National

Flood survivor Sanumaya’s struggle for life

- CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL, Itahari

Aug 16, 2017-Sanumaya Rai (22) had gone to visit her nephew Nimesh Rai, who would be celebrating his fourth birthday the next day. But, his birthday never came. Instead of celebration, mourning followed the Rai family, residents of Gairigaun, Itahari Sub-Metropolitan City-4.

Before the clock could click 12 am, the whole Rai family was swept away by the flood on Friday night.

Along with the family, Sanumaya was also washed away that night. The family included father Raj Kumar Rai, mother Asha, their daughter Kamala and two sons— Nishan and Nimesh.

Asha was found dead whereas Raj Kumar and Nimesh are still missing. Sanumaya, Kamala and Nishan survived that tragic night.

While Kamala and Nishan got stuck in tree branches and saved their lives, Sanumaya was rescued from Duhabi, nearly 15 km away from where she was washed away. She doesn’t know how to swim.

“We had just gone to the bed. We were excited about his birthday,” recalls Sanumaya.

“When I went out, flood water has already surrounded our house,” she said, adding, “Soon, flood water from nearby Budhikhola swept away our house.”

Sanumaya said she was struggling for life in the swollen river, counting on every twig to whatever she could found during her voyage for life.

“It was completely dark. I had no idea where I was going. I was only floating along the current,” said Sanumaya in her chocked voice.

An instruction that she had overheard from somewhere saved her life -- keep moving your hands and legs during swimming.

“I never learnt to swim. But, somewhere I had heard that one has to keep moving his/her legs and hands to stay afloat,” added Sanumaya. “I kept on doing that endlessly.”

Sanumaya said that she found a table among the wreckage flowing in the water. After holding on to that she was stuck into a drain channel, where she stayed till morning.

“I remember it was starting to become bright outside. It was just before the sunrise when people came and rescued me.”

Sanumaya along with Nishan and Kamala are staying at their relative’s house since they were rescued. All of them are recovering from the tragic incident that they went through.

After losing parents, Kamala and Nishan have nowhere to go. Their future is at stake.

Nishan has not been able to sleep since the incident. He wakes up at midnight and cries for hours looking for mom and dad, said Sita Sandhya Rai, their relative, who has been taking care of them for now.

“I am worried about their education now,” said Sita. Kamala will be appearing in her SEE exams this year.

 

 

Published: 16-08-2017 20:41

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