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In the first week of July, 2020, the Western Ghats of Kerala started experiencing heavy rain falls and is in the verge of facing yet another disaster. Kerala has already faced huge disaster in 2018, 2019 during the same period almost in the same epicenters, in the same Districts – Idukki, Wayanad, Pathanamthitta, Malappuram, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, and Kozhikode. The affected population are the historically marginalized and excluded communities – Dalits, Adivasis, Fishing Communities and migrant plantation labourers.
RIGHTS is a community-funded NGO working in Kerala for the rights and betterment of vulnerable communities. In recent past, it has been active in the areas of rural employment, skills development, rural infrastructure, COVID-19 relief and education.
The floods in Kerala come at a time when these communities are already reeling under the economic and health impacts of COVID-19. Around 25,000 people, of which a quarter are children, have been displaced and rendered homeless by this natural disaster. According to a CNN news report, 43 fatalities have been reported as a direct result of these floods. Those who have survived the immediate effect of landslide and floods are in imminent danger of water-borne diseases that accompany an inundation of this scale.
The treacherous hilly terrain of Kerala makes flood relief a very challenging task for the government. Therefore the role of local grassroots organizations like RIGHTS, who’re intimately familiar with the local situation and connected with local communities, is critical in providing useful relief.
- RIGHTS Founder Ajay Kumar has forumlated an immediate intervention plan to provide relief to those affected:
- Supply of dry ration and NFI (Non Food Item) kits.
- Monitoring and safeguarding children and the vulerable population in the rehabilitation process.
- Provision of educational material for children so their education is not interrupted. This includes devices for online instruction.
- Direct cash transfer to supplement loss of livelihoods.
- COVID-19 health monitoring and provision of protective equipment: masks, cleaning supplies to the displaced being housed in temporary relief camps.
Hindus for Human Rights is appealing to everyone in the extended Indian community world-wide to aid the relief work done by our partner, RIGHTS, and make a substantial difference in the lives of those in Kerala who have been uprooted by this calamity.
Pictures and updates on relief work and urgent needs that arise during relief will be posted here:
Please donate generously to support Dalit and Adivasi families in Kerala, served by our partner organization RIGHTS, as they try to survive the Kerala Floods and COVID-19 pandemic. The need is urgent and every little but helps. Please indicate that your donation is for the FAMILIES SUPPORTED BY RIGHTS.