Rebuilding lives after the floods

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Bangalore:  Jalalappa is back at home from the village where he works as a lecturer.

His parents' home has been destroyed by the floods in Northern Karnataka. Their Challa Kudlur village is right next to the Tungabhadra river.

Three days of non-stop rains were followed by a river flowing with a vengeance.

Jalallappa's family is trying to rebuild their home. A task that seems more difficult everyday.

"After we get up we take the water from the bore and take tea. We can't take any bath. I didn't take bath for four days - no water. After that we came to our house, looking for things we lost," says Jalalappa.

What is harder to confront is that there is precious little to salvage.

"We lost 120 bags of fertiliser and cooking materials, fans, cupboards," says Jalalappa's father.

There is only one borewell supplying drinking water for the entire village - and a total absence of toilets and sanitation.

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At dusk, the family gathers at their makeshift new home. They examine some relief material that has arrived. Food has been sent to them by a relative. And nights are spent in the open. Without much sleep. "Snakes come near us at night," says Jalalappa's mother.

But before they lie down, Jalalappa and his parents pray, offering thanks, because unlike so many others, they still have each other.

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