Mumbai, Aug 10, 2020: On a day when Mumbai was battling torrential rain, the highest in four decades, 50-year-old Kanta Murti Kalan, stood for hours near an open manhole, on a waterlogged road, in Matunga. She was alerting people so that no one falls into the manhole. She was there for seven hours before civic workers arrived. Kanta Murti, a flower seller, lost her house and savings in the deluge.
Mother of eight children, Kanta Murti’s husband is an invalid. Five of her children are married and she supports education of her three other kids by selling flowers on the roadside. "I support my three children’s education by selling flowers and I am the only earning member in the family as my husband is paralysed after meeting with a railway accident," she told news agency ANI.
The video of Kanta Murti standing, near the manhole, for seven hours had gone viral and she was also scolded by the civic authorities for putting her life in danger. "I uncovered the manhole and drained the water. Then I stood there to warn vehicles. BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) officials later came and scolded me," Kanta Murti said.
As people came asking after her and praising her, she brushed it aside, saying she did what she thought was a normal thing to do in such circumstances, otherwise people could have met with an accident.
On August 4, extremely heavy overnight rain in coastal Maharashtra including Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and other places in Western Maharashtra like Kolhapur, Satara and Sangli brought life to a standstill. There were extensive flooding and landslides.