Where is your relief material going?

This piece in Deccan Herald today morning, brought tears to my eyes.

“They bring old clothes in trucks and throw them on the streets,
thinking we’ll pick up everything. Otherwise, someone in the truck
hands out whatever clothes that come in his hand — be it a sari that
falls into men’s hands and a dhoti for children. Why do they treat us
like beggars, we have our dignity. We used to own boats that cost at
least Rs 50,000 till recently,” he says. Lots of clothes can be seen on
the streets, untouched by refugees.

While so many agencies are falling over each other to collect material and money, is this how it is being distributed?

The print edition of DH, had a photograph along with above story that showed clothes lying scattered on road. Question is why?

Notwithstanding the good intent of the agencies, are people on ground trained to handle relief work?

Are they treating the victims with compassion? Or is the outlook like that of how one treats beggars in the cities?

Questions for which I have no answers. And would want to hear from those on ground.

Be cautious while donating. Donate only to recognized agencies. Do ensure that your money and material is not wasted like this.

Our Finance Minister talks of 1% cess to collect funds for relief. When I look at my Tax deductions, I don’t know how many chess charges and surcharges I am already paying and I have no idea whether the surcharge really goes where it was intended to …. but that’s a different story. I would rather see that instead of collecting surcharge, the Govt should train citizens in carrying our disaster relief  for natural calamities such as earthquakes, flooding, cyclone, Tsunami, Drought etc. In fact make it mandatory that every civilian goes through a day or two day workshop on this. It would help in making sure that next time when a calamity strikes, we are sure that at least some of the folks on ground are better trained and are doing the right things on the ground.

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3 thoughts on “Where is your relief material going?

  1. We are trying to go personally and help the victims out. A bunch of Software Engineers.. and one batch has already been and back.. We are not collecting cash or old clothes more on medicines, vessels, clean water.. SIGh

  2. I agree with you Raj – we as a country just dont have Disaster recovery systems(DRS) in place – in our country we have no respect for human life and hence as such we are so poor in our DRS.

  3. Please suggest what material should be given for the relief? We want to asist directly to the victims. Please note that we are based in Gujarat.

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