When rains ravaged North Karnataka

Incessant downpour in drought prone and poverty stricken northern Karnataka.

Aftermath: 5000 villages in 12 districts inundated. 225 lives lost in a day. Worst in 60 years. Estimated total loss - 18000 crores.

In this article, are some revealing images from "The Deluge and After", a homage to the victims and survivors by Esha and ActionAid. Read more

Captured by Esha (short for Eshwarappa, a photographer, activist and ActionAid fellow) and ActionAid's committed workers over three months in the five worst affected districts of Davangere, Gadag, Bagalkot, Badami and Bijapur, these pictures formed part of an interactive exhibition across various venues in Bangalore in January 2010. They poignantly depicted the realities of the traditionally marginalized people facing new challenges from the untimely floods.

According to ActionAid (which has been actively involved in providing ground level aid along with other community groups) and Esha, landless and marginal farmers, children and women, especially from Dalit and Muslim families are dying to find a way to rebuild their lives in the midst of minimal support from the state. The government's laxity in providing relief and rehabilitation has resulted in deaths even after the waters receded. Apart from collapsed houses, and destroyed belongings, agricultural fields, their only source of livelihood for generations have become uncultivable.

Padiyamma, a 50 year old farm labourer from Kyada village in Bagalkot district was among the three victims who visited Bangalore to share their current experiences in braving the impact of the floods on their families and immediate communities. Having survived after standing in chest-deep water for 7 days said, "We are still awaiting the government's assistance promised after the 2007 floods. We received hakku patras (land titles) and Rs. 5000 but no land then and barely anything now!"

Pushpa Achanta
(The author is a freelance writer, a Fellow of Citizen News Service (CNS) Writers' Bureau, and a community volunteer based in Bangalore, India)

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