THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Packaged food, clothes, bedsheets, blankets, baby food, medicines, napkins, toiletries, buckets and footwear are stacked all over the place. The sorting and packaging section is further divided into small groups so that the relief materials can be segregated and then packed in corrugated boxes.
“We are sorting the collected materials and packing it in different cartons, divided into food cartons, clothes cartons etc. Then, they are loaded on trucks and sent to different centres,” said Mrunmayi Joshi, Additional Director, Tourism, who coordinates of one of the collection points in the city located at the Cotton Hill Girls Higher Secondary School.
The incessant rain and subsequent flooding have caused a devastating situation in the state. But, it has also brought people together, to fight against the peril, hand in hand.
Thiruvananthapuram, relatively less affected by the floods, has come forward to extend the hand to manifest their concern and support for the people of other districts. Numerous flood relief collection centres have opened in different parts of the city coordinated under the district administration. Different government departments, NGOs, private companies, students and ordinary citizens, have rushed to the centres to deliver the relief materials, following a plea from District Collector K Vasuki.
All the collection centres have two distinct divisions, a registration point and a sorting and packaging point. The first point is where the relief materials from different sources are collected and the latter is where the distinctive materials are segregated and packed. The packed materials are dispatched to different districts according to the necessities of each place. The local-level coordination is carried out by the different district administrations. The Government College for Women is another such collection point, which is coordinated by Women Battalion commandant R Nishanthini.
“This collection centre is organised by Kerala Police, Anbodu Trivandrum and Sree Mulam Club. We have already sent 16 trucks, carrying relief materials, to different districts like Pathanamthitta, Thrissur, Palakkad etc,” said Balan Madhavan, secretary of Sree Mulam Club. Apart from the BSF trucks, many private truck owners also have come forward offering their services and fuel free of charge.
Involvement of a large number of youngsters as volunteers is the other high point of the collection centres. And youngsters waiting for an opportunity to serve as a volunteer is a common sight outside the collection centres. Arjun Suraj, a ninth standard student from St Thomas, holds a placard outside the Government College of Women, informing the general public of the immediate requirements in the collection centre. He came to know about the call for volunteers via social media and immediately got registered.
“Most of the volunteers are youngsters and very enthusiastic. We have put them on different shifts. In the morning we mostly give the opportunity to girls,” said Balan Madhavan. He also said due to the heavy rush to join as volunteers, there were such incidents where they couldn’t intake many of them and had to send them back. Most of the volunteers carry their own food from their home and the collection centre also provide food for those volunteers who are in need.
Priyadarshini Auditorium, Stree Cafe, Corporation Office, Keltron, Thaluk Office, Sanskrit college, SMV High School are some of the collection points in the city. Every collection points work from 8 am till midnight.