With over 30 years’ experience, Snehalaya has always responded to natural calamities and their victims by participating in relief work. While we are used to responding to disasters, the last year and a half have presented extraordinary challenges. We are proud of our Mission Rahat team who have been at the frontline providing relief, support and a friendly smile to those worst hit.
In July, large areas of Maharashtra, including the Konkan region, already drowning from the second wave of COVID, faced the worst floods in four decades which further washed away the hard-earned belongings and homes of people. As Ahmednagar was not directly affected, we lept into action and on 27 July, dispatched staff and volunteer teams to Chiplun-Khed-Mahad, where water levels have risen as high as the first floors of buildings.
Roads and trail tracks have been washed away further isolating the region, already in lockdown, from the rest of the state. Electricity and phone connections have been cut off due to damage to poles and electricity generating plants. With no immediate help available and no monetary support forthcoming, the lowest income families, already drowning in debt, are worst affected.
With a huge death toll and the number of people missing increasing, we are providing emergency supplies - 750 kits of household items and 2500 grocery kits so far - helping with the clean-up operations, often arriving on the scene before the government agencies. Together, our teams have cleaned and helped clear over 100 houses and other buildings flooded with dirt, mud, water and the odd aquatic animal. This includes restoring a 100-bed COVID hospital, where 10 patients and life-saving equipment were swept away in a flash flood, and Chiplun’s tehsil office and Rural District Hospital.