Quick to act in the aftermath of largescale destruction by Cyclone Amphan in coastal Bengal, RC Calcutta New Alipore, RID 3291, accommodated over 200 villagers at its Rotary high school for girls at Keoratala village in the Sundarbans, one of the worst affected regions.
The villagers were given food at this shelter camp and the club distributed a week’s food and dry rations to 50 families in the village. “We also restored damaged houses in the area as the cyclone had not left a single roof intact. Over 200 asbestos sheets were arranged for the affected families so that they could rebuild their homes,” said Ajay Baldawa, Club President.
The timely repair proved to be “extremely beneficial as another spell of cyclonic rainfall lashed the area in the following week. With roofs back on their heads, the 35 families were not only able to physically isolate themselves during the global pandemic but also remain safe at a time of the year when cyclones are common in the Sundarbans,” he said.
IPP Pramod Jalan and Rtn K K Mohta, along with the club’s field coordinator Ratan Mistry, monitored the cyclone-relief project at the village. While the project cost ₹2 lakh, the limitations imposed by the lockdown made reaching the affected village “a challenge in itself. But effective coordination ensured the project was executed timely and effectively,” he said.
Having completed the housing project at the village, the club is now planning to upgrade the school infrastructure including providing smart phones to students of Classes 9 and 10 to aid their online studies as most schools have moved to virtual classrooms during the lockdown.