Chennai floods: Sports stars show solidarity

Chennaiiites are showing great courage and determination in the face of adversity and are doing everything possible to help their city recover.

Squash star, Joshna Chinappa.   -  M. VEDHAN

Former India hockey captain and coach, V. Baskaran.   -  M. PERIASAMY

Tamil Nadu Ranji captain, Abhinav Mukund.   -  V. V. SUBRAHMANYAM

Chennai did not anticipate the amount of devastation. Heavy spells of rain over the last five days, have left hundreds dead and millions displaced. On November 8, a cyclonic formation over Tamil Nadu and Puducherry had left the city paralysed for two days. Many thought the worst was over. However, 490 mm of rainfall on December 1 caused large scale devastation.

The authorities were forced to release huge amounts of water from the reservoirs adjoining the city, which turned Chennai into an island in less than 24 hours. The rich and the poor, everyone was equally affected.

Chennaiiites are showing great courage and determination in the face of adversity and are doing everything possible to help their city recover.

Sportstar spoke to sports personalities from the city about the nightmare of the last few days and how they are now contributing to the relief and rescue operations.

Joshna Chinappa

Joshna Chinappa, along with Dipika Pallikal, was in Hong Kong when the Chennai floods wrecked havoc. She could only return to the city on Sunday morning.

On the rains…

I realised the magnitude of the rains when I could only see the pictures online. Those pictures were really hurting to see. People were stranded, there was no food, and houses were literally under water. My mother kept me updated about what all was happening.

On returning to the city…

Because the airport was shut down, I had to fly down to Bangalore. It was chaotic to even get a seat on that flight as all flights to Bangalore or nearby Chennai were packed.

About her family…

Fortunately, my family was fine. Around my area the situation was a little better. We are on the first floor of my house. So it was a little better. But people around did not have electricity for days and water came into the ground floor of their houses.

About contributing to relief measures…

I just got back. I will help in whatever way I can. I am going to see what all I can do. I may not talk about it publicly, about what I am going to do but, obviously I will help and contribute.

Vasudevan Baskaran

This was the second natural disaster faced by the 1980 Moscow Olympics gold medal winning hockey captain, Vasudevan Baskaran.

On the devastation…

It is really bad. Only yesterday (Saturday) we got electricity. I live in Besant Nagar. May be I am one of the lucky ones to be living here. It is really a sad situation around places like Adyar, Kotturpuram, Thiruvanmiyur and adjacent areas.

I suffered during the Tsunami also and this is my second experience. During that time too we tried to help but we could not immediately. However, now we were able to help immediately and directly.

About relief measures…

As there was no connection with others over the last five days, we could not do much. However, yesterday we met and collected basic necessities like milk, clothes and other items.

Yesterday we distributed food packets near the main road but it became very unruly. Today we got more stuff and went to Saidapet (one of the worst affected areas) and we were able to distribute clothes, water bottles and whatever else we had collected, to many people there. We are planning to do the same tomorrow.

My daughter is a doctor. Along with 10 doctors, they were working at a relief centre in Nungambakkam and Mandaveli areas. They also brought medical stuff and distributed them.

There were a lot of people who did not know where to go and who to ask for help. The roads were waterlogged and it was difficult to help people. Once it got cleared, it was easier. Along with sportspersons, who had two-wheelers, we went to people who needed the help most and distributed relief material.

After seeing all these people and helping them out, I feel better.

Abhinav Mukund

The Tamil Nadu Ranji Trophy captain, Abhinav Mukund, may not have faced a harrowing time during the last five days. However, he has been to the affected areas.

On how did he cope…

I live in RA Puram. Compared to whatever others are going through, I consider myself to be very fortunate as I had power and internet.

I have been to West Mambalam and North Madras with Baba Aparajith and Baba Indrajith and those areas are badly affected.

On being part of relief…

As of now, there are surplus food items and what we need are things like medicine, blankets and mosquito repellents. We are coordinating with people through Twitter.

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