Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Update - Day 36

Dear friends,

Consignments received today;

  1. 100 vial testing supply (for water testing kit ) ~sent by Guneshwar, Gandhinagar ( Total cost with refill Rs.12213.00)
  2. One carton of clothes sent by Capegemini, Pune.

Stabilization and rehabilitation;

One month & six days after the embankment at Kusaha went down; a lot of cloud still surrounds the whereabouts of people who should have been accounted by now.

Out of 3.5 million people who are reported to be affected by this deluge, a maximum of one million (very liberal estimate) are taking shelter in relief camps. Many people are reported to have moved on to Places outside the flood zone…How many? 2.5 million?

Twenty five hundred thousand people cannot just move out into thin air …they have to be some where. When and how will we know that? Many people are reported to have gone back to the villages as water receded, how many we do not know !!

It’s a Herculean task and all of us have to chip in.

Psychological counseling is one of the critical factors while addressing stabilization issue. Children are the most vulnerable, specially the ones whose family is missing, those who have seen their loved ones Gone under, those who have faced nature’s wrath huddled with their parent, day in day out, hungry, sick, frightened and confused.

Many of the flood victims are young, teenagers, children.. How can they look forward to a new life with all these emotional baggage and suffering that they have to carry for the rest of their lives?

Psychological counseling at camps has to be provided by the best professionals around; they have to be counseled for a new life ahead.

A lot of work has to be done, and the threat of rise in water level still looms large, Kosi is a late bloomer, it can turn ugly again, lets hope and pray that it does not.

If possible, let us have a skype conf. and share views on how these problems can/should be addressed.

We have given ten lifejackets to Anand Marg Universal Relief Team (AMURT). They had an incident while trying to get in Birpur interior and their boat capsized. Earlier, we had also given them clothes & 12 boxes of chlorine for the 12 camps they are running in interior areas.

We need plastic sheets/trampoline sheets for families’ deeper inside on the embankment.

We also need a tent for our team ( 2-4 person). We cannot stay at the site because of lack of shelter and that means more time is spent traveling and very less time on the actual site.

Darafga embankment, for example, is 300 0dd KM away; we leave Patna by 10pm, drive the whole night and reach the site by 9-10am . We hardly have 4-5 hours as we have to leave the site by 3pm to reach Katihar before sun down. And then 10-12 hours drive back.

I plan to stay on the embankment for 3-4 days; we can get a lot of things done and cover a lot of settlements if we stay at the site.

We have taken a room at Saharsa for storing our supplies, and once/if I have a tent, we’ll have a base there.

My team members will be coming back from their native village by 10 am today (they had gone for ‘Jeetiya’ and ‘Pind daan’) and we will start relief ops again tonight.

CFTRI ,Mysore has some good high energy low volume food packets, if any of us can find out more about them, it will be helpful.

I plan to work on the camps we have touched till December, if need be. I would hope for your continued support till then. I could not have done even 1% of the work, if I didn’t have a positive, pro active, supporting and integrated team like you folks.

Thank you all so much.

Chandan Singh

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