The first people affected by unpredictable pandemics, natural calamities, and economic breakdowns are the people from rural communities who depend on their daily wage, and do not have any savings. Especially since the COVID-19 lockdowns in India, we have realized the dire need for support that exists in these communities daily.
COVID-19 Response 2020
The most vulnerable people in this pandemic were the daily-wage workers whose survival was threatened with the restrictions to work during the total lockdown. Our primary relief run was to provide essential goods like food provisions and basic sanitation kits to approximately 2000 migrant workers. We trained ladies from the communities, who have tailoring skills, to produce cloth face masks. One of our biggest challenges was adapting our school activities to digital/home-schooling methods. Apart from the limited digital awareness, many parents were not educated enough to take up home-schooling responsibilities.
Flood Relief 2015
In December 2015, Chennai lost more than 500 lives to its worst flood in 100 years. Many communities came together to help the affected people by providing food, shelter, and conducting rescue missions. We involved our youth in distributing relief materials. It gave them first-hand experience at planning and implementing a relief distribution strategy. It was a lesson of empathy and leadership. Karunakarya visited the flood victims in the communities where our beneficiaries lived.
Tsunami Relief 2004
Many fishing villages on the eastern coast of Tamil Nadu were destroyed by the Tsunami in 2004. Karunakarya extended its relief to Kallar and Velipalayam, two fishing villages near Nagapattinam, the most affected city in India with around 6000 deaths and 175,000 who lost their homes. We set up centres for trauma counselling and provided the fishermen with the necessary equipment to restart their livelihood. We set up after-school tuition centres to re-integrate the children into school. After dedicating two years to rehabilitation and relief in these villages, we handed over the project to reliable local organizations.