- Sinna Durai, 46, lives in Arattupuzha in Chengannur
- He made a makeshift raft with plantain bark to help stranded people
- His one-room home was full of slush; "Everything is lost," he said
Sinna Durai's crippled legs were no hindrance for him to save the life of a couple stuck due to the flood in Arattupuzha in Kerala's Chengannur. "I heard them cry for help. But they thought I won't be able to help them because I don't have legs like them. Instead, I made a makeshift raft with plantain bark and I steered them to a higher building, swimming occasionally, and taking help of an electric line above, when the current was too strong", the 46-year-old tells NDTV.
But as Mr Durai wades through slush to take us to his one-room home that he shares with his 90-year-old mother in Chengannur, his heart sinks at his doorstep. "I can't get inside. There is so much muck. I can't clean this myself. Everything is lost."
At his neighbourhood in Arattupuzha in Chengannur, one of the worst affected due to floods, there is only devastation, lost dreams and livelihoods.
AC Nalini and her daughter start crying, returning to her house first time since the floods. "We have nothing left. We had a cow and that's also washed away. Except the clothes we are wearing, there is nothing left," Ms Nalini says.
Next door, Anitha Rinnu and her husband, have been drying their daughter's Class X notes and books. "Our livelihood was from a tempo vehicle, which has been totally damaged by the floods. We have a Rs 8 lakh loan to repay for the house that we are building, but look at this now," they say.
But amidst the gloom, P Sunny sparks a smile on Mr Durai's face as he recounts what Mr Durai did for him. "I am a heart patient. I found it difficult to swim to the other higher building with my wife. Durai made a make raft... put my wife... our valuables on it and took her to safety," P Sunny recalls.
With water after the flood now receding, the Kerala government has turned its attention to cleaning of houses and public places which were damaged in the unprecedented rains which ravaged the state.
237 people have lost their lives and 32 are missing in flood-related incidents since August 8. Nearly 14.50 lakh people from 3.91 lakh families are still in about 3,879 relief camps across the state.