Delta Gaja Relief

By Millena Christabel John

Not all Heroes wear Capes…

In India the definition of disaster doesn’t sound hard hitting to the inhabitants quite often, but when it does, it can be understood that the aftermath and the loss of lives were unfathomable and devastating. One such disaster occurred in the form of a cyclone named thereon as Gaja in November 2018. It made its landfall in Southern India (delta regions) affecting close to 80,000 people. Relief camps were set up at necessary locations and the required help was provided to those in need. In situations such as these, efficient and genuine volunteering is important as it leads to a better contribution to the society. To take a step towards this, Thuvakkam, along with its fellow volunteers set out to aid those who needed the support.

Though Thuvakkam had a prior experience in providing the necessary items for the affected people, during the flood at Kerala in 2018,  Mr.Joseph Alex who coordinates this project,  express that each region has a unique characteristic and need attached to it and that it had to be dealt with accordingly. “We visited each area individually, and after having understood their need, we decided to provide the necessary items to fulfill people’s requirement to the fullest”, says Joseph . Their plan was well thought but they had to find a suitable way to supply the items. “The team and I were not convinced with the idea of gathering the people and distributing the items, as we felt that it would lead to a dispute over the supplies among the people”,Mr Joseph states.

This made them decide to visit each household to know their requirement. After which they divided the supplies and distributed them on the basis of a token system, to facilitate smooth flow of items. “By following this technique, I and the fellow volunteers from Thuvakkam were able to deliver supplies to two villages”, says Mr Joseph. But they felt the need to modify their way of working by identifying the do’s and don’ts of this volunteering in a meeting. The discussion lead to them, visiting the interior parts of the villages as well, to provide their valuable service. The volunteering served as a mentor in making Mr Joseph and his fellow volunteers understand how to deal with a disaster and deliver the required items without causing further trouble to the affected people. “I and my fellow volunteers from Thuvakkam ,also made sure to collect the feedback from the people, as it would serve as a tool to enhance the efficiency of volunteering in the near future”, Mr joseph adds. The people, despite the trying situation, have not failed to treat the volunteers from Thuvakkam amicably. We almost reached around 1000 families with necessary items includes dry rations, tarpaulin, dry grass mat depends on their needs states,Alex.  He concludes stating, “The volunteering made me and my fellow volunteers from Thuvakkam confident and also helped us understand that we would be able to serve the people in any kind of a disaster in the years to come”.

About Author, 

Hi! I’m Millena Christabel John. I’m pursuing my Masters Degree in Mass communication. I’m an ambivert and its safe to say that I prefer writing to talking. One of my avid interests include reading which was also one of the main reasons why I developed a liking towards writing. I’ve previously written blogs on the Wrytin website. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to volunteer in your organization. Hoping to see my work inspire minds and hearts.