A fire broke out in Kandivali’s Damu Nagar slum on December 7 at 11.30 am. Cylinders burst one after another. Over 800 homes caught fire and burnt down every object, every utensil, every brick. People ran; some bare-feet, down the hill, on a path filled with sharp stones.
Aid arrived in droves. Clothes – good, just about usable, torn and soiled. Food – fresh, basic, humble, homely; in polythene bags, paper plates, wrapped in newspaper.
Then came more help – basic 2-inch iron pipes was manually carried up the hill and water connection was restored. Some stepped up and collected funds and material and distributed books to school kids.
The compensation arrived from the government. It was a cheque, of Rs. 3,800. Most in the community didn’t have bank accounts to deposit the cheque into. The little savings got burnt down with the house. The ones who had some loose change when they ran from their homes to save their lives, utilized it for bare basics.
There was a need that no one spoke of; not the women and girl victims, not the droves of people who landed at the site to provide aid. Sanitary napkins. With over 2000 women and young girls affected by the fire, it was a need that had to be addressed and over 2 weeks after the tragedy, it still hasn’t been addressed. A few packets of sanitary napkins arrived after the need was recognized by an organization working on ground, but they were nowhere enough.
Why am I fundraising?
Iamin.in, a hyper local news and citizen engagement platform run by Zee Digital Convergence Limited along with Bridge India, a Mumbai-based not-for-profit organisation, are together raising funds to buy 4000 packets of sanitary napkins for women and girls in Damu Nagar.
The sanitary napkins will be purchased from social entrepreneurs in the slums of Mumbai, who make these for the community. Bridge India will distribute it to the community and the team at iamin.in will monitor, document and publish the utilization of funds and distribution of aid and keep the contributors informed.