Monday, December 5, 2015
Chennai is limping back to normal. The worst, it seems, is over. However, the help needed by Chennai people gets critical now. The focus now has to shift from immediate relief and rescue operations to rehabilitation, rebuilding and solace. The trauma of losing everything will hit people now when the adrenal slows down. Also, when things are temporarily out of gear you can get heroic and live adventurously for a short while. However, when some semblance of normalcy is restored and life as usual has to go on, and you are on your own while picking up your threads, where do you start when everything is gone.
A meeting of friends and neighbors was held this morning to plan and regroup for the next phase. Someone suggested that for the long haul we should call ourselves something. ‘Bhavangels’ was accepted – Be an Angel. Second point was that even if we help fewer people, we should not just give away something like some charity but build a relationship, handhold our unfortunate friends to get back and stabilize themselves. Third, we should really reach out to those who have really lost everything, even their shirt on their back literally. Fourth, we should involve them to help others we are helping. Then came the discussion of their immediate needs. From a health and hygiene point of view, from bare necessities in the kitchen and mats and sheets to sleep, and to get the children up and going to school and the old folks to be comfortable at home. We have drawn up a list and have budgeted an average amount per family. We have targeted to help 100 families in South Chennai and feel confident that friends will help out with the required funds. Many have already committed.It was a pleasant surprise to have been contacted by someone from New Jersey spontaneously with a promise of funds. Depending on more funds flowing in, we will reach out to more people. Watch this post for daily updates.
– Dr. L.N.Rajaram