A class 10 student, Edgar Sebastian, from a coastal village in Kochi, Chellanam, wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind urging help for his village and family after he was caught between COVID-19 and sea erosion.
The coastal hamlet has been grappling with the COVID-19 crisis for the past week, after local transmission affected hundreds of people. Now, the place is facing the wrath of the sea as severe sea erosion flooded hundreds of homes and destroyed many.
14-year-old Sebastian belongs to one of the several affected families. As his last resort to help bring the situation under control, he wrote the letter to the President on July 25.
"My village Chellanam is hit by disasters, but there is no one to help us. I am writing this letter due to this fear. Since the time I can remember, twice every year, my parents used to run away from our house taking me and my brother. Due to sea erosion, during summer and monsoon, water would gush into my house. Since July 16 this year, sea erosion has started. As usual, we prepared to go to our relative's house, but could not go due to the COVID-19 transmission in our region," NDTV quoted Sebatian as writing.
Sebastian mentioned that along with his father and other people in the region, he has been part of various protests demanding that a sea wall be constructed to protect the families on the coast.
"But no one came to our aid. The monstrous waves entered almost all the houses in Chellanam. Close to 400 houses have been damaged and six houses have been totally destroyed. Along with the things in the houses, my friends and I have also lost our school textbooks. Monsoon has only started in Kerala and there will be sea erosion again," he explained.
"I have studied that the Arabian Sea is one of India's borders. I believe that you have the responsibility to protect the border. You are my last hope. I humbly request you to intervene in the matter to construct a sea wall and rescue us," said Sebastian, asking for the President's help.