HCL Foundation extends DRR support in Cyclone Amphan-hit Areas in West Bengal
• Building Back & Restoration remains top priority in HCL Foundation’s humanitarian activities implemented in collaboration with NGOs DRCSC, CINI & Sabuj Sangha
HCL Foundation (HCLF), the CSR arm of HCL Technologies, in partnership with its Implementing NGOs, is providing humanitarian assistance to the communities of West Bengal affected by the recent Super Cyclone Amphan. HCLF has focused its DRR interventions around long-term Build Back & Restoration to address needs in the areas of WASH, Shelter, Health and Livelihood in this region covering the districts of North and South Parganas in WB.
Cyclone Amphan has left a trail of massive devastation in the Sunderbans region of WB, disrupting life and livelihood extremely. Apart from rendering thousands of people homeless, it has led to the loss of basic amenities like food and drinking water, livestock and livelihoods. The vulnerability of the people has increased manifold due to poor or no electricity, no phone connectivity, destruction of crop fields and exposure to contagious enteric diseases which is another grave concern.
HCLF in partnership with Kolkata-based NGO Development Research Communication and Services Centre, has launched Relief and Build Back work in 10 villages in the 3 blocks of South and North 24 Parganas in West Bengal, namely Hingalgunge, Basanti and Sandeshkhali II. This intervention aims to support 1,200 beneficiary households through two key activities: 1) Support for Immediate Relief such as dry ration kits, drinking water purification kit and containers, tarpaulin or plastic sheets for making temporary shelters for those who have lost their roofs, mosquito nets, disinfectants, etc., and 2) Support for build back which will include reconstruction of livelihoods such as support for seeds, saplings, manure, salt-tolerant crops & paddy seeds; fish cultivation – fingerlings (aquaculture), and support for small animals & birds. The project will include restoration efforts over a period of one year while the relief support is for a duration of 3 months.
HCLF has also partnered with the Child in Need Institute (CINI) for providing reconstruction and relief support in the Falta Block of South 24 Pargana District in West Bengal for one year in coordination with the Government. Under the project, 75 most vulnerable households will be supported through reconstruction and repair of their houses, 10,000 adolescent girls and women from the most affected area will receive hygiene kits and 800 frontline workers and teachers will receive training on post-COVID protective measures along with the knowledge to promote relevant Government services among the entire population in Falta Block. The team will also ensure linkage with Government schemes and services with general population who will need it, besides Capacity Building of Government Functionaries and other NGOs in the region.
HCLF’s third collaboration in this DRR effort is with Sabuj Sangha for supporting 600 most vulnerable families affected by the cyclone in 11 Gram Panchayats of four blocks of South 24 Parganas. This project will largely focus on early recovery activities to ensure restoration of normalcy and mitigation of future risks with the key activities being: 1. Post Disaster Loss & Damage Assessment (PDNA) through drone, 2. Health support, 3. Education support for 500 school-going children, and 4. Livelihood support, 5 Awareness Training on Psycho-Social Care, and 6. Collaboration with the government and other stakeholders to help the farmers to plan their cultivation. Workshops/ Capacity Building Trainings on Soil Treatment & Weather Forecast, Livelihood Opportunities, Rights & Entitlements, Psychosocial Care Training and Awareness, Stakeholder Engagement Workshop and State-level Dissemination & Networking Workshop with government will also be held.
All these activities will be implemented in close coordination with the local administration. The interventions will help the community members in building back their dignity, economic self-sufficiency and will increase their adaptability with the situation to come.