One of the villagers takes us to see her home. Even before moving through the single remaining row of houses, we can see how many homes are submerged in the water. Carefully walking through the slippery alleyways that are these people’s home, we see that the mud is everywhere – inside and outside of their shanties. We walk along the top of a brick fence and one of the villagers lifts the plastic that is now the roof to her home, revealing water three quarters of the way to the roof. Through a translator she asks: “Will I get a roof again when the waters go down?”.
Our next destination is just around the corner. We go to the grounds of a nearby government hospital. A temporary community has been created here by local villagers whose own homes are inhabitable, submerged in the floodwaters. The land is dry, open and relatively comfortable, but these villagers were able to bring little with them, so life is still harsh. The coverings for many of the shelters are just old saris, which cannot hold out the monsoon rains. Their goats seek shelter by standing on the same wooden beds the people will later sleep on. The food packets are a welcome opportunity for the parents to know their kids are not hungry. The meals are gratefully received, especially by the children and the elderly. As we leave, the children line the hospital road, eagerly waving, shaking hands, and calling out loudly “Thank you”.