By Sanjay Thumma, VahChef
Unleashing one of the worst natural calamities that devastated the beautiful “City of Destiny” from a very severe Cyclone ‘Hudhud’ which actually tore apart the city and the neighboring villages in and around Vizag is just saddening to glimpse with shock and tearful eyes.
The devastation is just too enormous to express as many people have become homeless. Massive damage was done to infrastructure and the environment. As we have never seen such devastation in more than 100 years and the need of the hour was immediate relief.
I and my VahRehVah team along with Dr. Geetha and Tom Chitta, co-founders of Foundation for Children in Need have joined together in extending our services towards relief work and helping the needy. We feel that, as citizens of India we should take responsibility in helping the deprived at times of calamities and provide support system.
Response of Fund raising:
We are extremely proud that many of you have come forward generously in contributing towards Hudhud Cyclone Relief Fund wherein we could collect an amount $ 50,000. Out of this $ 30,000 is used to provide Care Packages, which contained food and household items.
The rest of the money and incoming donations will be used for rehabilitation work. The donations poured in and, we have documented every expense and posted all the details on our websites:
This is to show that the hard-earned money of many donors who have trusted and supported us in conducting the relief efforts has been used precisely for care packages.
On Ground services:
With the support of the Government Officials, local authorities and a total of 100 volunteers, we could reach out to 1200 families with Care Package 6 locations. This was done through a proper system. Each family had to fill in a form and attach a copy of “Ration card”.
Our volunteers, rapidly accessing the situation had done a quick survey and identified the people who are most affected. Each family was in turn given a token. All those who received a token we invited to six different locations and were given the care packages. We followed a strict method so that we could carry out the relief work in a structured manner.
The approach of distributing the Care Packages was done personally by us to ensure that we reach out to the most affected families in Vizag and surroundings. The Care Packages include rice, dals, oils, groundnuts, sugar and various spices along with a blankets, two towels, two steel plates and glasses etc.
The Care Packages were packed at the FCN office in Porumamilla, Kadapa Dt, and brought to Vizag in 3 trucks under our supervision along with the volunteers. We had two major teams, Vahrehvah team which went from Hyderabad and FCN team from Kadapa who met at Vizag and from there we split into groups and went to 6 different badly affected areas for relief work.
I often have been ’s, but this time, I personally have taken up this task in raising donations, organizing and stood there in person on ground to ensure smooth relief services. This has been a life time experience for me personally since the situation at ground was heartening to see as the beautiful city of Vizag had a deserted look and the damage was extremely humongous.
The government had taken measures to save human lives. The government worked day and night to help everyone. Many organizations had also come to do relief services. The government had also sold vegetables etc on subsidized prices but the queues were too long to handle.
Donating my humble contributions through NGO We conducted our relief work on the 22nd and 23rd of October during the festival of Diwali, mainly to ensure that these families would have Diwali happiness and festive meal. I was trying to lit a little light in their lives. The core reason for limiting ourselves in distributing Care packages was that the needy people are provided with immediate food for survival. I am happy that more than 5000 people have been provided with our relief services.
FCN - Cyclone Relief Fund-Finance Report My sincere and heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to each one of my Vahrehvah and FCN friends who have generously donated for this cause and be rest assured that every penny was spent wisely, in well structured & disciplined manner to those who have witnessed one of the most horrific and worst devastation that uprooted their happy lives.
We have also identified more areas where we can help & support for which we will definitely need more money. We request you to kindly support us in helping the needy by sending in your valuable donations if possible and if you have not reached our suffering brother and sisters yet. I thank each one of you in trusting me and allowing me to be instrumental in making a difference in many lives and helping people to get nutritious food for a couple of weeks.
I will be returning on November 19-20 to help 200 or more families that lost their homes with Rs. 6000 ( $ 100 ) each. There are thousands that need our help and I welcome you to join me in this rewarding service.