In the aftermath of cyclone Fani, while help has been pouring in from all quarters for Odisha, quite a few regions in its interiors are still reeling under the trail of destruction the cyclone has left behind. In an effort to expedite help to such regions and its communities, a group of five youths from Mumbai conducted an on-ground relief work between June 15 and 18, 2019. As part of the outreach programme Dhruv Mehta (12) along with Raahil Mehta (14), Manit Shah (16), Latisha Shah (23) and Yash Mehta (23) visited and conducted relief work in the tribal communities of Mayurbhanj. The activity was organised by ‘Living To Change’ and ‘Mayurbhanj Foundation’, and also received support from local entrepreneur – Akshita Bhanjdeo, Director of The Belgadia Palace in Mayurbhanj.
The team also focused on providing aid to leper communities, orphans and differently abled women by donating clothes, dental and sanitary kits, school bags and stationary. They also conducted hygiene workshops and provided financial assistance for rebuilding infrastructure and food.
What they said
‘Mayurbhanj is a thick forest land that is home to a hundred different tribal communities. While cyclone Fani’s maximum damage was along Odisha’s coastal belt, its interiors, too, have been affected. In Mayurbhanj, the roofs of many houses have completely come off and others are partly broken. The tribal people in the region make meagre earnings and spending it on repairing damages is beyond their means. Additionally, with the coming monsoon the need for adequate sanitation facilities becomes all the more necessary to safeguard their health. During the four-day programme our focus was to provide as much aid as possible to cover the community’s immediate and basic needs; and to provide provision for food and sanitation items that can cover them for an extended period of time’
- Manit Shah
‘The devastation caused by this calamity and the suffering it has brought to the people is distressing. While we cannot undo the loss, we wish to try and do our best to help mitigate the prevailing situation to gradually bring it back to normalcy. We’re thankful to Mayurbanj Foundation, Living to Change and to Akshita Bhanjdeo for helping and guiding us in our effort to reach out to the affected communities’
- Latisha Shah.