As floods plague Kerala, relief work begins offering respite to survivors
Bangalore, August 2018: Ravaged by heavy rain followed by floods distressed the normal life and caused havoc damage in Kerala. Reacting to the pressing needs, the disaster response team of Smile Foundation, a national level development organisation, has actively started aiding the immediate relief efforts. A severe calamity, the Kerala floods have already claimed the lives of more than 300 people and displaced over 2, 30,000 people. The team assessed the immediate needs of the flood-affected people, and an early relief effort was initiated, with the objective of reaching out to over 10,000 families. In the first phase, distribution of relief kits, food and other necessary supplies have stated along with a focus on providing essential health services. The team is working on Ground Zero to mobilize volunteers, procure relief material and reach out to stranded survivors. A distribution system (for food and other relief material) is devised and basic infrastructure is used for the shelter of the survivors. The work began in the tribal pockets of Waynad and Kozhikode, where more than 250 families have been reached with food and hygiene kits so far. Dasanakara, Eruluam , 73 colony, a tribal forest area have been covered so far. Mr. Santanu Mishra, Co-founder & Executive Trustee, Smile Foundation said, “These are moments when the strength of the civil society is under question, but also the time when exemplary stories of humanity shine through. It is not enough that we put our hearts out to those affected by the floods in Kerala. We need to continue to put together all the resources that are available to us - be it human or capital and provide Kerala with all that we can. Smile Foundation’s Disaster Management Team has already started working on the first phase of relief operations; and aim to reach 10,000 families with food and other necessary supplies.” Smile Foundation intends to provide comprehensive healthcare aid to the flood affected victims. The health vertical of Smile Foundation - ‘Smile On Wheels’ program will start providing healthcare services and will also conduct health camps once the water levels begin to recede. The main objective is to prevent the outbreak of any water borne diseases. “The Smile on Wheels” – the mobile medical unit will consist of a medical team (comprising of two general physicians, two nurses and one pharmacist), a medicine vendor, and a warehouse to stock supplies. A rehabilitation plan will be created and executed to ease the process of recovery. This will be an immensely difficult task as several people have lost their lives, their families, homes, their source of livelihood and much more.