Re-railing lives: Bengaluru organizations provide immediate, vital relief to Odisha train crash victims 

In the immediate aftermath of the Balasore train disaster, city-based foundations sprung to action, undertaking vital relief operations
An aerial view of the triple train crash site in Odisha's Balasore district. (Photo | Debadatta Mallick, EPS)
An aerial view of the triple train crash site in Odisha's Balasore district. (Photo | Debadatta Mallick, EPS)

BENGALURU:   Following the Balasore train disaster earlier this month in Odisha – one of the deadliest train accidents in the country in recent years, with fatalities of over 300 and more than 1000 people injured – multiple foundations in Bengaluru sprung to action, attempting to provide immediate and vital relief to disaster victims.   

Community Action Collab, a  city-based platform of partners such as donors and ground-level volunteers initiated a response and took immediate action. “Our internal team members contacted our partner organisations to assess the ground-level situation and identify the immediate needs of the victims of the derailment.

Volunteers were deployed to the crash site and hospitals, to provide food, water and other necessities during the first few days. Currently, we are offering intensive support to the injured and the families  of the deceased including psychosocial support, hygiene kits, sanitary items, bedsheets, and shelter” says Rambabu, the Partnership Engagement Specialist at CAC. CAC is dedicated to facilitating long-term interventions to assist victims in their recovery journey.

They worked with 12 partners and contributed a total of 12-15 lakh rupees for this purpose. Another city-based organisation, Give, extended their support for accident victims. “Give has partnered with Yuva Unstoppable, as they conduct a baseline survey on the ground.

Based on their insights, appropriate interventions will be determined, allowing us to respond effectively to the more pressing needs through our fundraising efforts”, says Sumit Tayal, chief operating officer of Give, adding that they also organised stretchers, body carriers, corpse freezers, cautery devices, and water purifiers at the hospitals. 

Meanwhile organisations such as CYSD and Sewa International worked on addressing critical needs of victims, such as providing meal support to those attending to hospitalised victims, as well as providing necessities such as water, food, clothing and temporary shelter to victims themselves.

Furthemore, organisations such as SEEDS Foundation are focussing on long-term recovery of victims. “We have deployed volunteers at the community hospital and community centres in Odisha to help the affected victims and also arranged for ambulance services. Our operation also provided food and water supply to the restoration workers at the accident site”, said Satyabrata from SEEDS. With the minimal funds they possess, they provided resources and support to 700 to 1,000 residents and their families.

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