Sunday, December 12, 2010

Kosi revisited 2010

The basti of Bhanwartola comes under Sinduwari ward (15/16) of Shahpur Panchayat ,Gwalpada block in the district of Madhepura,Bihar. This settlement of around 400 households resides now beside the canal embankment.These people lost everything during the Kosi flood of 2008 and were residing on the embankment for almost two years before their houses could be built, hand pumps installed, buildings repaired.

There has been noticeable change from almost a year back when we were here.At the beginning of east canal  embankment, we saw construction work going on the culvert and sluice gates being worked on and replaced. After driving a few kilometers on the embankment we reached Bhanwartola.
 The first thing one noticed was that the school building was repaired almost new and about 40- 50 children were having mid day meals in the courtyard. It was a heartening sight..this place is really in the interiors, difficult to reach and it was nice to see Government agencies working here.
The region is still overwhelmingly covered with sand carried by the flood waters,but sparse vegetation has started dotting the landscape. Some farmers here are trying to grow vegetables, mainly 'Parval' as that's suited to this new soil layer. Earlier,the farmers predominantly grew food grains & the yield was nice. They hope a good year of rainfall will slowly bind the soil together & better options for farming will be available. Incidentally, after the floods,rainfall has been scarce in this region
We had been in touch with the ward member Mr.Upendra and he had prepared a list of beneficiaries who needed the blankets most. They were mostly old people, masomaat or widows and people from poorest section of this basti.These people were earlier given a stamped piece of paper bearing their name/representatives name which they submitted to us after they received the blanket. 
In all, around 200 blankets ,400 odd set of clothes & 100 set of woolens including shawls, woolen sheets, bed sheets, winter caps, scarves etc for for women & children were given out to the beneficiaries. We had carefully marked & packed each dress set separately for different age groups. We distributed the relief materials to everyone who was there at the site.
Acknowledgment in the form of thumb impression/signature were received on the beneficiaries list.

This effort could be carried out because of people like Ms Bhawna Agrawal(Tempe,AZ) who sent us funds for 150 blankets and by members of our group namely Saroj, Agnivesh & Sunil Singh (US),Divyanshu Ji ,Dilip Ji & Ashok  sharma(Bangalore), Anand Guneshwar (Gandhinagar) & Vivek (Singapore). The details are at this link

I would specially like to thank Bhawna Ji for taking the initiative and contacting me and offering to help with purchase of blankets for these people, to Ashok for always being there to help and to Amitesh Ji from Prayaas for all the help he has been providing for this initiative for the last three years.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Update : Progress of relief distribution

Dear friends

This is the update on the progress of relief distribution ;

We will not be going to Madhepura on 26th, as planned earlier. We will be going there between 28th Nov and 2nd December. The delay is caused mainly due to unavailability of commercial vehicles (sumo /mahindra pik up) as all are booked or seized for election duty.  Most of the vehicles will be relieved by 27th, hence earliest we can leave is 28th.

I have procured ;

  • Warm children wear new -50 sets, old - around 80 pc
  • Clothes for women & older children - around 100 sets
  • Medicines (for de worming,analgesics,eye-drops,antiseptic & anti-fungal creme, neoprene powder,cold medications) of Rs 8k
  • Blankets & shawls - have around 60 now, will be getting some more
Now, that I have some more time I will be getting more materials for this trip .These are all in addition to of the relief materials we are buying with the funds send by Bhawana Ji. I had placed order for the blankets & should be getting them by tomorrow.

Best regards,


Blanket Distribution - Bhanvertola@Madhepura - Update


Thanks for your kind support.

We now have 400 set of cloths, on top of that we bought 150 blankets (We paid Rs120 per blanket), some medicines (like calpol and analdesics). Chandan will start his journey today or tomorrow and handover all these stuffs to people of Bhanvertola village.

I would also like to hightlight that It is not practical for Chandan to visit Bhanvertola frequently. The village is quite far and it takes lot of time and effort to reach there. Hats off to Chandan for putting this brave effort.

If you have still not decided to support this project then I would advice you to hold on your support money till we have our next plan. If you want to support this work you can do so by sending your support money to Prayaas and letting me know about your donation by today.

We need to do this, so as to approximate the items which we can procure. I hope you all understand.

I am attaching some pics which Chandan send to me.

Feel free to send any feedback/questions.