KOCHI: Though the flood water has receded, materials to some collection centres and donations to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) are still pouring in. Government VHSS at North Edappally, which is always at the forefront of relief activities, came up with a unique idea to donate money to the relief fund. The National Service Scheme (NSS) unit of the school made cloth bags and sold them after working hours from Cheranalloor to Edappally.
“The production of bags started on Saturday. The students brought fabrics from their homes and stitched at the school. The work was done by the students of Fashion and Apparel Design course, under the guidance of their instructor Indu Ann Edward. Some students stitched the bags at home. After school hours, they used to go as a team of four or five with a teacher and campaigned at houses and shops to sell them,” said Santhosh M C, NSS programme officer.
Last year also, the school had initiated the sale of cloth bags, but couldn’t work much as the flood had affected the district. The students collected around Rs 8,000 till Wednesday. “The school had organised a summer camp in stitching for students. We don’t collect money from students or parents to donate to the fund. The students were very thrilled to sell the bags in public. Though many people had donated to the relief fund, they bought the bags after being impressed by the students’ enthusiasm,” said Santhosh.
The bags didn’t have fixed pricing. According to NSS volunteer leader Anjana Sivadas, the response from the public was so great and some even bought the bags in bulk quantities.
The students, along with teachers, sold the bags till Wednesday for an hour after the school hours. “The parents have been supportive. Some parents donated stitched clothes for sale, whereas many parents came to buy the products,” said Santhosh. Moreover, the NSS unit had the support of their principal Tomy Paul.
The school was a district collection centre of relief materials under the ’Snehardram’ programme. The relief materials received at the school were handed over to the Collectorate. The school was also a relief camp for around 15 families. The students extended full support to these families by providing essentials, cooking food and giving counselling.
The school plans to conduct a medical camp soon and will take initiatives to check the quality of potable water in flood-affected areas. “Though some people couldn’t buy the bags from us, they appreciated our venture. That was so encouraging,” said Muhammed Swalih, an NSS volunteer.