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Friday, December 4, 2015

some more rains for battered Chennai ~ SYMA continued its relief work [with boats !!]

The IMD forecast in the morning read : - Yesterday’s low pressure area over Southwest Bay of Bengal and adjoining Srilanka off Tamil Nadu coast persists.       Northeast monsoon has been active over Coastal Tamil Nadu.       Rainfall occurred at many places over Coastal Tamil Nadu.  IMD forecast for Chennai was :  Next 24 hours :  The sky condition would be generally cloudy. One or two spells of rain or thundershowers may occur in some areas. Maximum and minimum temperature would be around 31 and 24 deg Celsius respectively.      

For Chennaites, suffering from incessant rains, this was no good news.  Yesterday, was good in Chennai – Sun did come out and water had started receding.  In fact, as you would have observed, my post after our relief work was all positive – as we witnessed a sea-change from what it was the day before and yesterday !

Today too, dawned with lot of hope – in fact when we embarked our relief work, most of us were not wearing raincoats. This day our experience was different – food packets were coming from many sources – and there was a special team of enthusiastic women packing the hot food in foils.  The relief material of food, blankets, clothes, biscuits, water packets was loaded in a truck ~ and Vittal Nana had arranged ……….. yes, boats – 2 them on a truck stood before Sri Parthasarathi temple. … and another mini van too followed.  So many volunteers – all set for relief work.

As we wound through Beach road, Adyar bridge, Raj bhavan, 100 ft road – reaching Velachery junction – it was all smooth – road at this point was blocked as there was some water logging near the Madipakkam bridge above Velachery MRTS – the relief vehicles were allowed by Police to proceed. As we were over the bridge, there was a sharp spell of rains.  We passed through ‘kaiveli’ – selected Ram Nagar near Sri  Oppiliappan temple – the boat was lowered into water – it was knee deep and slightly more at places – many pockets were loaded on the boat [a group of us were joined by RSS workers who had come from elsewhere] – we went through many lanes – the ground floor flats had been affected and people had left the place – there were some staying in 1st floor – and there were many construction workers too , stranded.  We distributed food, biscuits and water to them.

I am generally no great admirer of pet dogs – here a man suggested that some dogs inside an under-construction building had been starving for the past few days – we had only rice in hand – and that was devoured by them.

Another group of SYMA volunteers  with another   boat went to another area, few lanes away – they too had a similar experience.  The van with other materials went and distributed them in the area under the Velachery bridge – which was badly inundated with sewer water running.  We too joined them there.  There was slight commotion as the materials were not enough.

On the way we saw, army jawans distributing food, some parisals, some boats and NDRF with dinghies. Many people are doing relief work – there were to be at least 3 sharp showers for brief durations, which was a great dampener as we apprehend that it might put back the position.  We found none to be rescued, but the boats helped to carry large amount of food packet and  other material much inside.

Praying for speedy restoration and people getting back to normalcy – the city has had more than enough !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

4th Dec 2015

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