United Ways provide swift aid across flood hit areas in and around Chennai
By Reena Pillai
Staying true to our universal motto, “United we Live”, United Way Chennai and United Way Bengaluru mobilized and dispatched aid within 36 hours to people affected by the torrential rains and floods that has left Chennai and nearby villages in Tamil Nadu, India submerged for weeks.
Both the organizations played a pivotal role in providing immediate relief to the distressed communities in Chennai and suburban areas. United Way Chennai partnered with NGOs and civil society organizations experienced in disaster management to ensure that resources reached beneficiaries and no duplication of aid supply took place. Focus has been also on Velachery & West Tambaram region extensively. United Way Chennai distributed 35,000 food packets, 2000 kg rice, 1800 milk packets, 1500 blankets, 1000 oats packets, 2000 chocolates, 2500 noodles packs, 1000 coffee sachets, 300 tarpaulin and 1500 mats in the first couple of days. The work is still on.
Simultaneously, United Way Bengaluru identified a location in Thirivallur, on the outskirts of Chennai to set up its camp to ensure that relief services reached the remotest of areas. We reached out to over 1500 people from across four villages namely Thirupatur, Kalambatur, Vasanthnagar and MGR Nagar. Relief was provided in the form of food items like biscuits, milk, milk powder, buns; food provisions like rice, dal, rawa, sugar; toiletries and personal hygiene products like soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, sanitary napkins, hand sanitizers and other utility products like insect repellents, mosquito nets, candles etc.
United Way Chapters had earlier initiated dialogues with the Disaster Relief Committee for its intervention program and in addition to the list of affected villages provided by them, it will take up need assessment in two worst affected areas; Cuddalore and Bangarpalya, near the border of Andhra Pradesh where over 265 houses have been very badly hit. It will work through grassroots NGOs in the areas in consultation with local panchayats. The District Collector of Thiruvallur has identified new areas for us to work and has assured us of his assistance here. The additional villages identified from Uthukottal Taluk are Senkarai, Rallapadi and Thandalal. From Ponamalia Tulak, Indiranagar and Kothiyambakkam villages were identified.
To fund this relief camp, United Way is mobilizing support from a number of generous corporate companies and supportive individuals on a day to day basis.
Complementing the work initiated by the Government of Tamil Nadu which is to provide immediate relief to the beneficiaries, United Way chapters while speaking to people will chart out mid to long term solutions for them in the areas of Livelihood, Health and Education.
Along with this all local United Ways in India Network along with United Way Worldwide has plunged into action to reach out to donors to support people in Tamil Nadu.
We take this opportunity to thank our volunteers, corporate donors, benefactors, network partners and friends who have responded to our appeal and we look forward to your continued support for Tamil Nadu. We will keep you posted with the latest happening from the relief camps and rehabilitation plan.\