The RSS swayamsevaks not only joined the government in rescue operations but also undertook independent projects
Severe cyclonic storm Ockhi struck several parts of South India killing many people and destroying properties. Originating near Sri Lanka on Nov 29, the storm increased its intensity by Dec 1. Many parts of coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka were hit.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) described Ockhi as a ‘very severe cyclonic storm’, the third strongest category of cyclonic storms. Ockhi had wind speeds between 155 and 165 km per hour and cyclones with wind speeds between 165 and 220 km per hour are classified as ‘extremely severe cyclonic storm’.
Rescuing the Stranded
Volunteers of the RSS were involved in relief and rescue operations during Ockhi cyclone that hit the southern parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Swayamsevaks began their rescue work on Nov. 30 much before the storm turned severe. They toiled day and night at Kanyakumari which was most hit, to rescue stranded civilians.
Kanyakumari witnessed torrential wind and rain unleashed by Cyclone Ockhi after 25 years ravaging the southern-most tip of Bharat. According to sources, around 10 lakh banana trees, one lakh trees, were uprooted and the roads were blocked. Communication lines were disrupted.
RSS volunteers immediately acted upon the situation. With the aim of clearing the approach routes as the first step, the volunteers formed around 100 teams and spread out to different areas. These teams cleared the uprooted trees and other obstruction on the roads with the aid of government machinery. This planned act ensured smooth flow of traffic.
Several areas were flooded after the relentless rains. The areas in and around Suchindram was the most affected. Around 4200 houses in 21 villages were surrounded by flood waters. Immediately, upon the receipt of the distress call, swayamsevaks in teams arrived at the location and
rescued thousands of people. Swayamsevaks toiled day and night and ensured the people are relocated to safer places.
Sevabharathi Tamil Nadu has sent 1,050 plastic mats, candles and Mosquito mats to cyclone-affected Kanyakumari district. The large consignment contains these relief materials was dispatched to the affected areas in the presence of Mananeeya Chennai Mahanagar Sanghachalak Sri Kalyan Singhji and Sevabharathi Tamilnadu President Sri Rabu Manohar.
Seva Bharati Pitches In
Seva Bharati volunteers distributed Food packets, water, biscuits, milk, candle, matchboxes etc to the stranded people and to those whose houses were partially submerged too.
Sri Unnikrishnan, who is in-charge of Seva Bharati in Kanyakumari says that the rehabilitation efforts will
continue till all those affected are safely back in their homes. He also called for generous donations in terms of food and materials.
The timely and critical efforts of RSS Swayamsevaks and Seva Bharati during Ockhi cyclone were lauded by those distressed and the government authorities too.
— Organiser Bureau