Chennai floods
The Bhoomika Trust has built 18 houses in areas badly affected by the floods.

After the deluge in Chennai in December 2015, Parvathi, a 47-year-old daily wage worker from Manamathi, was clueless about how she was going to re-rebuild her house that was completely damaged. But an NGO from Chennai came to her rescue and helped her build a permanent house where she now stays with her family.

The Bhoomika Trust has built seven permanent houses in the area, which was badly affected by the floods with many of the thatched houses drowning in the water. 

“There was water everywhere around us, there were also snakes and leeches in the water. We were staying in community halls without knowing what we will do next. Few days after the flood, this organisation provided us with food, clothes and other necessary items,” Parvathi said.

Other areas like Poondi and Manjankarai also have a similar story to tell. 

“We were providing food to about 50,000 to 60,000 people to all these areas in Chennai and then when we saw that all these three places were badly affected by the flood, we decided to build houses for them,” said Aruna Subramaniam, trustee of Bhoomika Trust.

In total, the organisation has built 18 houses. “We want to work with these communities, so after building these houses, we want to focus on the livelihood of these people, provide them vocational training and also want to educate their children,” said Aruna.

In their first run, they have built seven houses in Manamathi village in Kancheepuram district, seven houses in Arumbakkam village in Poondi and four houses in Manjankaranai in Thiruvallur district. 

“We have used this opportunity to look at holistic development of these communities by providing toilets, upgrading water resources and plans to work with the communities in the fields of vocational training and education,” said Jayendra Panchapakesan, Trustee of Bhoomika Foundation.

It took about three months to build these houses. “It took more time to take permission to build houses in these places. Permanent houses were made for people who had pattas and temporary for the ones who had no objection certificates from the local administration,” said Aruna.

Bhoomika is a Disaster Management focussed NGO which has defined its vision to include not just immediate relief, but a sustained programme to create infrastructure to rebuild damaged homes, schools, orphanages. 

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