IN THE AFTERMATH OF CYCLONE AMPHAN IN WEST BENGAL, SEEDS BRACES UP TO BUILD BACK BETTER

Cyclone Amphan made landfall near Sagar Island West Bengal on 20th May, 2020 with speed touching 185 kmph, claiming lives of over 80 people in West Bengal. While thousands of affected families are suffering through the aftermath of the most intense cyclones, risk of spreading coronavirus pandemic is looming large. Maintaining social distance is getting difficult at this hour of crisis. Basis the first level need-assement by the team, SEEDS appeals for support towards build back better with West Bengal through its Cyclone Amphan response in the times of COVID-19.

Committed to serve humaity, SEEDS, a leading humanitarian organisation had already deployed about 300 volunteers in West Bengal for evacuation ever since cyclone warnings have been released, facilitating timely evacuations of communities at extreme risk. As per the news reports, over 5,00,000 people were evacuated in the cyclone’s path, with East Midnapore, South 24 Parganas and Kolkata being the severly affected districts. With local partners and vast network of volunteers, SEEDS team is proactively reaching out to the people who are already struggling to sustain their lives during COVID-19, with immediate needs. SEEDS has also set up a control room headquartered in Delhi to monitor activities done by the team on-ground at regular intervals.

SEEDS team members deployed in the region inform, “The situation at the ground level is worse than expected. There are drinking water, food and hygiene issues. People in the relief camps and in general as well have forgetton about social- distancing and COVID-19 is no more their primary concern. They are worried about food and other essentials at the moment. Moreover, the internet and electricity has been cut since last three days leading to a complete communication barrier.”

Commenting on the situation, Dr. Manu Gupta, co-founder, SEEDS, said, “The destruction caused by the cyclone is beyond imagination. My heart goes out to the people who have to face adverse impacts of such a disaster when the cases of COVID-19 are increasing daily. We are committed to reach out to maximum number of people with help for their immediate needs and appeal for optimum support from corporates, institutions and HNIs.”

Dr, Anshu Sharma, co-founder, SEEDS, said, ‘In this hour of crisis, our utmost mission is to reach out to the unseen most vulnerable families. The communities at this time are most vulnerable to the aftermath of cyclone Amphan and Covid-19. We are taking all the necessary actions and precautions to help people at this moment. Our team is working relentlessly to analyse the long-term needs of the affected and how effectively they can be heped while maintaining measures to strengthen the struggle against the spread of the ongoing pandemic.’

Along with the effects of cyclone, neccasry measures are being taken, keeping the occurrence of Covid-19 at the hindsight. The frontline aid workers and volunteers are struggling to provide ­­PPE kits for safer response which might lead to a massive spike in the active cases of Covid-19.

The cyclone has extensively damaged kutcha houses and breached the embankments in the low lying areas. As per the immediate challenges faced by the people, SEEDS is reaching out with dry ration, safe drinking water support, family utility kits and hygienge kits. SEEDS appeals to all citizens to come forward and help us build back better the communities in West Bengal.

Your support can make a difference for any of the following items:

Ration Kit: Rs. 1,000 to support one family with of 5 consisting of a wheat flour, rice, pulses, oil, spices, salt, soybean, sugar, tea leaf and milk powder

Safe Drinking Water Support: Rs. 1,000 to support one family with safe water for a month.

Hygiene Kit: Rs. 1,500 to support one family with reusable masks, toothbrushes, toothpaste, towel, sanitary pads, nail cutter, mosquito repellent, washing soap, bathing soap, washing powder, buckets, mug.

Family Utility Kit: Rs. 4,000 to support one family with plates, glasses, bowls, kadai, spoons, lighter; and bedding items like double size floor mat, bed sheet, mosquito net and solar lamp with USB charger.

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