In 2020, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the state of Maharashtra was hit by the tropical cyclone Nisarga. This wrath of nature caused immense damage to property and life. As part of our partnership with NALSAR for Migrant Workers, and with support of on-field organizations and community members, we were able to provide much-needed aid, consisting of ration, hygiene materials, solar lamps and tarpaulin sheets, to the affected areas of Raigad, Maharashtra.
Beneficiary-cum-volunteer, Sateesh Patil, played an important role in ensuring that aid reached the right people. His words give a first-hand account of the severity of the damage by the Nisarga Cyclone:
"The Nisagra cyclone that hit us on 3 June 2020 caused a lot of damage. Many houses were completely destroyed - they just flew away like leaves! The cyclone worsened the economic hardship that we were already facing due to COVID-19. Despite our challenges, we did not get any help from anyone even after a month. But as part of the Nalsar for Migrant Workers project, we received solar lamps, tarpaulin sheets, and ration kits from Foodshaala Foundation and The Resilient Foundation. This support has been very critical in times of crisis. The problem of electricity is very common in our villages, so solar lamps will be very useful even in the future. Because our villages are located in remote parts of the district, we never benefit from any relief work. This is the first time that we got such huge assistance. I am grateful from the bottom of my heart on behalf of our 10 villages."
Let’s also hear from the Resilient Foundation and Energy Swaraj Foundation, who played a key role in execution of this aid provision:
Energy Swaraj Foundation
"Distributed a kit to 250 families in Mhasala, Raigad block. These are very interior villages and as per the villagers, no other helped has reached before. Light is still not reached in these villages. We distributed Solar light, with an external panel of 8-10 hours battery backup, Tarpaulin sheets, and dry ration. The process of distribution gets delayed due to multiple reasons.
Special thanks to Foodshaala Foundation & NALSAR for Migrant Workers for helping us with the funds and the Elixir foundation for providing us Few lamps. We are also grateful to the Jeevan Rath team for their timely support in transportation and a big thanks to individual donors for their extended support”.
The Resilient Foundation
"Help people struggling with double disaster as you are aware, Nisarga Cyclone has hit hard to Raigad and Some part of Ratnagiri. Due to people affected by COVID are traveling back to their native places and Cyclone has hit their home. On news, we heard that people have lost only the roofs above their heads but the truth is they have lost their entire house. It's more than a month since villagers staying in hills and interior places haven't received any support. The cost of rebuilding their houses is in crores and this is out of our capacity. But we can help them with monthly ration and tarpaulin sheets. Why ration: In rural areas, people keep their ration store for the entire year but during the cyclone and heavy rain, they lost their dry ration.
Tarpaulin sheet: this will help them to make their temporary shelters also they will be able to keep some items dry during this monsoon. We are also arranging solar lamps for them because the gas connection and kerosene are difficult to arrange for. The location is the Mhasale block in Raigar and Mandangarh in Ratnagiri .”
About NALSAR for Migrant Workers Project
The COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown led to the movement of a large number of migrant workers from cities to their hometowns and villages. The COVID-19 crisis caused multiple hardships to lakhs of migrant workers. In partnership with ‘NALSAR for Migrant Workers’, we facilitated the provision of 4000+ meals, 2000+ ration kits, 800+ health kits, including tarpaulin sheets and solar lamps, and travel for 750+ workers through buses, trains, and flights. Support reached people all over India, including in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. Read more about the project here.
Written by Shikhar Singh Bhadwal, Volunteer at Foodshaala Foundation.