Hyderabad and Nadi Chagi are separated by a distance of 400 kms. People of these two places are not known to each other, nor are related in any way. Yet when houses there marooned, hearts of people here were flooded by emotions. As crops there got destroyed, people here moaned as if their properties were lost. It was no one’s mistake.
Just a fearsome tragedy when Nature showed her fury. Devastation caused by her that resulted in casualties in hundreds, wreckage of hundreds of villages which resulted in lakhs being rendered homeless and property worth thousands of crores lost forever. Man requiring to help man became an inevitability. Charitable and non-profit organizations resolved to do their bit to help victims overcome their loss. Though it was a biggest human tragedy that couldn’t be undone by any huge effort, individual spirit triumphed as men selflessly began a drive, with Mahakavi Sri Sri’s “Nenu Saitham” as the guiding inspiration.
Just as any mammoth construction starts with single brick as the foundational stone, just as a walk of a thousand miles begins with a single step, each one, as if inspired by the same truth, came forward to lend their support to the drive with their voluntary contribution. From rice, malt, and other eateries to utensils and clothes, contributions came sufficiently for hundreds of families to survive on them for at least 10 days.
Starting from here the very next day of Diwali, we traveled 213 kms to Kurnool from where we trudged over 100 kms (half the route which was badly damaged) to reach Adoni. It needed us to travel another 24 kms to reach Kowtalam mandal from where we were joined by news reporters and policemen with whom we traversed another 26 kms to be at Kumbaluru, on the banks of river Tungabadhra, a hamlet where we were witness to the mind-numbing ravage caused by the death dance of the flood. People in the village were living in darkness; with neither shelter nor utensils to cook food, they were seeding with sour water that did not quench their thirst. As outsiders entered their village, their eyes were filling and refilling with hope that they would get some help from them. Sheltered under the trees, they were scampering away to temples to save themselves from venomous snakes. As planned, each one of us took the responsibility to distribute the material to intended families. The tears of happiness and gratitude we saw in their eyes were something we will savor for lifetime. We were overwhelmed when the victims themselves offered us food to eat when they came to know that we came to help them by traveling a long distance.
The food we supplied them with may not be adequate to feed them for a long time, the candles may not bring back the lost light in their lives, but if these little deeds we have carried guide and inspire even some, it is great.