Is a relief amount of Rs.10,000 sufficient? flood-victims say No

Hyderabad: At the time when Telangana state is reeling under the impact of the COVID-19 induced lockdown, the incessant rains which lashed Hyderabad last week added to the already existing woes—both financial and emotional.

Earlier on Monday, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) announced Rs. 10,000 as immediate relief to each flood-affected household in the city, besides assistance of Rs. 1 lakh each to totally-damaged and Rs. 50,000 to the partially-damaged houses.

Is the provided relief enough?

The heavy rains unleashed havoc and the consequent floods caused destruction. Several households lost all the items—including basic necessities of food and clothing, along with furniture, vehicles and electronics. Thousands to lakhs of money, which a regular middle-class household saves up for months together, was washed away too.

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Humare jaise auto walo ko saalo lag jate ek ghar banana, saman khareedne usko jamane mai!”

(An auto-wallah like me has to work hard for years to put a house like this together and to buy all the household items), said the 47-year-old wife of an auto-wallah, whose house was completely flooded in rain-water. She lamented that all her furniture, utensils, electronics were washed away and now she is left with a single pair of clothes.

The flood victims claimed that one lakh would not compensate for the losses they underwent. “We have lost almost everything, including the chappal. Buying everything again may cost us a minimum of Rs 3 lakh,” said a carpenter’s family at Chaderghat.

For a family in Hafezbaba Nagar, the floods cost their daughter’s marriage. The Jahez (the things that have been collected to give her as a gift the daughter on her wedding day) worth Rs. 2 lakh has been washed away. “It is not just our old stuff, the jahez for our daughter to begin a new life has gone too!” the parents said, in tears. The compensation of one lakh would not suffice the losses, anyway.

Several flood victims also said that the walls have badly damaged and are smelling foul and a whitewash is a must and that would cost over Rs. 1,000, depending on the size of the house.

When spoke to a few furniture shop owners it was said that a single furniture set would minimally cost Rs 40,000, while to buy a refrigerator, television and washing machine one would surely need above Rs 10,000, each.

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