Helping the flood-hit restart their lives

Volunteers from various social organisations sorting out relief material before despatching them to flood-affected areas in Hyderabad. Serish Nanisetti  

There is an infectious energy as dozens of young men and women stand, sit, sort and bag relief material to be despatched to the flood-affected areas of Hyderabad. The relief material includes clothes, inner wear, bedsheets, mattresses, dry rations, hygiene kits, toiletries, citronella incense sticks and almost everything else that a family may need.

“We did a survey and found that nearly 6,000 families have lost everything. The current requirement is clothes, bedsheets, mattresses and other things of daily use,” says Sara, one of the coordinators at the relief centre, where 10 NGOs and social organisations have teamed up.

Power of social media

Social media and word-of-mouth publicity played a key role in getting relief material and volunteers. The stock of relief material was enough to damage the glass pane of the re-purposed car showroom.

The relief material is brought from dozens of collection centres set up across the city. “We managed to bring in many NGOs to work with us. We have created a system where the material that is brought in is sorted, catalogued and despatched to different areas,” says Azam Khan, who has helped put together the relief war-room. The most affected areas are pinned to a map on the wall.

While initially food was the major requirement, now the demand is more for bedsheets, mattresses and utensils.

In a different part of the city, Khaleeda Parveen has created a different model for distributing relief material. “The flood-affected people come here, show their identity and locality where they are from and then they pick up clothes of their choice and leave. We also give each family a blanket, bedsheets, a bucket and a mug,” says Ms Parveen of Amoomat Society.

People from Talabkatta, Falaknuma and other areas are travelling to the houses near Salar Jung Colony to collect relief material.

Another NGO is focussing on the flood-affected in Saroornagar, Uppal and Nagaram areas. “We distributed food packets in those areas in the initial days. But now the needs have changed. One of our partnering NGOs has brought in relief material from other cities and we are distributing kits now,” says a volunteer associated with the relief effort.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 9:45:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/helping-the-flood-hit-restart-their-lives/article32966917.ece

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