Arousing Hope in the Midst of Adversity
Maharashtra’s flood battered Kolhapur and Sangli limping back to normalcy
The #floods that hit the western region of Maharashtra in the first two weeks of August’ 2019 has severely affected the lives & livelihood of the people of Kolhapur & Sangli districts. Many of these affected villages are part of Kolhapur Diocesan Council of CNI. The intensity of the flood could be sensed by looking at the houses which were submerged under the water for weeks and had now had collapsed. Many of these affected villages are part of Kolhapur Diocesan Council of #CNI.
The General Secretary Mr. Alwan Masih, CNI Synod requested the Director of CASA to support CNI relief efforts which was approved without any delay. It was decided to setup two large relief camps. Ration kits were prepared for 700 families of Rangoli (400) & Aitiwade (300) villages. The kits were distributed to the flood affected families on 19th September 2018. The Bishop of Kolhapur, DBSS Kolhapur staff, representatives from CNI SBSS and CASA were present during the distribution.
Approximately 6.45 lakh people were worst affected and shifted to safer locations. Thousands of houses collapsed, livestock died and assets were washed away. As per news reports, the rainfall in Kolhapur and Sangli exceeded the average precipitation by 70 percent and 60 percent respectively. Around that time the nearby dams also released the water in large quantities which further aggravated the situation and acted as an impetus to the bigger disaster. The intensity of the flood could be sensed by looking at almost every house in the colonies. Several houses, after being submerged under the water for weeks, had collapsed.
Many Civil Society Organisations, NGOs and government agencies have come to rescue people and livestock from water bondages. As first response, relief camps were established and community kitchens were started to feed the affected people. Along with other activist leaders, members of Dalit Samaj Vikash Parisad (DSVP) & DBSS Kolhapur also took part in rescuing people of Kothali, and Umalwad villages and shifted them to safer places and relief camps. They provided food, clothes and other help to the affected people. The west program support office of CNI-SBSS in collaboration with Being Volunteer Association and SAMPARC (Social Action for Man Power Creation) provided ration kits, school kits for children of the five affected villages. The Diocese of Marathwada through its DBSS has distributed 50 kits consisting dry ration and clothes in the village of Walwa. The Diocese of Bombay also supported by distributing 300 kits with dry ration and clothes in Sangli & Kolhapur. The EFICOR and Food Army of Mumbai are working for the rehabilitation of the flood affected people. In this way, the first wave of flood relief was provided to the affected people. Special focus was provided to marginalized families living in the outskirts of the villages where the SOS relief supplies were not reaching.
With constant prayers and support from various people and organisations, the flood-affected victims are slowly inching towards their normal routines. A lot of work still needs to be done with regards to the repair/re-construction of houses, re-creation of livelihood options, building community infrastructures, spreading awareness about health & hygiene issues etc.