Sewage at home, little water at the shelters: How Chennaiites are coping with staying at schools and colleges

In camps, flood victims continue to face problems of water and medical assistance.
Sewage at home, little water at the shelters: How Chennaiites are coping with staying at schools and colleges
Sewage at home, little water at the shelters: How Chennaiites are coping with staying at schools and colleges
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The Tamil Nadu government has evacuated thousands of people across the state from their homes which were flooded. Many of these homes were knee-deep in sewage water, leaving no choice for them to move to temporary shelter homes which have been set up by the government in various schools and colleges. But even at these makeshift homes, their woes continue.

On Sunday, 24-year old Gayathri, a resident of Saidapet was shocked and disgusted to see her house full of sewage water on and left to stay at one of the nearby shelter homes. But even there, they continue to face problems of water and medical assistance.

The News Minute visited shelter homes at the Chennai High School in Jafferkhanpet, Annai Vellankanni College in V.G.P Salai and Chennai Corporation School on West Jones Road which have been home to hundreds of flood victims from the areas of Chetty thootam, Vinayagapuram and Jothi Ramalingam Street for the past three days.

 “We have been staying in a classroom on the third floor of the college and there was no water in the toilets. We have to go fetch water from the ground floor to use it,” said Gayathri, who is now at the Annai Velankanni college shelter home.

The flood victims also complained about lack of drinking water from Wednesday morning at the camp.

In each classroom two families live at the shelter home and each floor has about eight rooms with two toilets, both men and women.

The flood victims left their homes hurriedly on Sunday morning and did not have any extra clothes to carry along with them as all the clothes became wet and stinky in their houses.

Sudha, a resident of Chetty thootam said that they have not taken bath for the past three days as the colleges do not have bathrooms. The problem is severe for women. “I am also having my periods. I had to walk till my relative’s house which is one hour from the college so that I can change,” she says.

Another problem that the flood victims are facing is that they have to leave the shelter homes by Wednesday evening as the college will start functioning from Thursday. And they have nowhere else to go. Some of the residents of Chetty thootam are planning to either stay in car parking areas or roads as their houses are full of sewage water.

Gayathri at the Annai Velankanni College shelter home

A still from Annai Velankanni College which is being used as a shelter home

S. Bhanumati, a flood victim from Vinayagapuram area.

Thenmuzhi, a resident of the Joti Amman Nagar now at the Chennai Corporation School on West Jones road said that there is no medical care, “There was no medical assistance or doctors available at the shelter home for the past three days. If a person has a fever or infection, we have to go to the Government hospital.”

About 80 families from Joti Amman Nagar have been staying at the Chennai High School at Jafarkanpet in Saidapet. Each room has about seven families living in them.

Anjali, a 38-year-old woman said that many people have infection and fever in the camp. So, seven families living together in one room just make the condition worse. But some say that doctors do come regularly and provide medical aid to them.

A flood victim family staying at Chennai Corporation School at West Jones Road

A still from Chennai High School in Jafferkhanpet

All the flood victims complained about the dirty sewage water in their houses and how all their clothes and all their things have been damaged in the rainwater.

Shanthi, a resident of the Cheety thootam said, “The dirty sewage water has damaged all the home appliances. Our clothes are also not in a condition to be worn again with all the sewage smell. Because of all this, I and my husband also have not gone for work for the past one week.” 

Residents of Chetty Thootam cleaning their homes

A still from Chetty Thootam street after floods

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