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Home / Pune News / A sombre Ganpati for this Sangli family

A sombre Ganpati for this Sangli family

Ganeshotsav, one of the biggest festivals to be celebrated next month, will be gloomy for families in Sangli as they have lost their belongings in the natural disaster.

pune Updated: Aug 17, 2019 15:04 IST
Shalaka Shinde
Shalaka Shinde
Hindustan Times, Pune
Kanchan (R) and her husband Subhash Kadam looking at animal hide decayed by floods in Sangli on Friday.
Kanchan (R) and her husband Subhash Kadam looking at animal hide decayed by floods in Sangli on Friday.( Pratham Gokhale/Hindustan Times)

The flood-ravaged populace of Sangli district started returning to the wreckage of their submerged homes on Thursday.

Ganeshotsav, one of the biggest festivals to be celebrated next month, will be gloomy for families in Sangli as they have lost their belongings in the natural disaster.

Residents of a shanty in Gaon Bagh area of Sangli rummaged in despair, through the fallen debris, of what was once their house. Kanchan Subhash Kadam, 45, and her husband Subhash Appasaheb Kadam, 50, stood looking at the decayed animal hide they had collected to make the skin of drums used during the Ganpati festival.

“We had purchased material worth ₹1.5 lakh by taking loans from various people, because we were sure that business will be good this season. However, the floods came rushing and now everything has been destroyed. Now, our customers are calling for delivery and we have nothing left to meet their demand,” said Kanchan.

“I started retching as the hide bought for making dhols had become rotten and I was helping to clean it. I come from a place where we get water once in five days and here, their lives are damaged by all this water,” said Shahji Arjun Khandare, 42, a relative of the family who had come from Atpadi area of Maharashtra to help the flood-hit family.

The family has disposed at least 50 finished, but damaged skins of dhols. The promise of a profitable season of legacy business was replaced by an acute shortage of money.

“We have no money. Yesterday we had to borrow ₹500 from someone to buy grocery. The government relief is yet to reach us. We came home on Wednesday, but it stinks so much that we chose not to sleep here,” said Kanchan.

“When the 2005 flood came, we had kept the goods at a high ground and left the house. We had come back to find our products intact. We thought it will be the same this time as well. So we made high platforms and left the products there. But once the waters started rising, our entire house submerged in front of our eyes,” said Subhash.

While theirs was only one such story, there were various small and medium businesses in the area like decorators and ceramic work artists who suffered the wrath of the flood.

The upcoming Ganpati festival will surely raise spirits and fill the air with merry. However, the festival as well as the impending assembly elections of Maharashtra will not bring back life as the people of Sangli knew it before the floods.