The elderly couple from Vellathooval in Idukki’s Devikulam taluk has put up an advertisement outside their house which says there kidney is for sale as they have not received any compensation from the govt for their wrenched house post Kerala floods.
The advertisement said “Eight roomed house destroyed due to floods. Did not receive help as we could not afford bribes. To pay this bribe, we are putting up our kidneys for sale.”
The couple lost all 8 rooms of their house in the Kerala floods and landslides in August. They rent they used to receive from the two blocks of their house were their main source of income which they probably lost.
The wife, Alice told “My husband wrote this out of sheer anger. We have knocked on several doors, be it the Panchayat, the village officer or the Collectorate, in the last few months. But we have not received even a paisa till now,”
The couple has extended the rooms of the house so that it can fetch them rent for their living. Everything was going fine until the tragedy took place in August 2018 and with it took their only source of income. Soon after the floods, the couple was shifted to a safe place in on top of the St George Jacobite Church in Vellathooval, which they are members of. When they returned to their house after a month, there was nothing left.
“Our well, which was our only source of drinking water, was filled with mud. Now, whatever little water we get from the well we drink. But nobody from the Panchayat has come and cleaned it,” Alice says.
More than the poor condition of the house, the thing that disappointed the couple was that no panchayat and authorities helped the couple with the funds.
Post floods, the authorities from the government reviewed the damage to the house and promised the couple Rs 60,000 that they are yet to receive.
“We needed a place to lie down at least. So we decided to clear out the mud in our house. This cost us nearly Rs 70,000 and I even sold my thali to get it done,” Alice recalls.
After waiting for about 5 months, the couple gave up all the hopes and painted that advertisement in vain. When one of the residents saw the advertisement, he forwarded it to the collector.
“Today the collector, MLAs and panchayat members visited our house today. They said they would review the 15% damage level our house was pegged at. The collector even said we would be given Rs 2.5 lakhs to rebuild the house. Until today we didn’t get any money, Said Joseph.
The point that was raised by the couple is that where were these people before the advertisement was put and after it, in an hour they have allowed their relief.