"This seems to be India’s version of Katrina. The northern part of my state has been badly ravaged with flooding rains. People are stranded without electricity, food and drinking water. Flood Water has occupied houses upto 10 feet completely filling up the ground floor of buildings. Rescue operations are taking place through boats. We are doing what we can from Coimbatore to send help and materials to the affected area of Pondicherry, Cuddalore and Chennai.
With so much of water, in few days we are fearing water borne disease outbreaks. Also many cannot return to normal lives since they would have no house to go back to or everything they had would be rotting. A home for blind kids reported that 3700 usd worth of food stocks is ruined with water. Electrical home appliances are floating in the water with cars. Businesses and shops have lost their stock piles and livelihoods.
The people of Chennai are showing an awe inspiring spirit. Despite the politicians inciting them and trying to take advantage, they are helping each other and sharing what they have. There is not much of a law and order problem. Many are throwing open their homes for others to stay. Religious places are cooking food and distributing hot meals. Men are swimming in neck deep water to knock on doors to rescue and doctors are going to houses to deliver babies. Many doctors from Coimbatore have left to these places with thousands of dollars worth drugs. Textile towns like Tirupur and Karur are sending blankets and clothes meant for export.
Padmanabhan has mobilised a fantastic army of people and resources for bringing relief material like drinking water, bread, biscuits, clothes and medicines. About 14 trucks have gone so far and 2 ambulances. The entire city of Coimbatore is actually abuzz with sending relief materials that I could not find a loaf of bread at the departmental store for dinner. My job mostly is to try to help mobilise funds for his team and when I asked about monetary requirements the ground team says that they are all managing minimal amounts since people are giving the basic resources. Ordinary truck drivers are extraordinarily self funding the travel costs. Our focus now should be on rehabilitation and disease mitigation.
I am getting permission from the friends who gave money for Thinc’s project to deploy it for the relief work. Everyone so far that I have asked has said yes. I have given 150 usd to Padmanabhan for immediate relief work. From now I wish to set aside a sizeable amount of money to keep it for the after math. It could be used for purposes such as rebuilding a home, restock groceries for an orphanage, help a small business buy new machinery or raw materials, donate basic home appliances, give a nursing home beds, medical equipment, etc. basically things that are not insured. Good care is already being taken for disease outbreaks and the government would help with housing.
If there is anything TPP can help or offer, it would be most appreciated. I am unable to write a grant application with concept and budgets since the disaster emergency has broken all that. Also I am aware that TPP has closed applications till next year. So as a friend I ask, for support to build this fund for restoring lives affected by the flood"