Phailin cyclone and the incessant rain continuing since past five days have compelled the people to live together with cattle at a school in this small village.
Even some stray dogs of the village have taken shelter in the school. It is a village where the bovine family is a major source of livelihood. Water of the Rushikulya also flooded this village two days ago. So, the villagers have preferred to shelter their cows and buffaloes in the government buildings around, including this school.
Around 100 persons from 30 families, whose houses were completely damaged by the cyclone and the rains that followed have taken shelter in the school. Since Saturday a community kitchen was opened at the school to serve ‘dalma’ and rice to the cyclone and flood-affected families.
Several classrooms of the school have been turned into cowsheds. Jhunu Gouda who along with her husband Choudhury Gouda and daughter Sujata Gouda, who has been in the school for the past two weeks, says she is extremely worried about the condition of her cattle.
“I want to save my 12 cows and two bullocks as they are the only means of our sustenance and almost family members,” says Jhunu.
Satyaban Gouda, a resident of the village, says they were now worried about the fodder of their cattle. “We have got rice and money as relief material but the relief provided for the cattle has not been adequate,” he says.
Plea for more relief
According to him, till now this village, which has over 500 cows and buffaloes, has received only four bags of cattle feed as relief material.
The villagers have asked the government to provide more cattle feed as part of relief material to make their cattle survive.
The continuing rains and the water-logged fields have left no scope for outside grazing by the cattle. The situation would improve only when the rains stop and the flood water recedes.
Besides saving themselves, the villagers have managed to save most of the cows and buffaloes when Phailin cyclone struck the area on October 12. Three cows were swept away by flood waters two days ago.