“It came stealthily, without warning, just before midnight, and all hell broke loose within minutes with people with their children running to safety with whatever they could grab from their houses,” said Tirupathi Malipatil, who first noticed the floodwaters from the Krishna entering houses in this tiny village of about 50 houses.
For the next four days, from September 30, it has been an ordeal for the people of Bandoli, which is on the banks of the Krishna near the Thinthani bridge in Surpur taluk of Gulbarga district. Lakshmi, a mother of three children, said, “We huddled with small children in the two-room anganwadi kendra, which is situated at a higher level, and survived with whatever foodgrains we had brought from our houses.”
A majority of the residents of the village belong to the Naik community, which is known for its valour and ability to live in adverse conditions. The authorities neither set up a relief camp nor made arrangements to supply food, drinking water and other essential items to the residents of the village, who were caught in the midst of swirling floodwaters.
Ms. Lakshmi said they were starving with no food and toddlers had no milk to drink. Drinking water was the most precious commodity now.
Annamma, a resident, said, “Some of our youths risked their lives to cross the flooded river and fetch few pots of water from a well nearby.”
Most of the houses in the village have been either partially or fully damaged, and although the flood has abated considerably, the people cannot go anywhere near their houses because of the thick slush left behind by the receding waters.
A worried Mr. Malipatil said, “We have lost all the foodgrains stored in our houses... we do not know what do now. The Government should provide adequate financial help to start our lives afresh.”
Ms. Annamma said the Government should take immediate measures to reconstruct all the damaged houses. Till then the people of the village should be housed in a well-equipped relief camp with all the basic amenities, she and other women said.
The entire village has been without electricity connection for four days and no emergency lights have been provided.