Unending Misery Amidst Covid-19 Pandemic
“How beautiful is the rain!
After the dust and heat,
In the broad and fiery street,
In the narrow lane,
How beautiful is the rain!”
These are the beautiful lines from the poem of the famous 18th century poet W.H Longfellow.
Truly every year we have been welcoming the rains to embrace its dampness, and the music of its chanting over the Indian cities during these four months. Farmers with their furrowed fields keep cooling their heels, yearning for the first site of this monsoon.
Mumbai, the city of dreams, which is usually parched in the scorching heat of summer and drenched in the sultry crowded trains, also swings melodiously on the clattering rhythm of the monsoons.
However, since the last two decades the city has been welcoming this season with great consternation because of the dreadful stories one gets to hear every monsoon. There are days when the lash down creates panic and leaves hearts enfeebled.
At Mumbai Smiles Foundation we witness many families during the monsoons living in precarious conditions, completely devastated with their homes and hutments being inundated with murky and filthy water. Parents struggle to protect their children and families from the poisonous creatures such as rats and snakes that encroach their houses and the diseases that follow due to the water logging.
This year with the gusty winds and the heavy rainfall thrashed the spirit of Mumbai yet again. The families who are already vulnerable due to the covid-19 pandemic are facing endless challenges grappling with the problems arising from the heavy downpour.
The areas where Mumbai Smiles have their projects have been hit hard by the perpetual rains. Despite the heavy downpour, many families have had to leave their existing houses for not being able to pay-up the rent. For others who have managed to secure their houses, it has come at the cost of selling out personal belongings and emptying out their savings of whatever they had managed to accumulate. While some are struggling with the herculean task of cleaning up with their houses wiping off the drainage water which had gushed through the sewers into their houses.