As cyclone yaas made landfall in West Bengal and neighboring Odisha on 23rd May 2021 with heavy rains and strong winds, affecting the coastal areas of West Bengal and Odisha. The coastal district of south 24 parganas and East Midnapore saw the intensity of storm surge followed by the destruction of farm land and livelihood.
Tourist destinations Digha and Madarmani are worst hit by cyclone Yaas in West Bengal including the neighboring villages. So, recently Rotary Club of Ankur visited the areas with two mini truckloads of relief materials. Speaking to News Sense, Club President Kaushik Chandra said, “We reached three villages namely Dera, Anandabon and Contai near Mandarmoni and provided basic commodities like Rice, Dal, Oil, Salt, Onion, Turmeric powder and clothes to more than 2500 people. We started at 6:30 in the morning from Kolkata and reached the spot by 11:30 AM. After that we began the distribution which continued till 8:15pm.”
On receiving the relief materials, Subrata Jana of Dera Village says, “After the cyclone hit our village, we lived mostly on puffed rice distributed by various NGOs, as we couldn’t save the ration at home as everything got washed by the powerful cyclone. We are thankful to Rotary Club of Ankur for coming forward with all needed rations; we will now get to eat rice rice and lentils after so many days.”
Speaking about the condition of the area, another member of the club Jayanta Poddar says, “The condition is very disheartening and people staying there need more help. The fields are blocked and fertile lands are destroyed due to saline water. Farmers won’t be able to grow any crops in coming one year and for this more relief materials are required”.
Mr. Chandra further adds “in near future we will certainly extend our hand towards the people of the area, in more constructive way. We are also planning to join hands with other agencies for execution”.
On the other hand A Little Contribution (ALC) team started raising funds immediately after the cyclone and went to Hingalganj (Sundarban), North 24 Parganas and did a massive donation drive of non-perishable food, daily usable, soaps, detergents and so on which helped more than 150 families in the first lot. Second day the team we went to Sahebnagar village and two areas of Dakhhin Dekhali village, Khejuri Consistency under District Purba Medinipur to help the villagers in need.
Speaking to News Sense, Arindam Das of A Little Contribution (ALC) said, “we carried non-perishable food items such as puffed rice, chirey (Chivda), namkeen, biscuits and other essentials such as sugar, onion, vegitables,soap, surf etc in eco-friendly bags and distributed to 70 beneficiaries. We also distributed around 75 sarees, 100 packets of snaitary napkins and 100 pieces of Mask, which we have distributed among the women“. We are support by organisation like Ramchak Nabarun Sangha and we are thankful for their immense support throughout the distribution process and packing of all the packets.
The team again went on to distribute items for sustenance to Nityaberia and East Bholakhali Kar Para village under Sandeshkhali-1 Block, Sunderban, North 24 Parganas. They distributed 4 Kg of Rice, 500 gm of Dal, a litre of Mustard oil, 1 Kg of Potato, 500 gm of Onion, 500 gm of Salt, Turmeric 50 gm, 100 gm of Soyabean, 100 gm of Chilli and 200 gm of Puffed rice to each family among the 200 affected families. Apart from the food items the team carried and distributed 250 old sarees and 300 packets of sanitary napkins among the women.
It is more like a ship of hope in the ocean of wants; the relief distributed may extend for at least a week. Apart from rations, the villagers need clothes particularly the women and children, as they are wearing the same clothes for days. Hope in future along with Rotary Club of Ankur and ALC many organizations will come forward and extend support to the villagers in the affected coastal districts of West Bengal and Odisha, at least for their survival.