BANGALORE: Bangaloreans are doing their bit by dispatching essentials to people still stuck in Kashmir.
Groups of volunteers from different organisations and residents of the city — Indiranagar, Whitefield, Infantry Road and more — are opening up their offices and homes as collection centres for funds, medicines, blankets and thermals, baby food and disinfectants.
"I've just dispatched one truck-full of things," says Sunita Wali, whose house in Whitefield has been the drop-off point for relief material that people want to send to the flood-affected state. About half of the contribution for the first batch, she adds, was from Kashmiri students in the city.
"I'm sending it through Goonj, based in Delhi, since it's closer to air-lift it from there," says Sunita.
And, while people can send funds through Jkfloodrelief.org and the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund, Sunita and her friend Chritine Mehta (drop-off point at Indiranagar) have heard from people in Kashmir that blankets, woollens, hygiene products, baby food and water purifying tablets are most useful.
"Even if we send funds, since the state has been ravaged by the floods, people might not be able to buy anything there," she explains.
RSS Karnataka, however, accepts only funds as media in-charge Rajesh Padmar maintains, 'we don't know what exactly is the need there'. Therefore, RSS volunteers on the site will buy whatever is necessary there and distribute them, he says.
Santanu Chakraborty of Alternative Law Forum is part of Karnataka For Kashmir Forum, a group of people from various organisations. Over the past week, they have been meeting at the ALF office, which is also a collection point, to coordinate with volunteers in Kashmir.
"Needs seem to vary every day and with every camp," says Santanu. As of now, the requirement seem to be for tents, plastic sheets, ropes, sanitary napkins, baby food, and some medicines — anti-allergic drugs, antacids, fever and cough medicines. "Recently, someone's told us to send insulin with syringes," he adds.
Delhi-based editor Natascha Shah Joon has been trying to mobilise resources through her initiative TLF magazine India - Kashmir relief.
"I will go down there in a month with everything I've collected. But medicines are needed urgently, I've heard, so my father, who works with Air India, is flying them down from here every day," she adds.
NGO Goonj too has opened up its Bangalore office on Hosur Main Road as a collection point, listing out chappals and floaters, good quality solar torches, children clothing, empty gunny bags, dry ration, utensils as what people can donate.