Sending out a call for help, international NGO Save the Children estimates that around 7,50,000 children are in desperate need of clean water, medical care and food in the flood-hit districts of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

If help doesn’t reach fast, there is an imminent threat of an outbreak of diarrhoea and other water-borne diseases that will further risk the lives of millions of children and others, the NGO said.

“Thirteen per cent of all under-five children in Andhra Pradesh are already acutely malnourished. The high levels of acute malnutrition in this region mean that children are far more likely to die of diarrhoea and acute respiratory disease -the biggest killers of children in India,” Thomas Chandy, CEO of Save the Children, said.

P. Raghu of ActionAid, another international NGO working for the flood victims in both Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, added: “Our flood rescue teams are overwhelmed. Thousands are still languishing without food and water.”

According to Save the Children, over 2,75,000 people have been forced to flee their homes, leaving behind everything. Two hundred villages have been completely submerged. “Children are most vulnerable in any emergency and the floods come on top of an already dire situation. This is a crisis on top of an emergency,” Mr. Chandy said.

“Around 3,50,000 children under five die annually of diarrhoea in India and this time we fear the worst. We need corporate houses, individuals, everyone to come forward to strengthen our efforts on the ground. Any little help that we receive will ensure that one more child will be safe, healthy and protected.”