For days now, Arun C Das, an assistant surgeon at a family health center in Kottayam's Madapally, has been anticipating his wedding day. His Facebook is replete with “save the date” pictures with his fiancé, that announce the date of his wedding- August 19 2018. The excitement is palpable.
But in a blitzkrieg turn of events, when the day finally arrived a very different kind of picture—one of Arun sitting at a flood relief camp instead of his wedding venue—was seen. The surgeon is busy treating patients instead, as the doctors had to postpone his wedding due to floods.
Working at a relief camp in Changanasseery, Arun is treating more than hundred patients a day. While his house in Kottayam and his fiance's house in Mysore remain unaffected by the floods, many of his relatives were moved to relief camps and Arun immediately headed to rescue people with his team.
Arun’s team at the camp consists of four doctors. One of them had gone to Wayanad for her daughter's admission but couldn't return due to floods.
“If I am also away, that means only two of my colleagues will be on the ground taking care of so many people. That would have been difficult so I decided to come in too," said 30-year-old Arun.
These doctors, who generally work on individual day shifts, are now giving round the clock assistance.
Arun says he's been looking after at least a hundred and twenty patients a day across these camps, several of whom do not have their prescriptions or do not the names of the medicines they were taking.
He also believes that because of the potential threat of an outbreak once the water recedes, its extremely important to have extra doctors available for assistance.
The floods in Kerala are said to be the worst calamity the state has witnessed in a century. The rains and floods have claimed 210 lives since August 8 and nearly 400 since May 29. With several rivers in spate, around 80 dams had to be opened resulting in flooding and unprecedented loss of life and property.
13 more lives on Sunday raising the total death toll to 370. As rains subsided in most of the state after two weeks of non-stop downpour, the situation continues to be grave as the government will now shift their focus to providing help and rehabilitation to the displaced population.