RSS relief work in Sunderbans-Sangh reaches where LF govt. failed

via By Ranjit Roy @ www.organiser.org published on June 9, 2009


* Women blew conch-shells to welcome swayamsevaks

* Massive relief work by RSS in cyclone-affected Sunderbans

HINGALGANJ: It was a nightmarish experience for 50-odd swayamsevaks who were desperate to reach Hingalganj Jetighat criss-crossing other inaccessible riverine villages in the Sunderbans after Aila cyclone battered and ravaged Bengal’s famous archipelago of islands on May 25. The rivers Kalindi and Raimangal were turbulent and wind speed was not less than 60 km per hour even 24 hours after the cyclone lashed the Sunderbans.

They hired a large vessel with a capacity to carry about six tonnes relief materials for distributing among the cyclone-hit villagers separated from the mainland. Risking their lives, they finally reached Jetighat, Hemnagar, Mandirghat and Parghumta villages where thousands of marooned villagers had been awaiting the government relief for three days since the Aila blown away their hamlets. They had no food and drinking water during the past 72 hours.

Indeed, the marooned villagers had lost all hopes to survive as the area remained inaccessible due to swelling of Dasha river following the cyclone. The team of swayamsevaks, led by North 24 Pargana Zila Karyavah Shri Sukumar Vaidya, was the first batch of volunteers to reach them braving nature’s fury.

Initially, the starving villagers took swayamsevaks as state government relief employees and started to hurl abuses. However, when the distressed villagers discovered that they were RSS volunteers and risked their lives to bring them relief materials, they were simply over-joyed and begged pardon for their initial mistake. Women blew conch-shells to welcome the swayamsevaks in their mud houses. Packets of dry food, water pouches, milk powder and clothes brought by swayamsevaks were distributed with full cooperation of the distressed villagers.

This is the same area where the local CPI(M) MLA Gopal Gayen from Hingalganj was roughed up and the Chief Minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee received abuses from the relief-deprived villagers on June 2. The distressed villagers in Hingalganj block in the riverine Sunderbans made it amply clear that even in misery they had more respect for honest and hard-working swayamsevaks of the RSS than that for callous elected communist leaders, strutting about in the corridors of power.

Nearly a fortnight after the cyclone Aila hit West Bengal’s coast, thousands of people are still stranded in the Sunderbans. People with boats have left, but many have no choice but to stay. The human misery is telling. “I have nothing left. Utensils, pans, plates and glasses. Even the three bags of rice, we had saved from the last harvest, are gone. It would have been good had we been given a house to live in by the administration. What else do the poor people have, money? My daughter has to be married off, but there’s nothing left,” Purnima Mondal, resident of Dakshin Yogeshganj near Bangladesh border said. The villagers here are facing an added misery as robbers from Bangladesh are raiding border villages as they left their homes and sheltered in relief camps.

The RSS has a well-knit organisation in the Sunderbans under North and South 24 Parganas. There are ‘one teacher-one school’ establishments in 90 villages. Swayamsevaks of the two neighbouring districts have set up 32 relief camps and have been feeding about 30,000 cyclone-hit hapless villagers daily since May 26. The worst affected are the five blocks, Hasnabad, Najat, Sandeshkhali I & II and Hingalganj. Here 50 shakhas are affected due to large-scale inundation. Even after flooding, swayamsevaks are running two relief camps in Basantitala where cooked food is supplied to nearly 4,000 villagers daily.

Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh, Shri Manmohan Vaidya, visited several relief camps in the affected areas in Hasnabad block in North 24 Parganas on June 3 and took a stock of the grim situation prevailing there. He was told that the RSS volunteers braved the storm and rains and started distributing relief to distressed villagers at Basanti, Sonakhali, Kultuli, Gosaba, Pathankhali, Hemnagar and Mandirghat within six hours after the Aila lashed villages in the Sunderbans on May 25. As the villagers have lost everything and have no means to cook rice, the meals are being cooked at the RSS relief centres on the main land and then transported by country boats to relief camps set up by sawyamsevaks in far-flung Sunderban islands daily.

This mammoth relief operation requires huge amount of money. Shri Vaidya appealed to people all over the country to come forward at this time of crisis and shoulder some social responsibility by donating liberally to organisations like Bastuhara Sahayata Samiti, RSS Samaj Sewa Bharati, Friends of Tribal Society and Bharat Sevashram Sangh.

Relief Work in Cyclone Affected Sunderbans of Bengal

http://www.rssonnet.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=105

Hingalganj, June 5:


It was a nightmarish experience for 50-odd swayamsevaks who were
desperate to reach Hingalganj jetighat criss-crossing other
inaccessible riverine villages in the Sunderbans after Aila cyclone
battered and ravaged the Bengal’s famous archipelago of islands on May
25. The rivers Kalindi and Raimangal were turbulent and wind speed was
not less than 60 km per hour even 24 hours after the cyclone lashed the
Sunderbans.


They hired a large vessel with a capacity to carry about 6 tonnes
relief materials for distributing among cyclone hit villagers separated
from the main land.

strandedfloods

Risking
lives, they finally reached Jetighat, Hemnagar, Mandirghat and
Parghumta villages where thousands of marooned villagers awaiting
government relief past three days since the Aila blown away their
hamlets. They had no food and drinking water during the past 72 hours.

inaccessibleinaccess2


Indeed, the marooned villagers had lost all hopes to survive as the
area remained inaccessible due to swelling of Dasha river following the
cyclone. The team of swayamsevaks, led by North 24 Pargana zilla
karyabaha Shri Sukumar Vaidya, was the first batch of volunteers to
reach them braving nature’s fury. Initially, starving villagers took
swayamsevaks as state government relief employees and started to hurl
abuses.

rss


However, when the distressed villagers discovered that they were RSS
volunteers and had risked their lives to bring them relief materials,
they were simply over-joyed and begged pardon for their initial
mistake. Women blew conch-shells to welcome the swayamsevaks in their
mud houses.

distribution

Packets
of dry food, water pouches, milk powder and clothes brought by
swayamsevaks were distributed with full cooperation of the distressed
villagers.


This is the same area where the local CPI (M) MLA Gopal Gayen from
Hingalganj was roughed-up and the chief minister, Buddhadeb
Bhattacharjee received abuses from relief deprived villagers on June 2.
The distressed villagers in Hingalganj block in the riverine Sunderbans
made it amply clear that even in misery they had more respect for
honest and hard-working swayamsevaks of the RSS than callous elected
communist leaders strutting about in the corridors of power.


Nearly a week after cyclone Aila hit West Bengal’s coast, thousands of
people are still stranded in the Sunderbans. People with boats have
left, but many have no choice but to stay. The human misery is telling.
“I have nothing left. Utensils, pans, plates and glasses. Even the
three bags of rice, we had saved from the last harvest, are gone. It
would have been good had we been given a house to live in by the
administration. What else do poor people have, money? My daughter has
to be married off, but there’s nothing left,” Purnima Mondal, resident
of Dakshin Yogeshganj near Bangladesh border said. The villagers here
are facing an added misery as robbers from Bangladesh are raiding
border villages as they left their homes and sheltered in relief camps.


The RSS has a well-knit organization in the Sunderbans under north and
south 24 Parganas. There are ‘one teacher-one school’ establishments in
90 villages. Swayamsevaks of the two neighbouring districts have set up
32 relief camps and feeding about 30,000 cyclone hit hapless villagers
daily since 26 May. The worst affected are the five blocks, Hasnabad,
Najat, Sandeshkhali I & II and Hingalganj. Here 50 sakhas are
affected due to large-scale inundation. Even after flooding,
swayamsevaks are running two relief camps in Basantitala where cooked
food is supplied to nearly 4,000 villagers daily.

manmohan


Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh, Dr. Manmohan Vaidya, visited several
relief camps in the affected areas in Hasnabad block in north 24
Parganas on June 3 and took a stock of the grim situation prevailing
there. He was told that the RSS volunteers braved the storm and rains
and started distributing relief to distressed villagers at Basanti,
Sonakhali, Kultuli, Gosaba, Pathankhali, Hemnagar, Mandirghat within
six hours after the Aila lashed villages in the Sunderbans on May 26.

food

As
the villagers have lost everything and have no means to cook rice, the
meals are being cooked at the RSS relief centres in the main land and
then transported daily by country boats to relief camps set up by
swayamsevaks in far-flung Sunderban islands.


This mammoth relief operation requires huge amount of money. Shri
Vaidya appealed to people all over the country to come forward at this
time of crisis and shoulder some social responsibility by donating
liberally to organizations like Bastuhara Sahayata Samiti, RSS Samaj
Seva Bharati, and Friends of Tribal Society.

For further information, contact:

 
Vishwa Samvad Kendra,

36A, Sahitya Parishad Street (Flat- F/1), Kolkata – 700 006
Phone: (033) 2543-1976
E-mail:
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AN APPEAL
B A S T U H A R A S A H A Y A T A S A M I T I
(Regd. No. S/5774)
27/1B, Bidhan Sarani, Kolkata – 700 006
Ph : (033)-2241 0603

Today
the eyes of the entire world are focused on trail of destruction left
by Hurricane Aila in West Bengal which stampeded through the state on 25th and 26th
May, 2009. The battering was so complete in this state that just as
landslides claimed numerous lives in the hills, in the lower regions
breached dams caused moving walls of water to swallow entire villages
into its hungry belly. The devastation is particularly heightened in
the North and South 24 Parganas where fortunate survivors are
left with absolutely nothing except their breath. The loss of lives,
homes, crops and livestock and total inundation of village after
village have driven those who were able, to move to higher grounds in
order to seek food, shelter and help. Further, as always in the wake of
such disaster, epidemic diseases have already begun to spread. The
extent of water-logging is such as to make it difficult to dispose off
bodies of human and animals. It is a great test of our own will-power
to save our unfortunate brothers and sisters.

We are concerned citizens belonging to a Non Govt. Organization operating since 1950. True to our motto to serve, we started relief work through “Tran Shivirs” (Relief Centres) from the evening of 26th
May itself in partnership with like-minded organizations such as
R.S.S., Samaj Seva Bharti, Friends of Tribal Society, Bharat Sevasram
and Ramkrishna Mission
. These shivirs are operating in remote
interiors which are generally inaccessible, and continue to remain
unapproached by most other organizations. We have been able to cater to
the needs of nearly 8,000 families consisting of 30,000 heads through
32 such shivirs, where cooked meals, dry food and potable water are
being distributed to 25,000 people. The meals are being cooked and
transported by boat to the shivirs in far-flung areas at a distance of
almost 4 hours. Medicines are also being distributed through medical
camps.

Our
future plan is to continue to run these shivirs and also to provide the
affected families with immediate necessities for daily living:
tarpaulins, food, utensils, clothes, medicines, etc. We estimate that
the outlay for the same will be Rs.1,00,00,000/- approximately;
break-up of the same is given below –

 
Meal and infant food … Rs. 12,00,000/-
Clothing for adults and children Rs. 37,00,000/-
Utensils, Lanterns, Durris, etc. Rs. 15,50,000/-
Medicines Rs. 7,00,000/-
Tarpaulins Rs. 28,50,000/-

T O T A L … Rs. 1,00,00,000/-

We now request your contribution by way of your A/c Payee cheque / Demand Draft made in favour of “BASTUHARA SAHAYATA SAMITI”, to be sent to Keshav Bhawan, 9-A, Abhedananda Road, Kolkata – 700 006 (Ph: (033) 2350 8075 / 2352 7946), against which we are in a position to provide you the required certificate for claiming relief under Section 80G of Income Tax Act.

OUR BANK ACCOUNT NO. 00003251, Branch Code No.173901

UCO Bank, Beadon Street Br, Kolkata-700 006
RTGS/ IFSC CODE-UCBA – 0001739

Your
contribution in kind (as mentioned above) etc. would also be of great
assistance to those who have lost all their possessions in the floods.

We look forward to your positive response in the matter, please.

Thanking you,
Yours truly,
 
 
JIBAN MOY BASU
General Secretary

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