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Apeksha Bagchi

IWB Blogger

For Families Stranded In Kerala Floods, People Like Padmavathy Are A Ray Of Hope

  • IWB Post
  •  August 18, 2018

The situation in Kerala is deteriorating and residents are left battling the intensifying rains and the ongoing floods. And in these bleak moments, Padmavathy, a revenue officer in the district collectorate in Kochi, is directing rescue operations in Kerala along with 40 other people busy in getting help to the stranded families.

They are receiving countless calls every day, imploring them to help the people in Kerala somehow. “Don’t worry, we are passing on this message to authorities. In the meantime, please climb to higher floors if possible,” Padmavathy always assures them, giving them the hope they so desperately need.

“Around 25 staff of the revenue department are here, the police and IT engineers make up the rest. Whatever information we get, we relay to the local taluk offices. We are not directly in touch with the military or central rescue teams,” said Padmavathy.

“The government has provided us with a lot of phone lines, but many people are still not able to connect with us. The incoming traffic is massive… We had never ever expected a tragedy of this scale. This is beyond our imagination,” said Anil Kumar, an ACP in Kochi City Police.

Another motivated individual, V S Dileep Kumar, head of an NGO for youth, is working with students of polytechnic and medical colleges. These students are working as volunteers in different corners of the city to distribute food and offer medical assistance.

“I am sure you understand the limitations of the government machinery. There are limited phone lines and the messages they receive have to be picked up effectively by the rescue forces. So, we have to pitch in,” he said.

Working with the same goal, Anirudh and his two friends are using their website, which they had started for their business, for flood rescue efforts. On the website, the ones who are stranded fill a contact sheet with details of their location, which in turn marks them on a map. Anirudh and his two friends then contact them or notify the district authorities about their location. “The helpline numbers are likely to be jammed because a lot of people are calling. So we have set up a parallel system through which we can record pleas for help and forward it to the government,” said Anirudh.

“My mother, father and grandmother are at home in Kozhikode. The water has reached the last step of the front porch. If it rises by one more metre, it will enter the house. There is no power supply, either. Even when I am helping others, there is always a fear in my heart about my own family,” added Anirudh.

These people are all ordinary but what makes them extraordinary is their selfless zeal to help those in need. If you want to join them in making sure that Kerala receives the resources it is in dire need of you can contribute to the CM’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF).

Here’s how:

Online: www.donation.cmdrf.kerala.gov.in

Name of Donee: CMDRF

Account number: 67319948232

Bank: State Bank of India

Branch: City branch, Thiruvananthapuram

IFSC: SBIN0070028

PAN detail: AAAGD0584M

SWIFT Code: SBININBBT08

Account type: Savings

Mailing address: The Principal Secretary (Finance) Treasurer,

Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund, Secretariat, Thiruvananthapuram -1

Following items can also be donated:

  • Cooking utensils and dining utensils like plates and tumblers
  • Household furniture like chairs and tables
  • Rice and other pulses and cereals
  • Containers for storing rice, other pulses and cereals
  • Footwear
  • Mugs and buckets
  • Sanitary napkins
  • First Aid medicines/kits
  • Candles and matchboxes
  • Packaged food

These can be sent to –

Thiruvananthapuram: The Principal Secretary (Finance) Treasurer, Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund, Secretariat, Thiruvananthapuram – 1

Kannur: Control Room, Collectorate, Kannur – 670002 (9446682300, 04972700645)

Idukki: District Collector Idukki, Idukki Collectorate, Painavu P O, Kuyilimala, Idukki – 685603

Wayanad: District Collector, Collectorate, Kalpetta, Wayanad (0469 204151, 9745166864, 9746239313)

Both NGO Goonj and Oxfam India are working on the ground can be reached at here (Goonj) and Oxfam India here.

A consolidated and pin-dropped list of centres has been put up, by Google, which provides info about rescue ops, including shelters, food and water, medicine and essentials, volunteers, Jeep rescue and ambulances. Find it here.

You can also donate via Amazon which has partnered with three NGOs – Habitat for Humanity India, World Vision India, Goonj.

To donate:

  1. Click here
  2. Select an NGO, browse their Wish List and select products to donate
  3. Checkout, select a gift registry address, make payment

Donations are also taking place via Paytm which has opened a dedicated page to contribute towards the Kerala CM’s Distress Relief Fund. Milaap, India’s crowdfunding website’s fund sourcing page can be found here.

H/T: The Indian Express, The Better India, The News Minute

 

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