Village of Crocodiles

Ankalkhop flood rescue

Krishna river is well known for crocodiles. Ankalkhop, a village on the banks of river Krishna is known as a ‘Village of Crocodiles’. The village is in Sangli district, Maharashtra.

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It has been a few days since Sangali & Kolhapur districts of Maharashtra got some respite from the heavy downpour. Incessant rains damaged sugarcane and other major crops. Lakhs of residents were displaced. The army and navy were roped in for the rescue efforts.

Gradually, life began to get back to normal. The flood-affected areas started receiving help from everywhere in Maharashtra. Tons of food grains and other materials were sent to Sangali, but Ankalkhop was yet to receive any help. The entire village was surrounded by floodwater. Houses were demolished, there was no food or water. People were moved to schools and temples. Getting help was difficult as there was limited connectivity.

I, along with my friends from Pristine Pacific Cricket Club, decided to help the people of Ankalkhop.

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Our team collected all the things that we needed and left for Ankalkhop on 18th August 2019. The situation in the village was horrifying and disturbing. Roads were muddy, houses were destroyed. Sugarcane fields were ruined, and people were struggling for livelihood. We distributed 100 packets to 100 families. Each packet contained 4kg rice, 2kg sugar, 2 kg wheat flour, toothbrush-paste, mosquito repellent, bath soap, ladoo packets, biscuit packets, candle packet and 1 blanket. People were ecstatic.

The sarpanch then took us around the village. The sight of damaged houses was heartbreaking.  He told us about the villagers’ rescue when the water level started rising at night. Next morning, people saw crocodiles all over the place.

Within 15 mins the villagers evacuated the village and took people to a safe place. The water level was above 15-20 feet and the houses were completely submerged.

This was a very emotional moment when we saw tears rolling down the eyes of Sarpanch. We gave our condolences to the villagers and left for Pune with a heavy heart.

 

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