As Kerala limps to normalcy after being ravaged by the worst floods in a century, social activist Sunitha Krishnan announced that 20 women from her NGO-Prajwala would volunteer to help repair the homes of the poorest of poor in the state. Prajwala, which is based in Hyderabad, rescues, rehabilitates and reintegrates survivors of sex trafficking. The activist said that she already approached the Kerala government with the proposition of sending out volunteers and the state has welcomed them.
Speaking to TNM, Sunitha said, â€śOnce all the people return to their homes, our women will leave to Kerala. They are well-trained in carpentry and welding works. Their intent is to help the poorest of the poor, who cannot afford to pay money to repair their door and window.â€ť She also said that the volunteers would be staying in Kerala for a month.
The Hyderabad-activist noted that this wasnâ€™t the first time the women from her NGO are helping out those affected by floods. â€śIn 2009 during the floods in Telangana, our girls had volunteered in the same manner and had assisted 3,000 families,â€ť she said.
Sunitha first made the announcement on her Twitter account. She said that the purpose of the tweet was to inspire carpenters and welders from other states to volunteer and bring back normalcy into the lives of the flood victims.
â€śI also hope that after seeing the girls doing carpentry, others girls and women would show interest in it and take up that profession.â€ť
Meanwhile, the flood waters have been receding in several districts of Kerala and many fishermen who volunteered in rescuing the stranded victims had returned to their homes.
Addressing the media on Monday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that over 10 lakh people were staying in more than 3,200 relief camps set up across the state.
The CM said that even if the water has receded, the houses may not be in a liveable condition for which the rehabilitation work has already begun.
â€śThe affected houses need inspection. There is a danger of snakes lurking around. Machinery may not work. There has to be a lot of caution in going back home. It is not advisable for families to go back by themselves,â€ť he said.
â€śEveryone would want to stay at their homes, however many facilities the camps may have. But such inspections are necessary. The houses should be clean, liveable. Everyone in the camps would be given a kit with basic necessary items to go home with,â€ť he said.
As many as 26 lakh people have lost electricity. The connection would be re-established soon, with no extra charge, the CM promised. Volunteers have offered wiring and plumbing services. Gas cylinders too would be made available, he said.
The CM also said that a team of medical experts will come from different parts of the country to contain any possible outbreak of diseases following the floods.