have been preparing and packing food for people who are returning to their homes after the flood water started receding. These are people who were taken to camps far away from their homes. Most of their homes have been battered in the floods and itâ€™s an exhausting task to bring it back into shape.â€ť
While all those who took shelter in front of his home have since moved, the makeshift camp is now temporarily housing abandoned cattle.
And although Jaydeep and his family have been magnanimous in the midst of the floods, their home was also slightly inundated. Jaydeepâ€™s his parents were lodged at Suryaâ€™s home until the waters receded.
Jaydeep also thanks the pandal owner whom he says has not charged a single rupee till date.
The groom, meanwhile, is gearing up for his wedding once again. The two families have set September 2 as the new date for the wedding, and there would be no change in the venue or time.
â€śWe have incurred minor losses after we had to cancel the wedding. But in the face of such a calamity, such loses are inconsequential,â€ť Jaydeep says.
Kerala has been ravaged by unprecedented floods following torrential rains that also triggered landslides, claiming over 350 lives since the beginning of the monsoon.