Q: What is ‘Rahat Floods’ initiative?
A: Every year in monsoons many parts of India are inundated by floods. That’s why every year from June we start the Rahat Floods campaign to reach out relief material to the flood hit people. This year a much bigger part of India is flooded and that’s why RAHAT Floods campaign is much bigger.
Q: How does Goonj work at the time of floods?
A: At the time of floods and other disasters Goonj intensifies its rural and urban network of reliable partners. In village India since we work throughout the year with grassroots organizations like Panchayats, NGO’s, activists, we are able to connect very quickly with the ground realities of flood hit communities. On the other hand our rural partner grassroots agencies give us an accurate assessment of the damage and the needs of the disaster hit people. They become the critical last leg in the distribution chain and as part of the community, sensitively deal with the issue of giving with dignity. With years of continuous work this network helps us gather intelligence and information about disaster patterns and in disaster preparedness, in terms of generating and reaching relief material to disaster prone areas well in time. In the metros we have a similar network of individuals, corporate, schools, colleges and other organizations working actively throughout the year to channelize unutilized resources. This urban network helps identify and address specific needs for the disaster hit, without burdening any single organization/individual. now
Q: How do you plan to work across multiple states badly affected by floods right?
A: We work on the hub and spoke model, wherein we establish our base in the nearest accessible city and hire a space to established a hub for a few months for smooth and cost effective operations e.g we are exploring a hub in Guwahati and channelize relief material thereon to other affected areas.
Q: What is urgently needed by the flood hit people? What can I contribute?
A: You can contribute essential relief material like tarpaulins & ropes, good quality blankets, solar lights, mosquito nets, dry ration- (rice, pulses, spices, milk powder, sugar, tea leaves), bed sheets & curtains, utensils for cooking (3/5 lt ISI marked pressure cooker), toiletries & sanitary pads, buckets & mugs, water purifier tablets, torches, batteries & power banks, umbrellas & raincoats, candles & match boxes, crutches, slippers, back-packs, school material, children clothing, new undergarments
Q: Why do you need monetary contributions? How can I contribute money?
A: Monetary contribution is crucial for logistics and purchases of certain essentials which we don’t get enough from the public. The biggest expense is on transportation.. the average cost of sending a truck from Delhi to Northeast ranges between 60,000 to 1. 50 lakh + local transportation/logistics, travel expenses in the area, team, space rentals and purchases as per need etc.
Q: I want to go into the flood hit areas and volunteer with Goonj in relief work..can I do that? How else can I volunteer?
A: Going to flood hit areas is not for everyone. Even then if you would like to come, you will be doing so at your own risk. Our own teams or partner organizations are there in the field and we can connect you to the people on ground.
-You can also volunteer to organize relief material collection camps and motivate others to take it up at mass level in multiple locations/cities.
-You can start online/offline fundraising campaigns to support the campaign.
-You can also lend your hands and contribute your time, energy and labor in sorting, labeling, loading/ unloading and dispatching at our processing centers
Q: Which areas are you targeting to work currently?
A: Assam, Manipur, West Bengal, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttrakhand
Q: What kind of relief material do you reach to the flood hit families?
A: We reach out comprehensive family packs for a family’s needs. Essentials like blankets, woolens, dari, cloth sanitary pads and tarps go into a kit @ 1400/- per kit. (we purchase some of these material in a big way from the second hand market and cloth sanitary pads we make at our centre)
Q: Can I send clothing for the flood affected?
A: Cloth is not needed right away since the urgent need is for tarpaulins, old flex & ropes, mosquito nets, Dry ration ( non basmati rice, pulses, salt, masalas, milk powder, tea leaves, sugar), good quality blankets & woolens, toiletries, utensils- including for cooking, buckets, torch & batteries, umbrellas, crutches, slippers, candles, solar lights, kids clothing, sarees, bed sheets and curtains, new undergarments & school material. Storage is the first thing that any disaster takes away from people therefore we can take care of the basic clothing need out of our stocks and excessive inflow of clothing at such time eats up a lot of space hence increasing rentals.
Q: Who are your partners on ground?
A: In different flood hit parts across India we are connecting with our ongoing grassroots partners organizations, groups, panchayats, administration etc.
Q: How many people/families are you targeting to reach?
A: The floods affected population is running into lakhs thus the need is huge. . Our initial target is to reach 40,000 families with need based essentials in the form of some comprehensive kits. Based on resources we will increase it to 50,000. We will also work on Anganwadis and schools in the affected regions wherever we can fill up the gaps.
Q: How long will you work in the affected areas?
A: These are largely neglected areas and hardly get support from agencies. Most villages have kachcha mud houses which are completely damaged in floods. Also soon when winters are here, it will be a bigger disaster to survive for these people. Thus our work will be to address these basic needs especially for winters with things like winter kits etc.
Q: Any long term plans for the affected areas?
A: Most of the flood hit areas were otherwise also largely neglected areas with little infrastructure and support. Thus we will be working in these areas for as long as is required and we have the capacities. We establish our base in the nearest city and hire space for the hub for a few months for smooth and cost effective operations. Once the immediate relief phase is over we will be focusing on improving some lost infrastructure through our flagship initiative ‘Cloth for Work’ which means large scale activities like repair of roads, public places, cleanliness drives, making bamboo bridges, cleaning ponds/ These kind of activities will take place in the months to come in some of the flood hit areas as per the local needs. In Cloth for work people take up these works and are rewarded with comprehensive family packs by Goonj. In the last few years we have been advocating that things like blankets, tarps, utensils, mats are not RELIEF but are a part of REHABILITATION as rehab doesn't mean making houses only !!
Q; How do you make sure the funds will be utilized most effectively? How do you reach the most needy people or reach only the material that is urgently needed?
Ans; In our disaster work we often end up reaching much more families in the same monetary budget because we supplement it with organising a series of collection camps which also bring in some good material. Also we are not absolutely fixed on reaching the family kit material instead we are more focused on what is locally needed. If some other agency gives material similar to what is there is there in our kit we don’t duplicate. Instead we remove that particular item in that area so that our resources can be more effectively used to reach more people.
Q; What kind of reports and feedback will Goonj provide for the funds I contribute for Rahat Floods campaign?
Ans; We will be sharing regular updates of our floods relief work on social media which will typically have information of which areas are we working in, material dispatches, how many families covered etc. and we will be sharing reports of expenses and major purchases done specific to the floods related work..