A treacherous canoe ride that saved a baby girl in Kerala

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Thiruvalla (Kerala), Aug 23 (IANS) Minha’s parents are still thanking God for sending most unexpected help when they decided to leave their flooded home in Kerala with their seven-month-old girl amid a menacing sea of water.

The girl’s mother, Helen Mobin, a pharmacist by profession, said it had been raining in her village Mepral unceasingly, the situation turning from bad to worse on the night of August 16.

“When we woke up the next morning, water was all around our house. We knew we had to leave,” Helen told IANS.

Wrapping up tiny Minha in plenty of clothes, the parents placed her in a small make-shift aluminium ‘vessel’.

“We then started wading through the waters which was coming up to our hips. Seeing the rising waters, our only hope was God,” said Helen.

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There was water everywhere. It was a frightening scenario. The parents had to hold the ‘vessel’ carefully so that the girl, weighing just 3 kg, suffered no harm.

The area they were passing through had been hit hard after the worst flooding in a century enveloped large parts of Kerala, claiming hundreds of lives and leaving more than one million people homeless.

After wading through the waters for almost a kilometre, two locals who were passing by in a small water canoe spotted them. They agreed to take them on board.

Initially the family wanted to go to Helen’s parents’ home but decided against it as more rains had been predicted. Instead, they decided to head to her aunt’s home at Thiruvalla.

“When we said this to our helpers, they readily agreed although it meant they will have to go in the canoe for almost five kilometres.

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“They asked us all to sit in the canoe. Since there was heavy current, they said they will not be able to row. Instead would push it all the way. They did that,” said Helen.

On numerous occasions during the trip, she felt God was protecting the small canoe amid the rising waters and strong currents.

Finally, after almost two hours, they reached Kavumbaghom where the tarred roads were partially visible. That’s where they got out of the canoe, profusely thanking the men who had helped them although they were strangers.

“As we started to walk towards my aunt’s house about 2 kilometres away, a car stopped and gave us a lift.

“Since then, we are at my aunt’s home. Our baby is fine and is presently sleeping,” said Helen, wiping her tears. “It is God who saved us and our baby.”

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Minha’s first tryst with life came when she was born 90 days ahead of schedule, weighing a mere 960 grams. For 70 long days, she was in the neo-natal intensive care unit of a hospital.

“In just seven months, she and we have undergone several trying moments. If not for God’s mercy, I do not know what would have happened,” said Helen.

–IANS

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