Three women drown in flash floods in Bhavani: Villager turns saviour for 10 women

Rajini in a heroic, humanitarian act managed to initially save nine of those women and moved them to safety.

Erode: In an extraordinary episode of grit and courage, a villager of Alathukombai near Sathyamangalam in Erode district, saved the lives of at least ten women from being washed away in flash floods in the Bhavani river on Wednesday. They were part of a group of about 13 women, all agriculture workers, returning home after the day's work in a paddy field near Ariyappanpalayam near Sathyamangalam.

Police said on Thursday that the women agriculture workers from Alathukombai village, after a long day of transplanting paddy in the field, were hoping to cross the Bhavani river with not much water seeming to flow at that time.

Even as they stepped into the river and waded through the water, midway the womenfolk were suddenly caught unawares by flash floods in the Bhavani as they had no clue that 1,000 cusecs of water had been released shortly earlier in the evening from the Bhavanisagar dam, sources said.

With the water level suddenly rising, the women formed a human chain in mid-river in a bid to hold on together and continued to wade through to the other side to reach their village. On hearing their cries, villagers from Alathukombai came running towards the river bank, while one among them, Rajini, by name, quickly took the plunge.


Rajini in a heroic, humanitarian act managed to initially save nine of those women and moved them to safety, even as four women of the group had by then been washed away by the gushing waters. Rajini again dived in to save the life of one more woman, 45-year-old Mallika, wife of one Subrahmanyam, who was struggling in the waters. The locals quickly arranged to transport the dazed ten women to Sathyamangalam government hospital, where they are under intensive treatment.

Meanwhile, on information fire and rescue services personnel rushed to the spot and began searching for the other three women. However, they could only retrieve the bodies of the three women- Sarasaal, 55, Periyamani, 55, and Vasantha, 45, sources said. Their bodies were sent today for post-mortem at the Sathyamangalam government hospital.

While a pall of gloom descended on Alathukombai village since Wednesday evening, the Bhavanisagar MLA,

Mr Easwaran, rushed to the village today, consoled the kin of the victims and handed over interim cash relief of Rs 10,000 to each of the family of the dead women.

The MLA also assisted the other women being treated in the hospital with modest cash relief and in kind for their immediate needs.

Mr. Easwaran and the people of the village were all praise for the villager Rajini in particular for risking his life to save the lives of as many as ten other women workers of Alathukombai village.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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