Puducherry: SOS Children’s Villages of India, the country’s largest NGO providing family like care in Children’s Villages to children without parental care, comes to the aid of hundreds of vulnerable families in Puducherry, who are worst-hit by cyclones Nivar and Burevi. The children of many of these families are at the risk of losing parental care, as the families have lost their livelihoods.
As part of the emergency relief work, SOS Children’s Villages is distributing kits of relief materials worth Rs 3,000 each, containing food items such as bread, biscuits, rice, sugar, atta, sooji, dal items, and oil, besides bath and detergent soaps, candles, sanitary napkins, and tarpaulins and bedsheets to the affected families, including beneficiary families of Family Strengthening, the community outreach programme of the NGO.
The Family Strengthening Programme (FSP) of SOS Children’s Villages of India aims at securing and upholding household income of vulnerable communities in a sustainable manner by empowering women and capacity building, thereby safeguarding parental care for their children. In Puducherry, the FSP covers nearly 150 fishermen families living in coastal areas. Together these families have 250 children.
Commenting about the cyclone relief and rehabilitation work of SOS Children’s Villages of India, Senior Deputy National Director, Mr Sumanta Kar, said, “Nivar and Burevi cyclones swamped many parts of Puducherry. These families in the water logged areas are trapped indoors. They have lost food materials, clothes and bed sheets. There are power outages in many places. And there is an acute shortage of safe drinking water.
We are distributing food items, and relief materials to the affected families that fall under the ambit of the programme as well as to other families in the local communities. Since we are already working with many of the worst-hit families in the villages of Panithitt, Echankadu, Pillayarkuppam and Bahour, as part of our FS outreach programme, we are able to reach them with our relief materials directly, and immediately. Children and women are the worst affected in any disaster and we are trying to support families for the education of their children and restoring their lost livelihood”
Mr Kar added that the NGO will also focus on renovating houses, and restoring livelihoods post cyclone. “The families are just trying to rebuild their lives with the easing of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions but the continual spell of heavy rains has inundated their houses, damaged their properties, and affected their livelihoods severely. Casuarina plantation, which has been a traditional source of income for many of the families here, is now completely destroyed by the cyclonic storms. There is a fishing ban for over a week due to the cyclone threat. In this context, extending financial support to these families is extremely important,” he said.
SOS Children’s Villages of India runs a Children’s Village in Puducherry. It is joining hands with volunteers, government agencies, and like-minded NGOs while taking up the relief and rehabilitation work in the coastal areas.