StudentConcepts was approached by a local entrepreneur Ms.Ismat and NGO ActionAid India. They wanted students to play an active role in providing whatever support possible. We got the message on Sunday midnight. And on Monday morning, we sprang to work. 10 students worked with Ismat and 25 students from Stella Maris worked with ActionAid. Mithun and Shabnam were the student team leaders.
Non Perishable food items(biscuits,glucose,rice,wheat,dhal etc)
Tents or Tarpolene
As of today, we have managed to collect 12,000 odd clothes from all over the city. This was possible due to tremendous commitment and drive of Ismat and her contacts. TVS gave hundreds of card board boxes to package the materials. Garment manufacturers to general public also contributed in their little way. Imagine Technologies gave us an office space to use as our collection point. Apollo Hospitals pitched in with doctors, medicines and distribution channels. we have sent the trucks carrying the supplies to the worst hit areas.
What should the government/agencies do now?
1. Motivation and Counseling for the affected people
2. Infrastructure development
3. Future planning and training on crisis management to the locals and citizens in general
4. People in the city want to help victims. How? Where? A system should be in place.
5. Crisis/Disaster Management Services for any calamity(human or natural) should be set up and running through the year and not just when it happens
6. Associate with departments all over the world that focus on watching earth and weather patterns
In Japan, students are taught how to handle natural calamities. There have been fewer casualties over the last 25 years ever since the curriculum included crisis management. Areas of focus such as how not to panic, protection under study tables, oxygen consumption under rubbles etc are vital steps to survive. They also depend on age old principles to protect themselves…..like keeping a gold fish in their homes. Most animals can sense natural calamities a good 4hrs before it actually happens probably due to their magnetic orientation. Unless we plan, prepare, process…...we will continue to have huge loss of lives. Had the epicenter been any closer, and we were at the 6th or 7th level, things could have been out of hand. I can’t even imagine the scene had it hit any populated city in India.
I would have thought we would have learnt enough from the Orissa floods, Gujarat earthquake, heat waves etc. Everyone’s worried about it when it happens, then for another week perhaps as long as the media covers it and then……we wait for the next one. The need of the hour and a long term idea is to prepare the citizens. Can it be done overnight?
The Japanese decided that they will not lose their children or grand children anymore. Can we look that far ahead?
This site has updated info on the conditions and requirements of the villages