DISASTER RESPONSE

Mr. Kumaran works as a bus driver in Konnathady Gram Panchayat and lives  in Munnar with his family. It was an ordinary day on 7th January, his daughter Nandana was watching her favourite cartoon show along with her younger brother. The entire family was relaxing and sitting together in the living room. As the children were hungry,  her mother went to the kitchen to prepare dinner.

Within a few minutes due to heavy rainfall, the electricity got disconnected. It was pitch dark inside the house and therefore, he proposed the family to sit at the backside of the house facing the garden area. They noticed a 10 ft high thick mud sludge came rolling down and shattering the living room wall. They were clueless about what is happening. Fortunately, the family was saved because they decided to have dinner at the rear end of the house. The children were traumatized with this incident, Nandana particularly was deeply affected. She refused to go to school. Unfortunately, not only a portion of their house got damaged but also his car and two-wheeler were completely smashed due to the landslide.

As part of CARE India’s relief and rehabilitation response, Mrs. Lalitha was identified  as one of the beneficiaries for the individual shelter project. Under this project, 50 individual shelters were identified and validated. Reconstruction of the damaged parts of the building is still being carried out by our team. In a disaster situation, the impact is evident not only to the Below Poverty line Families but also the Above Poverty Line families whose lives take a pause/turn after the incident. It becomes difficult to bounce back to normal lives without any external assistance. Often schemes announced by the Government for disaster relief do not reach the affected communities who fall in the Above Poverty Line category.

An empathetic approach is an important aspect in identifying the deserving beneficiaries and supporting them in a manner that they can rebuild their lives and start a fresh chapter. During our site visit, Mrs. Lalitha appreciated our efforts. In addition to the reconstruction of the damaged portion of the house we also helped in identifying a counsellor for Nandana to get over the mental trauma. She is now finally going to school as a result of the counselling sessions.

 

Posted By : Hari Balaji VR
Location : Kerala