THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When the floods ravaged the state, help started pouring in from all quarters. The floods brought together an army of school students, college students, youngsters, NGOs and Malayalis from across the globe who pitched in their services to help mitigate the crisis. US-based software engineer Vishak Cherian was one such who started the ‘Oppamund Trivandrum’ group, roping in hordes of city residents and NGOs to aid in the relief operations.
And thus was launched the ‘Trivandrum Flood Rescue Team’. The group under the banner Oppamund Trivandrum strings together youngsters, NGOs and start-ups based in the city. Led by Anupama Sandeep, Shalin John, Mahesh Nair, Sachin Kumar, Sooraj Rangan and Gopi Nair, the teams have been involved in a host of flood relief activities.
The primary mission was to bring the people afflicted by the floods to the city. “The concept was that since ours was a dry land, we could bring in people and shelter them here,” says Anupama. But that was when the floods hit the capital city and all the efforts were channelised to provide relief materials to the relief camps in the city. The team has been sending relief materials to various camps in the state since last week. Apart from providing relief materials, a help desk also started functioning where the team aided in the rescue efforts by reaching out to the distress messages.
Around 500 volunteers now work to help in the relief measures. The group has three collection points in the city. Relief materials are being sent to various camps in the state every day, Anupama adds. Each vehicle is being accompanied by volunteers.
The team has now focused on distributing ‘back-to-home kits’ to the homes affected by the floods. The kits comprise clothes, provisions, toiletries and other essential articles. “These kits are being given to the people directly by the volunteers by going to the homes of the affected,” says Anupama.
The financial support is being extended by the Kerala Association of Chicago, USA and Malayalees of Croydon in the UK, Anupama adds. The members of the group formed to mitigate the crisis unleashed by the floods intend to remain together and carry on their activities even after the floods.