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CAF India – Working towards Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Response in North East

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Manoj K Dash, Team Leader, Humanitarian Response Arm – CAF India

 

Manoj possesses over 19 years of rich experience in sustainable development issues related to social sector particularly in Disaster Management, DRR, Climate Change, and Information Technology. He has previously worked with the Government of India, UNDP, PCI India, Centurion University, Sphere India and Integrated Volunteers Network.

 

He has been involved in more than 31 disaster response, rehabilitation and recovery projects in different situations such as flood, cyclone, tsunami, drought, earthquake and landslides in states of Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Kashmir, Manipur, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Bihar. He has also worked in Sri Lanka and Nepal in Humanitarian situations. He has successfully handled India’s largest air relief operations in Bihar Floods in the year 2004.

Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) India, a not-for-profit organization, offers strategic giving solutions to NGOs, corporates and individuals, for a more equitable and sustainable society. Humanitarian response for Disaster relief is one of the key areas in which CAF India works.

Natural Disasters have profoundly affected North- East India. Prominent among these natural disasters that afflict this region are destructive floods. Every year, states like Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Meghalaya are affected by these and the humanitarian crisis that often follows such events.

When floods created havoc in the North East in 2017, CAF India through its network of validated and credible NGO partners was swift to reach out to the affected communities in the region. The organization coordinated relief efforts with the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) and District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) of the affected States on this relief project. Corporate partners also extended whole hearted support to the rehabilitation programs.

CAF India provided each affected family with a family kit, comprising basic amenities like a blanket, mosquito net, medicines, hygiene kit, food, solar lamp and tarpaulin sheet. The family kit helped affected families in meeting their basic needs in the troubled time.

To quote a beneficiary story, Champa Doley is a widowed senior citizen from the Mising Community from Golaghat district, Assam, living with her son and his family. The family depends on the meagre income of seasonal cultivation. Her son and his wife also work as daily wage labourers on agricultural farms in nearby villages to enhance the income. The dreaded floods disrupted the lives of every member of the family, especially Champa who requires chronic medication. The family kit was able to take the family through this testing time.

There are many challenges in implementing relief and rehabilitation initiatives across remote villages. The transportation of relief materials to the village with roads and other modes of commute often compromised during natural disasters is one. Ensuring seamless communication with and between the community members is another. CAF India is working with government agencies towards finding new ways to overcome these challenges.

To ensure that the funds meant for flood relief reaches the affected, a stringent process is followed. This begins at the village-level with the formation of VDCs (Village Development Committees) to oversee and monitor the relief activities. In addition, CAF India conducts a baseline survey with information about each and every household, among other checks and balances.

Besides relief efforts, CAF India is also involved with rehabilitation projects in flood-affected areas. Utilizing CSR funds of its corporate partners, CAF sought to restore the livelihood of the worst flood-affected families and improve disaster preparedness in the villages of North East.

 

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