People in Kerala are still trying to pick up their lives after the recent floods washed away their belongings. The rains displaced nearly a million people across the State.
“Everything is lost. I have no more tears left in my eyes,” is a common lament that can be heard from every second affected person in the region. Shattered houses, household appliances lying deep in the rubble and acres of cultivation submerged under the rainwater were a common sight in the aftermath of the floods.
North Kuthiyakode in Ernakulam district is one such flood-affected region where seven people died. The Rotarians of RC Cochin Harbour, RID 3211, have identified 10 families in a Harijan Colony here to build new homes. “The area was unapproachable during the floods and most of the residents were evacuated to relief centres. We distributed relief kits, but some families needed homes so we decided to build them,” said Project Chair Dileep Narayanan.
Habitat Technology Group led by G Sankar came forward to design the homes and “we worked out a cost of ₹36 lakh.”
With the help of club member Krishnaprasad who is the CSR Head in Aster DM Healthcare, the club is partnering wih the corporate to build these homes.
The foundation stone for the construction was laid in January by Malayalam actor Jayasurya in the presence of the Club President
C V Ignatius, Narayanan and Aster Group volunteers. “The houses will be Rotary’s gift to the families for Vishu (Malayalam New Year that falls on April 14) this year,” he said.
The floods had washed away the source of livelihood for the people in Parur, a village on the suburbs of Kochi. Workshops, general stores and tailoring shops had just vanished. The people running these small businesses were breadwinners for their families and they had nowhere to go for their next meal after the floods. “We got our act together and decided to assist them in whatever way possible,” said Narayanan. Project Jeevadhara was thus conceptualised and the Rotarians gifted sewing machines, tools and other assistance to 79 families to help them build a livelihood. The project cost of ₹10 lakh was funded from the club’s own resources.
The club is now awaiting the approval of a global grant to build houses for eight families here.
In yet another ceremony in Wayanad district, where RID 3202 headed by DG E K Ummer has also signed an MoU with the Aster Healthcare group to construct 25 homes for flood vicitims in the first phase, RI Director C Basker laid the foundation stone in February.