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Land of lost reflections

At the heart of backwaters in Kerala, thatched house boats dot the waterscapes that proudly pinned the land over the international tourism map. Meanwhile, Elsamma, a house wife living some canals away from the house boats struggle to find drinking water for her family amidst all its water bounty.

Abundant water and greens often get easily equated to prosperity, but that’s not the case always. Perhaps that’s the paradox of Kuttandu to a certain extent. Geographically Kuttanadu falls in the Vembanad deltaic region, form a sensitive ecosystem of backwaters reclaimed land and a network of canals that lies at or below sea level. The peculiarities of the region showcased in umpteen number of tourism ads across the globe has brought world acclaim to Kerala as a superbrand over the years. But the so called ‘development’ brought with it farm effluents to unauthorised landfills blocking the free flow of water in its labyrinth of smaller canals. What lies beneath the green carpet is stagnant polluted water enveloping an entire region dependant on these waterbodies for livelihood.