Flood Relief- District 313, India

Posted by | Sep 03, 2021 |

Mother nature’s fury was at its peak… In July 2021, it had been raining incessantly for more than two weeks Maharashtra, India. It caused havoc and people were suffering as a result of the catastrophe.

The news media were flooded with reports about the grim situations in many regions of Maharashtra, India. Due to the heavy rains, rivers swelled and flooded the land, causing landslides which left thousands stranded, homeless and helpless. Reports of deaths and missing persons, hamlets being washed away and flood water everywhere has left many stunned!

It was “SHE” which rose to the challenge… “SHE” is Inner Wheel’s women power in the 7 key goals “SHEROES” presented by Association President Saroj Katiyar for Inner Wheel year 2021-2022. “SHE” lost no time and came forward giving a helping hand to the suffering.

Almost all 75 clubs of District 313 started collecting essentials and sending to various affected regions through trusted channels. Where all government machinery and other disaster management task forces were working round the clock to rescue, our clubs pitched in to reach out with food and essential things.

District Chairman Mrs Santosh Singh immediately decided on working collectively to reach out to affected people of Mahabaleshwar region. On her appeal, the whole district raised more than 3.80 lac rupees in cash and collected household items and essentials to be distributed. Indeed “women’s heart and spirit in force” can save and rebuild lives!

As we generously donate, we feel good for having done our bit. But most important is to execute and supervise it so that it reaches the needy properly.

On 2nd August, DC Santosh led with a truck load of essential goods. She was joined by District secretary, Dr. Shobhna Palekar. They started from Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar in early morning. On the way, many clubs greeted the leaders and handed more relief items and even cash. Braving heavy rains and treacherous flooded roads, they reached the region. It took them twice the time it would normally take.

Mahabaleshwar, is the famous valley in the Konkan region of Maharshtra. It is a major tourist attraction. Yet it now bore a defeated look. The beautiful small villages of Mangar, Tapola, Haroushi, Navli and Devli are all washed away completely. Roads had become rivers in the heavy downpour. Clusters of homeless people just could not be reached by road. It was a heart-wrenching situation.

The Inner Wheel Club of Mahableshwar and senior Past District Chairmen worked hand in hand. With proper planning, they procured rations and goods, and repacked into individual bundles sufficient for a person a month.

DC Santosh took along a big consignment of emergency medicines. Professional trekkers were engaged to carry the relief material to the people. In this “mega relief drive” we were able to reach out to more than 300 people with almost all the necessities: grocery for one month per person, 300 medical kits, 300 sanitary pads, 200 purified drinking water, bedsheets, blankets, and even tarpaulin to rebuild temporary roofing for their houses.

All this was accomplished in a day. It was the first collective relief drive! The amount raised by all the clubs were all optimally used to reach out to the maximum number of people.

This project is still ongoing at nearby villages of Chiplun district. 200 medicine kits were given to rural hospitals and “gram Panchayats”.

Credit also goes to the heroic trekkers who braved the rushing rivers and broken hilly paths to distribute the packets. When trekkers Anil Kelgene, Sunil Bhatia, Somnath Waghdare and Sunil Bawlekar shared their daredevil rescue efforts, the story left all shaken. The district felicitated them with memento as a mark of gratitude.

The villagers who were waiting for help for days were given a ray of hope. Their loss is tremendous and no one can fathom their grief. Life itself is resilient… and there is hope that as time passes, the situation will return to normal.

“SHE – Stree Shakti” came forward to heal the hurt in people. This mega project is ongoing and continue to reach out to as many as possible, helping them to regain ground.

The IIW theme “ Pink First” says it all… Pink is always first to rise to the occasion.

The Association theme “SHEROES”, can be read as “SHE – ROSE”. Yes, women power. The Inner Wheel ‘SHE’ ‘rose’ to the challenge!