Following extremely heavy rains in Mahad, an industrial town in Raigad district of Maharashtra, and based on feedback received from local Rotary clubs, a detailed study was done jointly by RCs Deonar, RID 3141, and Mahad, RID 3131, to understand the extent of flood devastation and what ways Rotary could provide relief to the affected families.
In Taliware village, people were sitting on the terrace due to flooding of their houses. Water creatures including crocodiles were spotted at residential zones, even as roads and houses were washed away by the torrid currents. The affluent families in Mahad too had to vacate their posh houses and retreat to safe places. Past president Rajendra Datye from RC Deonar worked out the entire plan with club president Sudhir Mehta. The total requirements received from ground zero were lesser than the donation they already had in place for this project. PP Dhananjay Ajagekar from RC Mahad drew up an assessment of flood situation in Mahad and its surrounding areas.
It was learnt that there was no shortage of food and water. But there was acute need of other supplies like bedsheets, blankets, plastic chatais (mat), towels, pillows, tarpaulins etc.
The flood-relief team swung into action and procured the essentials that were sought after by the flood victims. For this, the team had to identify the right vendors to ensure the quality of products that were being sent to Mahad. In the first phase, Rotary clubs reached out to 200-plus families, mainly living on the outskirts of Mahad and a few pockets in the main town. During the second phase, 500 ration kits were sent to Mahad. Rtn Ajagekar visited gram panchayats to finalise the exact number of ration kits needed in these areas in and around Mahad. Two teams took up the distribution of food items over four days at the flood-hit areas.
RC Chembur came forward to support the flood-relief work of RC Deonar. Rotaractors too joined the team from RC Deonar who travelled to Mahad to distribute the relief material including grocery kits with the help of RC Mahad.
“It was a most satisfying and fulfilling exercise for us. We were delighted to connect with Rotarians in and around Mahad,” said Rtn Vishnu Kamat from RC Deonar. Sharing his experience, project chair Datye said, “Living in Mumbai, we had the power to extend our helping hand 250 km away in an area that was in dire need of this assistance. This is the power of Rotary.”