Saravananchinnu

Goonj
for Goonj
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Saravanan

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Many states in India are battling floods and Kerala is especially affected with over 50,000 people needing immediate help. There is an urgent need for civic participation to bring timely relief to them.

For the last two decades, Goonj has been deeply involved in disaster related work across the country. It has an existing network of communities and partners that are active throughout the year in areas of rural development. At the time of disaster, this network is intensified as a powerful tool of change.

Through the initiative “Rahat Floods”, Goonj channelizes this network to bring specific immediate relief kits to flood affected communities and then after a few weeks provides continued assistance and long-term rehabilitation. Urban masses join the effort with both material and money contributions.

This year again, with the massive damages and loss of lives, there is a dire need for monetary funds to cover logistics, and material contributions. Goonj's Team headed by founder Anshu Gupta is in the field assessing the situation and is setting up relief operations the way it has done in the last twenty years. First, Goonj will address the basic urgent needs of the flood affected communities. Later in the rehabilitation process, through the initiative "Cloth For Work" material kits will motivate and trigger local communities to action and restore infrastructure like roads, schools, dams etc. and rebuild lives along with way. The affected communities are not mere passive recipients but collectively work with us as an equal stakeholder - be it in assessing the critical situation or in the decision-making.

UpdatesThe situation is changing fast and now with all the 14 districts affected. Goonj has initiated action in the districts of Alappuzha, Idukki, Malappuram, Palakkad, Kannur and Wayanad and further expansion is in process. Currently most of the inward and outward transport is blocked but will clear in next few days and this time is being used to collect resources. As on date  trucks have started moving from centers in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and based on distances and material available, movement from other major offices like Delhi, Rishikesh and Mumbai will take place.

Initial target is to reach out to about 30,000 families in the next few months which will increase as Goonj’s operations grow in Kerala and as more and more resources are gathered. To start with, the focus will be on providing relief kits to families and then to run interventions in schools, aanganwadis & welfare centers.

To make sure no duplication of effort takes place, the focus is to try and fill the gaps in the areas where others have not reached or where people still need basic relief. One of the major focus is going to be on tribal population.

A typical kit will have a few kg of dry ration, some utensils, tarpaulin, mats, blanket and other essentials like sanitary pads, slippers etc.  Clothing will happen as per need and acceptance. Goonj will also be focusing on other states also which are affected this monsoon including parts of karnataka and tamilnadu.   

As on date fund requirement stands at about INR 10 crore for the operation. As our expertise and work is also around mobilizing material, the cost of the kit comes down in our case. Break up of fund requirement is as below: 

Outreach to 30000 Impacted Families (Including logistics)   =  9.00 cr

Institutional needs (Schools, Health centers)                          =  1.00 cr

Total                                                                                                =  10.00 CR

Your monetary contributions will help Goonj cover the crucial logistics in reaching relief materials and to purchase basic essentials in large quantity.

Over the years, Goonj has brought significant behavioral changes in the culture of giving where focus has shifted to 'Dignity" from "Charity". Comprehensive disaster relief kits called "RAHAT Kits" are given to the affected communities and they act as a catalyst in the dignified relief and rehabilitation process. Furthermore, the communities are key players in the decision making and rehabilitation process. They participate equally in reviving and restoring their life back to normalcy. And so a sense of ownership is instilled within them even amidst grave disaster and havoc.

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