Kerala floods: how people pitched in with relief work

How a group of Kochi women risked their lives to help during the Kerala floods

Now with volunteers from Chennai, the Do For Others team is growing

It all started with one woman’s thought — ‘Why not step out of home and do some real work?’ Kochi-based business woman Bindu Sathyajith decided to dive right in, quite literally, into rescue and relief work during the floods. Today, her group, called Do For Others (DFO) has over 300 people working on field and several others from across the globe providing technical support. “We started as an all-women’s team,” says Bindu, speaking over phone. Initially, she was joined by her friends Asha G Nair, Sujatha Menon, and Karthika Nair, and her movement soon grew in scale and strength to incorporate teams from Chennai and Bengaluru.

How a group of Kochi women risked their lives to help during the Kerala floods

Among DFO’s notable efforts is the setting up of “72 bio toilets in 72 hours in Kuttanad,” according to Bindu. “We are working in coordination with the Coast Guard and Navy to air-lift people,” she adds. “One of the women we air-lifted was pregnant. She delivered within two hours of reaching the hospital.” The DFO team has worked across Kerala — including Kochi, Ernakulam, Alappuzha, Munnar, and Thrissur.

“Right now, we have been joined in by medical teams from Mysore, Chennai, and Bengaluru,” says Bindu. “They have set up medical camps at various places.” Their focus now is on rehabilitation. “We have identified tribal villages in Wayanad and Kuttanad that are in dire need of support,” she says. “They have lost everything. Their houses have been completely destroyed.”

How a group of Kochi women risked their lives to help during the Kerala floods

The floors, made of mud, are impossible to be slept on. “Which is why our priority is to provide them foldable cots,” explains Bindu. Her team has managed to get support for 100 families — 50 each at Wayanad and Kuttanad — and is looking for corporates to come forward to adopt more villages. Bindu doesn’t have the time for anything else, let alone worry for her safety. “My family is worried about me,” she says. “But it feels great to be doing this. At each place we travelled to, we managed to just make it. We crossed the Aluva river right on time when water flowed with unimaginable force. And at Wayanad too, we escaped many treacherous accidents,” she recalls. “All of us at DFO will be glad to die doing this.”

How you can help

The DFO team is putting together relief kits. They require:

Foldable cots



Bed sheets

Kerosene stoves

Shirts and pants

Saris and petticoats


Containers to store provisions at home

For details, call 9946699000, 9946904268

Drop locations

Naturals Lounge, 27, South Boag Road, T Nagar

A26, Sunnyvale Apartments, A block, 2nd Floor, 351 Konnur High Road, Ayanavaram

Bamboola, 73, Venkata Krishna Road, RA Puram (Inside Shankar Nethralaya Eye Hospital’s compound)

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 12:23:21 PM |

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