As the people of Odisha recover from the damage caused by cyclone Fani, the Utkal Bipanna Sahayata Samiti workers have started work to provide new boats to some fishermen who have lost their livelihood due to the cyclone. Some damaged boats will also be repaired
Dr Samanwaya Nanda from Bhubaneshwar
Odisha is reeling under the worst natural calamity that it faced on May 3. When cyclonic storm Fani struck the state, no one had the slightest idea that the ferocious winds would leave behind a catastrophic trail of destruction. The temple town of Puri, where the cyclone made landfall, was the worst hit, followed by the capital city of Bhubaneswar, which still continues to reel under power and water crisis even 12 days after the storm hit the state. The cyclone Fani has caused immense damage to six coastal districts of Odisha. Puri, Khurdha, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada and a part of Jajpur are the ones affected.
UBSS workers distributing relief to the cyclone affected people in Odisha
The cyclone caused widespread disruption and loss of life and livelihood. Nearly, 5 lakh kutcha houses were damaged. Over 3 lakh people were displaced and rendered homeless with the death toll rising to 64.
The RSS swayamsevaks are working day and night to rescue the affected people with huge supplies of rice, pulses, polythenes, solar lights and medicines in several districts of Odisha. Trucks with food material are on their way to relief camps in the affected districts. Looking at the gravity of the distress, the RSS swayamsevaks rushed for rescue works at various hit zones, helped and served the affected citizens with food, shelter, etc.
UBSS workers clearing the road by removing the falling trees
The Utkal Bipanna Sahayata Samiti (UBSS), the unit of RSS, has appealed to the people for help. The swayamsevaks reached the affected areas and cleaned the roads for passage of the transport of the relief materials to reach the affected sites. The UBSS has taken up the stupendous task of providing relief materials in seven zones such as Ghodabazar Shishu Mandir, Puri, Saraswati Shishu Mandir Brahamgiri, Dandamulukundapur, Chandapur, Nimapada and Saraswati Shishu Mandir of Bhubaneswar. Some more units are to come up in Jagatasinghpur and Cuttack for distribution of relief materials.
Till date, the RSS workers have provided quintals of Chuda, Gur, Polythin, Candles and matchbox and more than 10 lakhs of water bottles and much more are in the pipeline for distribution amongst the people in distress. The UBSS has gone on a mission mode to ensure relief at affected areas. Medical teams are being organised and sent to the areas of Brahmagiri and Puri.
Medical van of the UBSS
Utkal Bipanna Sahayata Samiti is managing the relief works in 14 centres, which include two centres in Puri Town, two in Satpada where the cyclone hit the land, one each in Brahmagiri, Kanas, Konark, Jatni, Balipatna, Bhubaneswar and Nimapara. The Samiti has been able to provide cooked food for the last 10 days in all 14 centres. In Ghoda Bazar Saraswati Shishu Mandir, the Samiti is providing cooked food to 5,600 affected people and in Dandamukundapur 2,200 people were given cooked food. In Brahmagiri centres, the Samiti is providing cooked food in all affected Panchayats two times a day.
Collection of relief material for the cyclone affected people
Understanding the problem of health facilities in the affected areas, the UBSS started mobile health camps in the affected areas. Now in 14 relief centres, 14 mobile health units are being functional from May 5 to till date. The Samiti is distributing 10,000 mosquito nets, 10,000 utensils kits, 25000 solar lights in the affected areas.
The traditional fishermen of Odisha especially on the shores of Chilika Lake and Bay of Bengal are in a fix as they have lost their boats and nets in cyclone Fani and face the diminished scope of professional employment during the summer months. The UBSS has decided to provide new boats to some of those fishermen who are really in need. 25 new boats, which cost Rs 1 lakh 25 thousand for each boat, will be provided to 25 poor homeless and boatless fishermen. Similarly, the Samiti is also planning to repair 200 boats which have been damaged in the wind storm. Such repair may cost Rs 20 to 40,000 each. Around 10,000 of fishing nets have been procured to provide to affected fishermen.
Not only fishing community is being affected but the entire coconut farming and Bittle Farming (Pan Baraja) in Puri district is damaged fully. UBSS is planning to provide to assist 600 families who depend on Bittle farming to build up their Pan Baraja. Rs 20,000 are to be spent on each Pan Baraja. Similarly, 50,000 Coconut plants are to be supplied to coconut farmers. The Samiti is also providing kits to 10,000 families which consist Saree, Lungi, blanket and other garments.