Who are we?
Many of you may know as personally from when we met while you were traveling in Sikkim and may have stayed at the TagAlong Backpackers or if you stayed elsewhere, our paths may have still crossed at the Travel Cafe (Gangtok). And for those of you who may not personally know us, anchored by the TagAlong (a sustainable travel community), we are a group of citizens from Gangtok who have come together for relief and rehabilitation work in Sikkim.
What are we doing and why?
We are mobilizing resources and manpower for relief and rehabilitation in the flood affected areas of Sikkim - Singtam, Rangpo, Chungthang, Mangan, and Dzongu.
So far, in the absence of internet and road connectivity, we mobilized the hyper-local to raise warm clothes, food, ration, and medicines, toiletries, sanitary napkins, baby food, toys & books for children. In the initial batch, we sent these to Singtam and Rangpo (south of Gangtok) and our later batches to Dzongu (North of Gangtok) and Chungthang once roads were established. These were carried out in active collaboration between friends and families, local businesses, and organizations such as the rotary, panchayats, and media.
In our next phase, we have initiated mobilization to clear the sludge and slurry that has accumulated in the affected villages and towns along the Teesta. Currently, our efforts in Singtam and Rangpo are limited at the very best as we need more and while volunteers are welcome, we are not enough. We need help. We seek to hire local labor (at a minimum wage rate) to support us in clearing the sludge. The dead have started to decompose, this is not only a major health risk but also, we want to pay our respects to those who've lost their lives in this unfortunate incident. Further, the slurry is also a major epidemic risk, especially for vector-borne diseases.
How we intend to utilize the fund?
Through this fund, we seek to raise capital for the equipment required, pay the labor (minimum wage rate), and be able to provide them with safety gear and expand the rehabilitation work in North (Chungthan, Mangan & Dzongu) once functional roads are established and connectivity is restored.