The volunteers worked tirelessly for nearly 72-hours and rescued more than 1500 residents.

Hyderabad rainsSpecial Arrangement
news Rains Saturday, October 17, 2020 - 19:42

Several parts of Hyderabad were submerged due to the unprecedented heavy rains in the state, and though the government had engaged the police, the Indian army and the National Disaster Response Force to rescue the residents caught in the floods, they still needed a helping hand. That’s when Social Data Initiative Forum (SDIF) an NGO and Yacht Club in Hyderabad, came together to help the stranded.

The volunteers from the Yacht Club include sailors who are national champions and trained lifeguards. The recognized talents include national champion K Gowtham, M Saibaba, a bronze medallist in Optimist Class, 2017 and Y Prasad, who received their training in sailing in Yacht Club.

These volunteers worked tirelessly for nearly 72-hours and rescued more than 1500 residents from Tolichowki, Saroornagar and Rasoolpura areas, which were the worst-affected.

“We got a call at around 7 am on October 14, asking for help. Then we went to the club, readied the boats and spread as teams to rescue people,” says Suheim Sheik, president of Yacht Club.

The Club is located right next to picturesque Hussain Sagar lake. Due to the heavy inflow of water in Hussain Sagar, some boats suffered damage. For the rescue, six optimist class boats, meant for sailing, were taken with a five-member team, who spread out quickly to begin the rescue. The rescue which began on Thursday morning is still continuing in parts of the city like Hasmathpet where the lake breached.

Head of SDIF Azam Khan, speaking to TNM, says, “We were receiving a lot of calls since Tuesday evening itself about inundation and understood the gravity of the situation. I knew that the government rescuers will need help, so I knew about the Yacht Club, and through a friend I reached out to Suheim. When I told him about the rescue, he immediately jumped in.”

Along with the rescue, SDIF had provided food, medical supplies, bed sheets among other things to the affected residents. “SDIF had a lot of volunteers. We only implemented the rescue. They had volunteers on ground,” Suheim says crediting SDIF for their service.

He says, “We have other resources, the boats and the people, so it’s not a big deal.”

SDIF in return credits the volunteers and the locals who were generous and lent a helping hand. “No single person can be credited for it. Everyone served selflessly,” concludes Azam.


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