CITIES

Victory’s broken home and the horrific reality of life in Chellanam- The New Indian Express

Victory’s broken home and the horrific reality of life in Chellanam- The New Indian Express, the vie

Express News Service

KOCHI: Gazing helplessly at her torn-down home in Chellanam, 61-year-old Victory couldn’t hold back her tears. Saving up whatever little she could from the meagre income her husband Mathews, a mason, brought home, she was trying to build a better life for their three children, and this home was the spine of all her hopes. 

Though life was never a bed of roses for her, it went from bad to worse almost three months ago when the sea erosion that destroyed Chellanam claimed their home and everything they owned. With no one to help, the family was forced to shift to a rented house in Kumbalangi, where she and her family has been 
living since.

“We lived in Chellanam for over 38 years and had to leave with nothing to call ours. The memories of the life we had are all we have. My husband suffers from asthma and other ailments and hasn’t been able to work for the past four years. He recently underwent surgery, and a week after that, we lost everything we had,” she said.

When the water levels suddenly spiked at night during the monsoon, the family left for a relative’s home.
 “Our home was wrecked by the sea erosion. Our refrigerator, almirah and every other piece of furniture was destroyed. We never expected a tragedy like this, so nothing was insured. Even our ration cards and other vital documents were washed away. We don’t know what to do now,” she said.

She admits how the family didn’t have a penny while shifting to the rented house. “We are living with our younger son Sibin who is also struggling to find work these days. We didn’t even have a plate to have food on when we shifted to this rented house. Seeing our plight, the neighbours donated some kitchen accessories and cots,” she said. 

Though they reached out to panchayat officials, there has been no respite. “As we failed to save the title deed, we have no proof of ownership either. We just want a safe house to live in, that is our only wish. Though we know that our hope is far from becoming reality, it is the only thing that prompts us to survive,” she added.

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