Kids play water polo in Calcutta’s streets

Image: AFP

Officials in the Indian city of Calcutta say the city has received around 20% of the monsoon rain it normally gets over the last three days. This comes on the back of severe storms across Pakistan and other parts of India where 100s of 1000s of people have had their homes destroyed.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) says that large parts of the province of Balochistan remain submerged following the impact of Cyclone Yemyin last Tuesday coupled with heavy monsoon rains over the weekend.

“When you walk through areas of Baluchistan, the air smells of rotting goat carcasses and the heat is so stifling that many people are covering themselves in mud just to keep cool,” Asar ul Haq, the IFRC’s head of disaster management in Pakistan said in a statement. There have been riots in Karachi because of power loss to people’s homes, caused by flooding and high winds.

The Calcutta weather office said the city has received more than 300mm of rain since late on Monday night. “Calcutta gets between 1600 to 1700mm of rain every monsoon and now he have got so much rain in just three days,” G Debnath, chief of the local weather office said.

The authorities fear more flooding, and have used loudspeakers to ask residents to keep adequate food stocks at home, or leave their residences for dry land. Many grocery shops were closed. Hospitals and universities have been flooded, while train services were disrupted. The city’s IT hub, which has the offices of many multi-national companies, was also hit.

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14 Responses to Kids play water polo in Calcutta’s streets

  1. earthpal says:

    It’s very sad to see the weather cause such disruption and hardship.

    And here? Where is all this rain coming from? I heard that the forecast is not good for July and August. Parents are going to have to stretch their imaginations like never before to keep their kids minds and bodies occupied these Summer holidays if it’s going to be like this throughout.

  2. matt says:

    They could learn something from the Indian children in the photo above. Oh sorry, H&S. Got to stiffle the kids ability to innovate don’t they!

  3. Pete Smith says:

    “Got to stiffle the kids ability to innovate don’t they!”

    It’s a bit late, but really … what does this mean?

  4. inel says:

    You mean we cannot play outside in air that “smells of rotting goat carcasses” and when we get our next heatwave we won’t be able to “cover ourselves in mud just to keep cool”? No fun for the kids if they have to stay indoors all the time, eh, matt?

  5. matt says:

    Kids the world over make play out of any situation. They might not know its dangerous but they won’t be stopped from playing. In Britain real or imagined threats have all but destroyed the right to roam, to play. They have been herded into soft play-pens where innovation has been designed for them. There is no innovation as in the scene above.

    Kids in Britain have risk designed out of their lives at a young age because of adult paranoia of perceived threats, coupled with a rampant and over-bearing H&S culture. However we are constantly told to prepare our children for a world of work that is continuously changing (ie. a very risky world). A paradox of huge proportions.

    Yes, the above post is about devastating storms but the photo shows something quite different; almost a visual oxymoron! πŸ™‚

  6. earthpal says:

    You’re right Matt. We have become over-protective of our kids and in turn the kids are slow to develop any level of street-wiseness.

    Oh, for the days when we could play out all day long in the sunshine. Healthy limbs, healthy hearts and loads of FUN.

    H&S is definitely not so obssessive in other countries. For example, we went to France last year and we could actually explore all parts of the ruined castles that we visited. No area was roped off, no matter how hazardous they might have been. Perhaps here, it’s much to do with litigation-phobia.

    The kids in the photo there, just like kids everywhere, don’t see the bigger picture. They just see an opportunity to have fun. And so they should.

  7. matt says:

    Last night I had my party in the ancient woods, having hired out the old woodmans cottage, now an eco-cafe. What did the kids do all night? Run riot through-out the woods like a delirious band of chimpanzees! And there were more than a few adults doing the same. πŸ™‚

    If we had been allowed a small open fire to gather around, we would probably had never left! The habits of our ancient ancestry runs so deep. No modern system can change that.

  8. Pete Smith says:

    Much damage done?

  9. matt says:

    No. We’re quite the civilised rowdy lot, north of the river. πŸ™‚

  10. Hi there! You can see the same here in the Philippines since the drainage system in the capital, Manila, is not that good. πŸ™‚

  11. matt says:

    Hi karlo

    Yes, I think this problem is everywhere. Even Brixton in London had a surprise mini-flash flood recently! OK, it wasn’t waste deep. Far from it. But it did get the local people and the news networks buzzing for the afternoon.

    More serious flooding though was had up in the north of England over the last two weeks. Thousands of homes and businesses destroyed and costing insurance companies an estimated Β£1.5 billion pounds.

    This flooding thing is just going to get more common. Best move to the hills!

  12. inel says:

    Hi matt,

    Did you get wet today? Our street in Windsor and the two closest schools were closed due to flooding. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6907316.stm)

    By sheer coincidence, the Environment Agency today provided our neighbourhood with a map of the flood risk to our area. (I had requested a copy last week because we are looking into our flood risk as part of our Neighbourhood Watch activities.) So now we can compare notes with the map (which is pretty accurate for our street where one end was flooded and the other end was not).

    It is worth knowing that the Environment Agency have flood risk maps and advice online for the UK. Just enter a town or postcode and you can check your area’s flood risk, find out about your local environment, and also request copies of maps (when the Post Office are not on strike) which I think are useful for more people to know about. The Environment Agency were very helpful when I contacted them πŸ™‚

  13. matt says:

    My kid’s school, a Victorian building, had many leaks yesterday, one serious. It was like being in a mini disaster zone. More rain to come today so expect to see more problems at the school. Water running through electrics is not a good combination. There was an inch & a half of rainfall in one hour over London/Windsor.

    I hope your street is OK.

  14. saurav says:

    i grow up in playing in street, football, cricket and other regional games. it has its own feeling, those who haven’t played they cant understand or realized………..because it got its own charm.
    it is very risky, but if u put in ratio between enjoyment and risk, enjoyment always win with flying colors.

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