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  • By oferr
  • Cause in Chennai

Relief & Rural Development

100%

During November and December 2015, catastrophic floods struck the state of Tamil Nadu. Hundreds of people lost their lives in the deluge, while lakhs of families were left with nothing after their homes and possessions were washed away. In remote areas, several badly hit communities that were desperate for relief supplies were cut off due to water-logging. Through its sister Trust Asthtva Foundation, OfERR mobilized over two hundred volunteers many of whom waded through chest-high water or used boats to reach life-saving supplies to these stranded families.In the two months following the disaster, OfERR organized over 3 crores/30 million INR worth of supplies and relief items, and distributed them to over 147 slums and villages in Chennai and Cuddalore, reaching approximately 250,000 flood affected people (54,568 families).

To offer support through your organization, email us at csr@oferr.org. To volunteer with us, email volunteer@oferr.org

OfERR’s partnership with the Nadigar Sangam Charitable Trust made it possible to mobilize generous contributions towards relief work from individuals and organizations from the film community. More than a year after the water receded, the scars remain. A calamity of this scale meant not just distributing crucial food and medical supplies but also continuing to work with people who lost everything in the floods. Leveraging OfERR’s experience with long-term disaster rehabilitation following the 2004 tsunami, the initiative “Makkalukaaga Naam” in partnership with the Nadigar Sangam Charitable Trust was launched on December 31, 2015 to repair severely-damaged huts and toilets, restore livelihoods to those who have lost them, open after-school tuition centers to prevent flood-affected children from dropping out of school and conduct health camps on hygiene and disease prevention.

OfERR is also working with the Indian government to obtain support for disabled people in these areas by helping them acquire wheelchairs, prosthetics and crutches, and enabling them to apply for and receive government loans to start small businesses or receive pension. Following last year’s relief work, OfERR has been invited by the government to partner with them for disaster preparedness in the future, starting this December. OfERR is working closely with local government authorities and villagers to take precautionary measures. OfERR has formed a team of 115 volunteers (five in each of the 23 villages) plus thirty OfERR staff and several refugee student volunteers to raise funds, appeal through media organizations for help, provide special support to elderly people, children and disabled people by arranging for transport to government-run storm shelters and function as intermediaries between village residents and government officials to coordinate relief work. Police officers and NSS volunteers have also been roped in to arrange for transport of crucial relief supplies and monitor distribution carefully.OfERR welcomes support from corporate organizations in the form of funding, transportation companies for help with free access to lorries or other large vehicles to transport relief supplies to beneficiaries, volunteers from colleges to help with grassroots relief work or collect funds, hospitals and doctors who can work on an honorary basis in our health camps during and after the floods and/or provide free pharmaceutical supplies, and a college or organization in Cuddalore that can function as our hub where relief supplies can be collected and stored and from where supplies will be picked up for distribution when necessary.

OfERR welcomes support from corporate organizations in the form of funding, transportation companies for help with free access to lorries or other large vehicles to transport relief supplies to beneficiaries, volunteers from colleges to help with grassroots relief work or collect funds, hospitals and doctors who can work on an honorary basis in our health camps during and after the floods and/or provide free pharmaceutical supplies, and a college or organization in Cuddalore that can function as our hub where relief supplies can be collected and stored and from where supplies will be picked up for distribution when necessary. To offer support through your organization, email us at csr@oferr.org. To volunteer with us, email volunteer@oferr.org.

For those who were affected by last year’s floods, the journey to recovery is long – and it is one that will take several years. As with the tsunami relief work, OfERR remains committed to the government and people of India and will do what it takes to help those affected by this tragedy get back on their feet and rebuild a life of dignity

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