THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Onam is not just a festival. It’s also an occasion wherein friends and family get together. However, this Onam will be a special one with youngsters opting to mark it in a unique way.
They will spend time with the thousand-odd families at various relief camps in Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta. They will also distribute Onam kits and dress materials while sharing some positive vibes among the affected people. Volunteers of ‘Anbodu Thiruvananthapuram’ will spend ‘Thiruonam’ with affected families.
According to Sobha Viswanath, who leads ‘Anbodu Thiruvananthapuram’, the team would adopt Harippad area in Alappuzha district for a day and they will spend time with the families in relief camps at Harippad on Saturday.
“Our Onam will be with the affected people. We will distribute Onam kits and will entertain the children so as to help them get over the pain and agony they had been suffering for the last one week. Moreover, we will also take up cleaning activities so that the families could return to their homes at the earliest”, Sobha said.She added that a team of more than 50 people would go to Harippad and attend families based on their demands. “If more people join in, they are welcome”, Sobha added.
Not the time for celebration
The district saw the biggest participation of people in relief operations. Irrespective of age and
gender, all of them are still on the field to wipe the tears of affected ones.Many volunteers, including college students in the city, had sleepless nights for the past one week as they were busy with collecting materials for relief camps.
Vishnu, a young social worker, said that the coordination was brilliant and that’s why they could transport the relief materials to the camps in the affected districts.“The collection centre at Nishagandhi auditorium is still active. On Thiruonam day, we will be busy with collecting and sending materials to the needy. Out Onam is with the affected families”, Vishnu said.
Krishna, a civil service aspirant who was part of the relief operations, said the collection centres at Women’s College, Cotton Hill and Nishagandhi auditoriums are still open and the materials are coming in. “Not just me, my sister and neighbours are also at collection centres and we will be there on the Thiruonam day as well. It is not the time for celebration, we need to be with the people who are affected because of floods,” Krishna said.
Deepa Ananthapadmanabhan, a social worker who coordinates a volunteering group containing college students, said she would also be in the collection centres and a team would be sent to Alappuzha and Pathanamthitta districts on Saturday for cleaning the houses filled with mud.
An LGBT NGO named ‘Queerythm’ has been actively participating with the relief operations and a group will go to a worst affected tribal hamlet at Pathanamthitta district and will spend ‘Onam’ with them. Prejith K, the founder of Queerythm, said they decided to focus on the isolated tribal settlements at Laha and other areas in Pathanamthitta as nobody gives proper attention to them. “ We are now at Pathanamthitta. We will go to tribal settlements soon as they suffered a lot due to major landslides”, Prejith said.