Concerned over the worsening flood situation and human crisis in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa, the Sewa Bharati, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad workers plunged into action immediately and started relief operation with the available resources. They initiated relief process by bringing together and collaborating with various NGOs and individual philanthropists for a coordinated effort to use the resources in the better manner.
Relief operation in Andhra Pradesh
The swayamsevaks started distributing food packets brought by their fellow volunteers from the neighboring villages and districts. They supplied food packets to over one lakh families in three districts of Andhra Pradesh for 3 days reaching the interior rural areas of Karnool and Mahaboob Nagar. Since the connectivity to Karnool was cut off, material was brought in from Anantapur, Kadapa, Nellore and Raichure of Karnataka.
The workers started the relief camps in Karnool town at Saraswati Sishu Mandir and G Pulla Reddy Engineering College. They supplied thousands of food and water packets to Karnool. Volunteers from Adoni went to Mantralaya cleaned the Mantralaya Temple and cleared the dead bodies of cows of Goshala and other animals. Many of the dead are piligrims to Mantrala Temple. The swayamsevaks removed these bodies and handed over to the police.
In Hindupur, the swayamsevaks started five food preparation and collection centres to support the victims immediately on October 3 to be sent to Karnool district. In Anantapur, the swayamsevaks started a food collection centre with an intention of sending 10,000 food packets. With an overwhelming response from the people of Anantapur, the centre could prepare 50,000 packets and other material worth 5 lakh sent for the needy in Karnool district. In Dronachalam (Dhone), they sent 50,000 food packets and one lakh water packets to Karnool. Volunteers from Nandikotkur went into the villages, which went under water and rescued 45 families and brought them to safe place and provided food. In Gadwal, a relief Camp was conducted at TTD Kalyana Mandapam. Food packets were supplied to 200 villages.
In Hyderabad, 2000 swayamsevaks collected funds, food materials for flood affected. Two collection centres were established at State headquarters of RSS and Keshav Memorial School. Everyday four truck loads of food material, two truck loads of other immediate necessities were sent to the flood affected areas. 200 volunteers rushed to the affected areas to join the hygiene and sanitation work from the city. Sri Raghavulu, national secretary of VHP, visited the affected areas and met the volunteers involved in the work in Karnool. Sri TV Deshmukh, Prant Sanghachalak and state organising secretary of Sewa Bharati Sri Vidwan Reddy visited Gadwal relief camp and met the volunteers working in Mahaboob Nagar.
In second phase, the swayamsevaks surveyed the affected areas of Mahaboob Nagar district and found that 58 villages were badly destroyed and 16,000 families of many other villages were devastated. The immediate requirement of these families was to settle down their daily chores. Hence the workers planned to supply the kits to 5000 families, which enabled them to start off their living. Each kit consisted of kitchen utensils, food grains and material of daily use.
In Karnool district, 250-300 villages are still under water hence the survey was not completed. As far as Karnool town is concerned, it is slowly returning to normalcy. Around Karnool town 29 villages have been severely affected. The swayamsevaks surveyed and serviced 20 villages around Karnool town. They are planning to undertake similar steps to supply daily life supporting kits to the people to start their daily routine once we have the final statistics.
The swayamsevaks have already initiated planning for rehabilitation of the devastated people and reconstruction of the destroyed villages. They identified various means of rehabilitation of people like supplying them implements required for their occupation. In this process, the swayamsevaks are having coordinated efforts with many other voluntary, social, cultural and spiritual organisations.
Some of the organisations currently working with the swayamsevaks in flood relief and rehabilitation process included Vande Mataram Foundation, Gayatri Pariwar, Help for Needy, Sanskriti Foundation and Bharati Vikas Parishad.
Flood relief in Vijayawada
A temporary relief centre, estabhlished at Indira Gandhi Stadium in Vijayawada, was meeting the immediate necessities of nearly 5,000 people and provided break fast, milk for the children and fruits. Sri Mangesh Bhinde, Kshetra Pracharak, Sri N Ravi, president of Jan Sankshema Samithi visited the relief camp and guided the swayamsevaks. Nearly 200 swayamsevaks are already plunged into service activities. Sri G Gangaraju Garu is personally supervising the camp.
Relief operation in Karnataka
Raichur and Manvi taluks were the worst affected in Karnataka because of the overflowing of Tungabhadra and Krishna rivers. The swayamsevaks started relief work on October 3. The first day itself more than 6000 food packets were prepared and handed over to government machinery to supply by helicopter to the people stranded in the floods. On October 4, another 6000 food packets were distributed to the people of three villages camping at Ganadal village. On October 5 onwards the relief camps were started at Chickmanchali, Nadugaddemalakapur, Tungabhadra villages, which are on the Banks of River Tungabhadra.
40 villages of Hungund and Badami taluks were worst affected due to flooding of Malaprabha River. Houses collapsed due to heavy rains all over the district. Relief works like food distribution; medical facilities were started in several villages by the swayamsevaks. On October 3, about 30000 chapatis were collected in Bagalkot and were distributed in 6 affected villages. On October 5 and 6, the swayamsevaks and some collage students guided by senior Sangh swayamsevaks started relief operation in 28 villages. Food distribution and survey work was taken up.
On the same day the RSS activists collected Rs 60,000, two tonne chapattis, one quintal dal, plastic sheets of 60,000 were purchased and distributed to 500 families in Saddatti taluka. 19 karyakartas from Belgaum city went to Ramdurg, Savdatti and Bailhongal taluka for 2 days to monitor the relief work.
A total of 76 swayamsevaks worked for three days and arranged Ganji Kendra (langar) in seven villages in Ramdurg taluka and two places in Ramdurg city for three days where more than 12,000 people were served food and also distributed plastic sheets for 250 houses and 170 houses in Sureban village of Ramdurg taluka. In Savdatti taluka Ganji Kendra ran for three days at six places wherein 3000 people were served food. Also, 20 swayamsevaks worked in the Ganji Kendra run by other social organisations. A total of 230 karyakartas worked for 3 days in Ramdurg taluka and more than 100 swayamsevaks in Savdatti taluka. Five doctors are working in the affected areas of both the talukas and distributing medicines.
Releif work was started on October 4 in Holealur, Nargund, Mundargi, Magadi and Vaasan. Food was prepared and distributed to 2600 people daily for three days. About 15 swayamsevaks of Magadi village repaired the damaged road between Gojanur and Akkigonda village.
The ABVP karyakartas also plunged into action and distributed medicines, food packets and drinking water in many affected areas of Karnataka. Throughout the state, they are raising funds, collecting clothes and other required materials from the society and sending them to the people in the flood-affected areas. A flood relief camp has been put up by them in the affected areas to respond to the urgent need of the flood victims.
The VHP announced a massive relief operation for Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Goa. It is running 39 relief centres in Karnool and 15 in Mehbubnagar. Around 1.5 lakh food packets have already been distributed by October 4. More than 500 VHP workers are already at these centres. Rice, wheat, medicines and anti-fungal lotions/creams, sarees, towels, sheets, blankets and other clothes, tents, sukhdi, daal, kitchen kits and ready-to-eat biscuits and other food packets are also being sent to the affected areas.