Women collectives discussing the donation in kind directly to the poor affected by the Tamil Nadu floods

Devastating torrential rains in Tamil Nadu were a wakeup call that disasters can strike anytime, anywhere; even in a leading metropolitan city like Chennai where one could never anticipate floods due to heavy downpour. However, this incident, brought the local communities together, like never before.  Apart from the nationwide swell of support, the local people emerged as clear champions in the relief distribution and rehabilitation in the region.

The emergence of voluntary spirit amongst local people, was a welcome development that CARE India’s relief team witnessed in the region. There was spurt in individual offering and volunteering to extend a helping hand both physically and in terms of whatever resources one could contribute.

The women collectives spread over 85 villages in Nagapattinam, came forward to support the cause by contributing dry ration (rice and dal) to affected communities in Cuddalore district, located approximately 150 Kms way from their houses in Nagapattinam. 11,989 members from 980 women collectives were a part of relief distribution. 

These women distributed dry ration to 154 households in Ponnangannimedu villages in Cuddalore. Local community members joined these collectives and donated more resources in addition to grains.

The Tamil Nadu floods stand testimony to the fact that the gesture of ‘giving’ is no more a consideration from ‘haves’ to ‘have nots’ in terms of distribution of wealth and money, but literally a question of its availability and access than the affordability.

One could guess that many poor households who donated for this cause, would have foregone their immediate consumption for the sake of their brothers and sisters displaced by floods. A case of empathy winning over sympathy in a true spirit of human generosity and kindness.      

Devaprakash R