Chennai

A painful trip down memory lane

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V. Rajeshwari, a domestic worker, had been living in Aathuma Nagar, Saidapet, with her family all her life. But that changed overnight in December 2015. She along with hundred other families had flee their homes to save their lives when the floods swept the city. “I was shocked and was not prepared. I was born here and so until the very last minute, we waited for things to get better. But we had no option but to move. There was nothing left for us when we came back after the floods settled,” she said. Palani, another resident of Aathuma Nagar, recalled his near-death experience, while attempting to go enter his inundated house.

“The water was neck deep. In order to save documents from our house, I swam inside and hit my foot against a rock and couldn’t move for a while. Luckily, a police officer rescued me,” he said. As many as 4,134 slum dwellers across the city were rehabilitated and resettled at the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board tenements in Ezhil Nagar and Perumbakkam after the December deluge.

“We were constantly coordinating with local councillors and officials from the Greater Chennai Corporation. They would identify families and we simultaneously allotted houses at the tenements. We wanted all of them to be safe,” said a senior official from the Board.

Anbu, a daily wage labourer, who moved to Perumbakkam after his Mogappair washed away said: “I am just happy that we survived. We are trying to build our life back from scratch. It is difficult,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2019 10:58:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/A-painful-trip-down-memory-lane/article14639963.ece

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