KOCHI: The plight of Chellanam, battered by Cyclone Tauktae, has brought students, NGOs, police, Fire and Rescue Services personnel and other organisations together. Everyone is doing their part to alleviate the pain and suffering of the residents.
While working with the people of Chellanam, the National Service Scheme (NSS) unit of Sacred Heart College, Thevara, came to note some of the issues there.
“We made a rough assessment of various challenges and issues faced by the Chellanam residents. The situation is very dire and the damage is very extensive,” said Fr Joseph Varghese, NSS programme officer, Sacred Heart College, Thevara. According to him, the needs vary.
“Some of them need clean clothing, especially women. We also noticed that many of them need essential things like bedsheets, dustpan, buckets, mugs, grocery items etc,” he said.
Fr Joseph said, “Many households don’t have toilets after they got damaged. Women are the ones who are suffering due to a lack of toilet facility.” According to him, as the entire area is covered with dirt and mud, some of them are not able to enter their house. “We know that we cannot do everything. We have identified the families for which we can do some genuine help, like rebuilding the damaged houses. We also can distribute grocery kits at various centres as an immediate relief measure,” said Fr Joseph. According to him, as of now, they made four interventions and supplied drinking water, helped a couple of families to clear out the sandpile from their houses and recover some valuables like gold, distributed some food packs and visited around 50 families.
“On Sunday, we distributed tapioca to a few of them. All of us are safe and somehow we are lucky to have everything. I would urge all to do their part,” added Fr Joseph. Meanwhile, the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC) welcomed Opposition Leader V D Satheesan’s call for a permanent solution at Chellanam.
“It is also good to hear that the Kerala University for Fisheries and Ocean Studies is ready to adopt the panchayat,” KCBC stated. KCBC demanded a permanent and sustainable solution for Chellanam. “The need of the hour is a project that would work towards ensuring the safety and development of the coastal region,” said the statement.
KCBC demanded a permanent and sustainable solution. “The need of the hour is a project that would work towards ensuring the safety of the coastal region,” said the statement.