Facing nature’s fury, Kerala student writes to President Kovind for help

NDA presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind. (File Photo: IANS)

Caught between COVID-19 and sea erosion, Edgar Sebastian, a Class 10 student hailing from Chellanam, a coastal village in Kochi wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind urging help for his village and family.

For the past week, the coastal hamlet, which is grappling with COVID-19, after hundreds of people contracted the disease through local transmission, is facing the fury of the sea. Hundreds of homes were flooded and many of them were destroyed in the severe sea erosion, the locality witnessed.
Sebastian belongs to one of the hundreds of affected families. The 14-year-old wrote the letter to the President on July 25, as his last resort to fix things.

“My village Chellanam is hit by disasters, but there is no one to help us. I am writing this letter due to this fear. Since the time I can remember, twice every year, my parents used to run away from our house taking me and my brother. Due to sea erosion, during summer and monsoon, water would gush into my house. Since July 16 this year, sea erosion has started. As usual, we prepared to go to our relative’s house, but could not go due to the COVID-19 transmission in our region,” he wrote.

Sebastian described how he has also been part of multiple protests including hunger strikes, along with his father and others in the region, demanding the construction of a sea wall to protect the families on the coast.

“But no one came to our aid. The monstrous waves entered almost all the houses in Chellanam. Close to 400 houses have been damaged and six houses have been totally destroyed. Along with the things in the houses, my friends and I have also lost our school textbooks. Monsoon has only started in Kerala and there will be sea erosion again,” he explained.

Urging the President to intervene in the issue, Sebastian said, “I have studied that the Arabian Sea is one of India’s borders. I believe that you have the responsibility to protect the border. You are my last hope. I humbly request you to intervene in the matter to construct a sea wall and rescue us.”

The boy has not received a reply to his letter yet but he hopes that the President will notice it and intervene.

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