Sadhu Vaswani Mission rushes to aid villagers stranded in Railways Tunnel
Amid the pandemic, came another catastrophe — the Cyclone Nisarg. It wreaked havoc in many regions of Maharashtra.
Along the coastal Raigad district, it affected several villages with tremendous damage. Amongst these villages, the tiny hamlet of Umbarvira in the interiors of Khalapur district, around 65 kms from Pune was the worst hit. On 9th June, 58 families, including an infant, took shelter in an old railway tunnel near Khandala.
Most of the villagers are adivasis and for their livelihood depend on construction projects along the Pune-Mumbai corridor. Lion’s Club Lonavala brought it to the notice of the Sadhu Vaswani Ashram Medical Center, Khandala. Sadhu Vaswani Mission Pune immediately joined in the relief efforts. "58 families were left without shelter after the cyclone blew away their huts. They were living in an unused railway tunnel in a pitiable condition. As soon as it was brought to our notice we rushed with aid," said the Mission official.
At the Mission headquarters, volunteer team was pressed into action to make generous ration kits for them overnight. Ration kits included 5 kg rice, 5 kg wheat flour, 1 kg pulses, 1litre cooking oil, 1 kg poha/sabudana/suji, 1 kg sugar, and 1 kg tea powder & hygiene essentials.
On 11th June 2020, the seva was executed. The location was accessible only to a certain point where a truck was stationed and arranged by Lion’s Club. The villagers were brought from the pickup point to the Sadhu Vaswani Ashram Medical Centre, Khandala. The Solapur chaddars, blankets, towels, and tarpaulin sheets were provided for the damaged huts. The villagers were then brought back to their village.