Starting from tomorrow morning Saturday, July 20, Dehradun roads will witness a massive convoy of 30 trucks loaded with 84 tonnes of HelpAge Relief packages heading towards the remotest villages of Districts Chamoli, Uttarkashi & Rudraprayag, some of the worst affected by the Uttarakhand floods in June last month. In the first phase – 15 trucks leave tomorrow on Saturday, followed by the next lot of 15 trucks on Tuesday, July 23.
It’s been a month now and there are already signs of News fatigue regarding Uttarakhand. The initial rush one witnessed with people rushing in to give aid and donations was overwhelming, but now the situation is changing.
“We forget easily, along with the dying wave of sympathy, funds for those affected are also dwindling. There are people who don’t even have matchboxes to light their stoves, people have lost earning members in their families, some have lost their entire home & live savings to the floods, others means of livelihood.
Our HelpAge team has been on ground at work 24×7, since June 21, providing primary medical relief to those affected and distributing family food packages, this convoy is the last of the material we bought from the funds we have and it will barely last for 15 days. Honestly, it isn’t enough, and we need funds urgently to help them cope“, – says Mathew Cherian, Chief Executive Officer, HelpAge India.
The challenge: Reaching remote and inaccessible villages. “As many roads have been cut off or badly damaged, we have no choice but to trek in many areas or go on mule back carrying our supplies. The aim is to go where relief has not penetrated till now,” – says Dr. Aapga, Head of Uttarakhand Relief Operations, in the state.
The beneficiaries are being identified through local partners: Shri Bhuvaneshwari Mahila Ashram (Uttarkashi) working there for the last 30 years and Appropriate Technology India – a group working on livelihood in Rudraprayag and Chamoli Districts since 1999.
This is the next major round of relief package distribution by HelpAge, with 3000 packages being distributed to 3000 families across 99 villages in Chamoli, Uttarkashi & Rudraprayag. Each package (weighing 28 kgs) includes:
10 kg Wheat flour, 10 kg Rice, 3 kg Arhar dal, 2 kg Sugar, 1 kg Salt, 0.3 kg Spices (Chilli powder, Coriander powder and Turmeric powder), 1 ltr Mustard oil, 0.5 kg Soya chunks, Washing soap, Detergent Soap and 10 match boxes.
“In many villages the elderly have been left behind, especially in Kalimath Valley near Kedarnath, with the earning male member of the family lost to the floods, leaving them dependent and without any form of support– says Mr. Avenash Datta, Country Head – Programmes, HelpAge India.
HelpAge Relief Work so far:
- 800 family food packages, 500 Blankets, 400 Tarpaulin have already been distributed.
- 3 Mobile Medicare Units are continuing to provide emergency health services at Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag & Chamoli Districts.
- 54 villages covered already. 3703 persons treated medically.
- Relief teams are reaching on-foot, setting up roadside make-do camps where access is cut off.
“We know that what we are dong a just a drop in the ocean and things will only get tougher with the worsening on weather with the Monsoon onslaught, therefore what is urgently required is donations for Food packets, Blankets, Tarpaulin, Solar Lights and ofcourse medical care. There aren’t any funds left now, and we are urging people to please help us in helping those that need it most.Uttarakhand is a long way from recovering from the magnitude of this disaster” – says Dr. Aapga.
HelpAge urges everyone to please come forward and do their bit.
About HelpAge India
HelpAge India is a leading charitable organization working with and for older people in India for the past 35 years. It runs age care programmes throughout the country & advocates strongly for the cause of the elderly and fights for their rights. It also advises & facilitates the Government in formation of policy related to the elderly.
For any queries you can call:
Dr. Aapga, Head Uttarakhand Relief Operations – 09415010644 (Dehradun)
Manjira Khurana: +91 9810153888 / Sonali Sharma: +91 9810676562 (Delhi – Head Office)