Homes in tatters, flood-hit in mental agony

Homes in tatters, flood-hit in mental agony

Flood-hit people are at their wit's end at a relief camp in Madikeri on Monday. dh photo

A 70-year-old man housed in the Kodava Samaja relief camp in Kodagu district disappeared in the middle of the night on Sunday.

The grief-stricken man from Monnangeri in Madikeri had gone in search of his house which was washed away in the torrential rain that has inundated many parts of the district. Psychiatrists at the relief centre said they had started administering medication to him.

A 42-year-old man is in a mental shock and is unable to speak ever since rains started lashing the district, displacing thousands from their homes and causing loss of property.

In the case of some of them, their loved ones drowned or their ancestral homes and agriculture fields were washed away.

Dr Davin, psychiatrist, district mental health programme officer, Kodagu, said the need of the hour for the people of Kodagu was counselling and positive thinking.

“Most of the people are in a state of shock and are not able to believe that they have suffered losses. We have to give them reassurance and help them overcome their grief. At the moment, we are conducting group counselling sessions and activities for children. Besides educating the flood victims, we are keeping them engaged in recreational activities,” he said.

Dr Roopesh, another health officer from Kodagu, said people had minor health issues like cold and fever. But more than that, they were mentally disturbed.

"Although there are not many lives lost, the loss of property is humongous.  People have witnessed their houses being washed away, affecting them psychologically. The victims are angered and distressed and we are taking measures to address their grievances," Roopesh said.