KOCHI: The stories related to the floods that lashed the state last year are still reverberating in small living rooms in rural Kerala to the colossal Parliament house. The Kerala floods not only brought confusion and loss but also brought in a sense of unity beyond caste or creed. With many NGOs and organisations within and outside the state operating actively towards the rebuilding activities in Kerala, Bengaluru-based NGO ‘Reaching Hand’ also stepped in to help by raising over Rs 49 lakh for relief and rebuilding work.
With the support of corporate ‘Fidelity Business Services’, the NGO made a contribution of over Rs 49 lakh to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF) of Kerala and over Rs 20 lakh to the CMDRF of Karnataka. Immediate relief materials including food, clothes, water and medicines reached almost 2,000 victims of the flood and landslides in 42 villages of Wayanad.
Following this family kits consisting of food ration, toiletries, garments and sleeping mat/bed sheet for the affected families were distributed to the flood victims with the support of individuals and volunteers as part of Phase 1 relief. A total of Rs 3.3 crore was raised by individuals, families, groups and corporates such as Fidelity Business Service, CGI, DELL, XL Health (Optum), Applied Materials, SLK Mettalics to help the flood-hit.
Founded in 1996 by VM Samuel of Mavelikkara, most of the trustees of the organisation are from Kerala despite the NGO being headquartered in Bengaluru.
The NGO initially started off as a children’s home with the vision: ‘Today’s destitute children, tomorrow’s leaders’. “From bringing home one child to building this home, the journey has been a wonderful adventure,” said Samuel.
Reaching Hand works with children, marginalised women and deprived families, empowering them to lead a life of hope, self-worth and dignity. The organisation also provides opportunities for people to volunteer and be a part of their service.
Apart from the children’s home, the NGO has a lot of operations under its wing. Spoorthi- an after-school programme, Pratishtha- for the unemployed youth, and old age homes are some of the highlight projects of the NGO.