Rain has abated, waters are receding, power and cellular networks are being restored in most parts of the city. What stares us now in the face is the magnitude of destruction of life and property in the aftermath of days of unrelenting rain. The death toll has crossed 269. We still haven’t been able to assess the extent of loss of property. The number of flood affected people taking refuge in railway and bus stations and other public places is enough to make your heart sink. Over 3 lakh people of Chennai and its surrounding towns. Our relief work has begun.
How will we rehabilitate such huge numbers? How will we provide them home and work all over again? Belongings all gone, they now are dependent on being fed, clothed and sheltered. Do you want to help? You can contribute to Bhoomika Trust, details at the end of the blog.
In my blog of yesterday, I requested all of you to pray for us, along with us for the rains to stop and the sun to shine upon us. Our prayers were heard. Today I write with a request to all those that can help us rebuild our peoples’ lives. I recount portions of my prayer post of yesterday.
“Rains have lashed cruelly, wiped away peoples’ homes and belongings, forcing inmates to move to higher floors of apartments and some on to the terraces. Rich nor poor, young nor old have been spared. Open terraces, wet and cold have been the only shelter to some, till being rescued by The National Disaster Rescue Force, the Army, the Navy and citizens alike.
Reservoirs have brimmed over and rivers have swelled. There are no roads left in some parts of the city, they have been converted to waterways.
We taxied our people to safety in boats.
This is how much our airport and railway tracks were submerged till a few hours ago.
But we are resilient. Our people have risen to the occasion with single minded focus of rehabilitating those who have lost a roof over their heads. Our shopping malls and cinema halls suspended their shows for a while and made room for the cold and shivering to spend the night. So did the places of worship of every faith. Our citizens have strengthened the hands of the state machinery in relief work like nowhere else. The rains have been truly merciless, a situation no government can probably deal with single-handedly. No government, no state could have been equipped to handle a calamity of this magnitude. Our volunteers for relief work round the clock are our warriors, they are young, very young, they are old, very old, but have come out in numbers that are overwhelming. Relief materials have poured in generously, from neighbouring states too, but is it enough? The task ahead is herculean”.
It is relief centres like Bhoomika Trust that have in a huge measure come to the rescue of flood torn Chennai. Providing relief during times of disaster. Hundreds of volunteers cooking, packing food for the homeless, collecting and distributing fresh sets of clothes to young and old alike, providing rations and stoves to those that have lost their belongings, but have a bare home. Reaching out medical supplies to the sick. Clean drinking water is the need of the hour and Bhoomika Trust is doing their best to distribute the same. Babies and little children are languishing without milk in these flood torn areas. There is a huge need to not just feed, clothe and shelter the homeless for the next few days, but the task of providing long term relief is a daunting task. The Trust is bending backwards to meet such needs. It will need as much aid and support as can be given.
Here are their goals in their own words.
|•||Channel efforts into meaningful interventions that focus on under-privileged individuals|
|•||During times of disaster, work with experts in the field of relief and rehabilitation, foster a spirit of public – private partnership and avoid duplication of efforts.|
|•||Providing/ coordinating relief and rehabilitation support during times of disaster|
|•||Providing educational assistance to under-privileged students|
|•||Providing support to other NGOs
Bhoomika Trust was set up in February 2001 and primarily works towards providing disaster relief and rehabilitation. The Trust has worked extensively with victims of natural disasters like the earthquake in Gujarat and the tsunami in South India
To view Bhoomika Trust’s fact sheet, click here
To view Bhoomika Trust’s organizational structure, click here
Disaster Relief Donations:
Contributions in Indian rupees can be made towards Bhoomika Trust
(A/c no: 006010100609760 at Axis Bank, Radhakrishnan Salai, Chennai)
IFSC Code: UTIB0000006, MICR Code: 600211002
Online contributions in INR can be made through (www.truegiftsindia.org)
Foreign Contributions can be made towards Bhoomika Trust FCRA A/c
(A/c no: 006010100611060 at Axis Bank, Radhakrishnan Salai,Chennai)
IFSC Code: UTIB0000006, MICR Code: 600211002
Please mention disaster relief in your mail to firstname.lastname@example.org regarding donations
Do leave a comment behind to show us your solidarity or if you intend to lend a helping hand. Thank you!