Due to the recent floods in Karnataka, 61 people have lost their lives and over 6 lakh people have been evacuated in the state. During this life-threatening chaos, the story of this stranded couple is one for the books.
Ratnabai and her husband, Kadappa are farm labourers and tenants on a five-acre mango and sugarcane farm. Employed regularly for seasonal work for the last six years, the couple had been living in the house for five months.
As conditions worsened in Belagavi, the couple's livelihood took a turn for the worse. They spent the first two days stranded on the roof with just a plastic sheet to cover themselves. On the third day, as the house collapsed due to the flooding, the couple escaped and perched themselves on a mango tree. Kadappa told Indian Express,
The only thing I was worried about was her. On the second day, she went down from the roof to retrieve a sheet, and a portion of the house collapsed on her leg. I climbed on the mango tree, which was beside the house, and hauled her up using a rope and we waited out the third night.
During the three days of absolute uncertainty that whether they'll survive or not, the owner of the farm, Jamadar stayed up all night to shine a torch at the couple in order to give them hope. He said,
All the officials and TV crew would leave at night. I remained across the stream in the water all through the night. I got a torch and kept shining it on Kadappa and Ratnabai to let them know they had not been abandoned. I considered them as my own family.
After the third day, an NDRF team finally managed to rescue the couple to safety and they were admitted to a hospital to check for frost bites, physical injuries, shock and trauma.
The homeless couple is now seeking shelter in a temple in Kadappa’s native Urbinahatti village, 15 km from the farm.