New Delhi- Amidst the ongoing COVID19 pandemic, savage floods have wreaked havoc in the State of Assam, disrupting lives of nearly 33 lakh people in 28 districts. Lakhs of people have lost their homes and livelihoods in its wake.
Since the onset of flood in Assam , Indian Red Cross teams (more than 1200 volunteers) have been on the ground, providing support to affected communities in the remotest areas of the State. Till date, more than 10,000 tarpaulins distributed among needy families are helping close to 50,000 people gain immediate shelter. Moreover, 2000 families are being supported in temporary shelters/relief camps set up by the IRCS Assam in highlands, at several locations.
All beneficiaries are being provided with dry ration, utensils, mosquito nets, soaps, masks & clean drinking water. Our volunteers are also making all possible efforts to ward off the rising threat of COVID19 and prevent community transmission of the disease in relief camps by earmarking separate spaces for families. This is helping us ensure that social distancing is maintained & the families feel safe just as they would be at home during their stay. Information on related safety precautions is concurrently being disseminated among communities and all steps are being taken to ensure that they are being followed in the camps.
IRCS Assam has also installed 25 family tents in different COVID19 quarantine centres as well as along highways, railway lines and embankments where displaced people are taking shelter. One such camp has been set up at IRCS’ raised platform in Chorabori, Hajo, Kamrup district where 50 flood affected families (250 people) are being sheltered along with their cattle. Another raised platform is constructed at Bhuragaon, Morigaon district where 70 people of 15 families have been sheltered along with their livestock.
“Initially, the State Branch conducted a needs assessment and established 12 Zonal centers to pre-position 13,500 tarpaulins so that we are able to launch a timely Emergency Response.
We are grateful to IRCS National Headquarters in Delhi and our Movement Partners, ICRC and IFRC for extending support of this magnitude and helping us reach maximum beneficiaries this year. Thorough planning by our Secretary General, Sh. R K Jain IAS (Retd.) helped us launch a timely emergency response on the frontline and save precious lives,” said Sh. Diganta Bujarbaruah, General Secretary, IRCS Assam.
Till date, Indian Red Cross has reached 40,000+ people (10,000+ families) reeling under the impact of these devastating floods with relief aid such as 1000+ dry ration kits, 800 mosquito nets, 2000+ utensil kits & other essential commodities. 2000+ hygiene items such as soaps & 3400+ PPEs (masks, gloves) have also been distributed. Besides, volunteers are encouraging everyone to practice social distancing norms.
IRCS has also installed hand pumps for affected families to ensure that communities have access to clean drinking water, as floods lead to contamination of drinking water sources.
Dedicated Red Cross staff, volunteers and members continue working tirelessly on the frontline to reach the last mile and ensure that no one is left behind. Tarpaulins, dry ration, milk packets, mosquito nets & coils, drinking water, candles, clothes, etc. are being transported to the most affected areas to reach people right at their doorstep.
Honourable President of India Sri Ram Nath Kovind flagged off nine trucks of Red Cross relief supplies from Rashtrapati Bhavan on Friday for flood-affected people in the states of Assam, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The President of India is also the President of Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS).
These relief supplies shall be carried to the concerned states by train and will be received by the state Red Cross branches. The relief material include tarpaulins, tents, garments, cotton blankets, kitchen sets, mosquito nets, bed sheets, buckets and water purification units. COVID-19 protection items such as masks, PPE kits, gloves, and face shields are also included. Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare and Chairman of IRCS, Dr. Harsh Vardhan as well as the Secretary General of IRCS, Sri R K Jain were also present on the occasion.