It is not the receiver who is blessed, but it is the giver.
There is no higher virtue than charity.
- Swami Vivekananda.
The calamity which struck Tamilnadu in December-2015 is a large scale devastation tha has left millions in a horrific state. Chennai, to which many have contributed, is not the only place which was affected by these floods. There are many semi-uran and rural areas where the poor are still struggling to recover from the flood damages and are in dire need of assistance. It's been more than two months since the mass disater struck, the news media spotlight has shifted, but the reality on ground remains grim with no improvement in the situation of these most vulnerable sections of society. Their weakened huts will come crumbling down with the next rain.
Situation in Cuddalore
Due to continuous rain in Nov & Dec 2015, the simple huts with mud walls of villagers in Cuddalore caved in and there was no food or medication. In a village called Nellikuppam(15 KM from Cuddalore Railway Station), children and aged women rushed to us with much hunger. Their daily earning had dropped after the calamity. In Thirukandeeswaram, the residents just cannot earn enough to meet the cost needed to repair their huts for the coming years, the cost is out of their reach. The leaking huts made the mud walls fall, huts collapsed, killing some and injuring many. Floors stayed wet for many weeks. They have had this experience with small children by their side. They faced an untold famine in their own homes. They had no firewood and no dry clothes. The situation was very grim in Cuddalore .
Phase-I of relief work (December 2015) :
Sat Dharma Ashram is a credible non-profit organization which has been assisting the areas in and around Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu. We worked tirelessly (18 to 20 hours a day) in the month of December, with the help of local volunteers and our student home inmates. Our relief work so far :
During the initial days, we providing meals for up to 5000 people per day. Simultaneously, our team surveyed the damages to huts in villages.
We estimated, procured and installed good quality tarpaulin sheets in order to reinforce the damaged roof of the huts, thus securing the huts from further damages and future rainfalls. (A good quality tarpaulin will last up to 5-8 years).
To cut down on labor costs, our student home inmates (highschoolers) themselves took care of the installation of tarpaulins roof covers.
We have covered close to 600 huts in 10 villages of Nellikuppam. Many cattle sheds were also covered.
We cemented relationships with the local communities. We educated them and created awareness about scam artists.
The expenses towards large scale annadaanam and roof reinforcement was around 18lakhs, which was covered by various sources of donations.
Phase-II of relief work (Feb-Apr 2016) :
It is clear that a long term solution is needed to fix the leaking roofs and collapsing fragile mud walls. Hundreds of huts are still full of holes and are going to leak even if there is a small rain. The floors will get wet and residents will not be able to sit leave alone sleep on the floor. Cooking can become impossible if it rains for more than three days.
It is a humanitarian need to secure these villagers' thatched huts and cattle sheds by covering them with leak proof sheets, so they can live without fear for next few years. We have adopted Cuddalore to fix the humble dwellings of these underprivileged.
Scope, Expenses and Assurance :
We have collected IDs, issued photos, and assessed hut conditions of around 200 more needy families (in six villages) consisting of destitute and widows with children, whose life is a constant suffering.
As we raise more money, we will continue covering more huts in many other villages.
Average expenses in securing one hut is around Rs.5000/-, which includes good quality tarpaulin roof cover and needed repair work to floor, walls and roof.
(Each hut will need upto 1000 to 1200 sq. feet of tarpaulin . This costs around Rs.3500 to Rs.4500 depending on the material (HDP or Silpaulin) and thickness (120gsm-200gsm) of the tarpaulins. The cost of needed materials and labor towards repair work is around an additional Rs.1000 per hut.)
Validation of continued proper use of relief work, identifying and rectifying abuse or disuse.
Our volunteer team assures the finest work at the field. Complete 100% of your donation amount will be utilized towards relief work. Absolutely no administrative expenses are deducted.
Giving to others is really giving to oneself. - Ramana Maharshi
Person who consumes the least and contributes most is a mature person, for in giving lies the self-growth. - PadmaBhushana Swami Dayananda Saraswathi.
Please open your hearts, generously donate, and spread the word about this noble cause.
When we can aim for Mars, why not aim to help our own !