CARE offers sustained relief for victims of Cyclone Thane India
(WNN) Chennai, INDIA: Working with marginalized communities in rural areas over 60 years CARE India, a prominent humanitarian NGO, plans to reach out to 20,000 most vulnerable families in Tamil Nadu’s coastal district of Cuddalore, which was ravaged by the December 30 ‘Cyclone Thane’.
“Our aim is to reach out to 20,000 most vulnerable families (dalits, tribals, physically challenged and households run by widows) immediately. Once this immediate crisis is managed, CARE will devote its energies to building shelters for the severely affected starting with 100-150 low-cost houses” said Dr. Muhammad Musa, CEO of CARE India.
With a large number of homes and buildings completely flattened, the need for a clear reconstruction plans, along with the resources to implement it, has become an imperative necessity, observed Dr. Musa.
CARE India caught the attention of the world and the news media for its work in the Tsunami-hit Tamil Nadu region since 2005 providing livelihood, education and health services to many in need. “We know the people and topography of Tamil Nadu very well, a fact which has allowed us to launch major initiatives to mitigate the suffering of those devastated by Cyclone Thane,” Dr. Musa said.
Relief efforts need long-range goals, as well as acute intervention, along with assistance for those hit hardest as homelessness and direct impacts hit families. Cyclone Thane hit the coast of Cuddalore and Villupuram districts causing winds up to 140km (87 miles) per hour. Numerous coastal areas are still troubled by impassible roads due to debris, leaving some villages without easy access to food or shelter relief efforts.
“As an immediate relief measure, CARE is providing the affected families with essentials like tarpaulins, candles, matchboxes as well as floor mats and hygiene kits, especially focusing on pregnant mothers and adolescent girls” said Dr. Musa about CARE’s immediate response to the cyclone.
Proper needs assessment is an important part of relief efforts as CARE has works carefully to identify ongoing long-term rebuilding needs in the area.
“The need of the hour is to provide shelter, electricity and clean water to the survivors of the colossal tragedy. Besides essentials like tarpaulins and candles, we are also distributing a hygiene kit with the basics such as shampoo, toothpaste, towels, and sanitary napkins, minimum household needs for people who have lost everything,” said Mr. R. Devaprakash, State Director for CARE in Tamil Nadu.
Long-term sustainable support is integral to CARE India’s work. “…to overcome this disaster, CARE looks to work with the people on a long-term basis to help them with low cost housing,” said Dr. Musa.
Appealing to individuals and members of the civil society to ‘loosen their purse-strings’ and donate liberally to alleviate the suffering of the affected families Musa said, “While we will pool in our resources, we must reach out for funds from various stakeholders who have helped so many in the past by donating to worthwhile causes.”
A total of 48 lives perished during heavy winds and bad conditions during Cyclone Thane, 31 of the deaths were Cuddalore. Among those suffering in the region are Lakh families who have been affected with huge damages to their dwelling units and standing crops. The cyclone has resulted in extensive damage with the loss being estimated at over Rs 2,000 crore (40 Million+ USD).
CARE has been working globally on health, education and disaster response worldwide. A special goal for the organization is to empower women and girls suffering under poverty who are often left behind with little to no opportunity for education, training or advancement.
For more information on CARE’s activities and ongoing relief efforts in India link HERE
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