Updates on Kerala Disaster Relief
A team of volunteers from the Mission reached Kerala on 18th August and set up base at Paravoor, one of the worst affected areas. Supplies were procured. Food is freshly cooked and then with a truck, the team sets out to distribute into the affected interiors of Paravoor.
“Damage is extensive. Affected people have lost everything. People were so hungry they put bananas, bread immediately in mouth as soon as they received," reported the volunteers.
On 24th August - Train leaves in the morning with 23 Tons for Kerala Floods relief.
Sadhu Vaswani Mission Ahmedabad worked with the Indian Western Railways in arranging a special High Capacity Parcel Van to send Relief Materials to the flood victims in Kerala.
23 Tons of Materials, including medicines, water bottles, bedsheets, napkins, blankets, mosquito repellents, and food items were collected and loaded. The extra bogey was attached to the Porbander Kochi Express at Ahmedabad today, Friday at 3AM IST and will reach Erankulam tomorrow, Saturday noon. Materials will be received by the office of Ernakulam Dist Collector Shri Mohd. Y. Safirulla K (IAS) for distribution to the victims.
The Mission is deeply grateful to the supporters and the contributions in carrying out this mission of mercy in the disaster affected areas of Kerala. The Mission’s humble efforts continue in full swing under the grace and inspiration of our ever-living Beloved Master Dada J.P. Vaswani.
A Brief Timeline of the first 6 days
Day 1: The Sadhu Vaswani Mission Pune Kerala relief team started their march as soldiers of the army of God on the early morning of Saturday, 18th August. They reached Coimbatore by afternoon and met with the local community leaders, & other members of NGOss such as CBE4KERALA.
Day 2: After assessing entry points to Kerala and affected zones, they moved to Palakkad on Sunday morning, which was the most suitable entry to Kerala. They met up with the local MP and later visited some affected areas of Palakkad. Palakkad was in the mode of recovery as it was amongst the first few areas to get affected around 9th to 10th of August. Some local government officials came forward to help, in the form of the Master’s angels. They arranged a meeting with the Collector. They were informed that lot of supplies have reached but roads were closed further for aid to move on. The team also met Dr. Sreeram Shankar, head of Sewa Bharti and Mr. Kailasamani of District Head of Indian Red Cross. It was decided to move to Paravoor which is one of the most affected areas. There were 20 kilometres of road blocks, landslides, but the govt. officials promised a police convoy too, in case of problems.
Day 3: It was action time. The team started early morning at 5.30am to Paravoor firmly believing that the Beloved Master would guide them and clear all the hurdles. And so it happened! There were no road blocks! The 20km jam disappeared, with no landslides to hinder! On reaching Paravoor, the team met the local MLA Mr. Satheesh. The condition was grim. Though the water had started receding, most of the houses are damaged or washed away due to the 4 to 8 feet water levels. After an extensive search, the team found a suitable venue to start the food kitchen. Now the challenge was of supplies – the raw material, cooks, cooking equipment and gas cylinder, water etc as everything was closed.
Day 4: With God's Grace and the local support of the Councillor, everything got arranged and the team set out with a small target of 300 breakfast packets of Upama and 400 lunch packets of pulaav and pickle. When they reached out to the affected areas, the packets got over in a matter of few minutes. People were hungry, having returned to their homes with no food, water or electricity. There no transport available either nor were provision stores open. The team saw the rich and poor equally hungry wanting food. Extra items like biscuits, rusks, bananas, bread and water bottles were distributed. Seeing the desperate need, the team set a target of 2000 for the next day. They got procured more supplies from Palakkad in terms of raw food items like rice, oil, dal etc. which was unloaded by all of them - the Mission team, the officers, and the local people.
DAY 5: The cooking started at 1.30am so that distribution could be done from 10am to 1pm. The menu was a packet of biryani with dahi kachumar and pickle and water bottles. The first van left at 9.30AM and distribution was done as planned by 2pm. The food was tastier as they could know the local requirement. The food finished much before than planned, and left the team with mixed emotions as they couldn’t feed more due to constraints of materials and also manpower, space, distribution vehicles and volunteers. Yet, they took on the daunting task to double up the production to 4000 packets. At the same time, the Mission team was thinking of reaching out to more affected areas, especially to Kuttinad which is one of the worst affected near Alleppy Allapuda.
DAY 6: Quantity is scaled up to 4000 food packets, with cooking going on the whole night. Today’s menu is local dish errisery, plain boiled rice, cabbage thoran and lemon pickle.