“If there was an emergency in our village, we would have been completely stuck and given today’s circumstances, emergencies can happen anytime,” says Niketan, a resident of cyclone Nisarga-hit Bandarwadi village in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district. It was this disposition of theirs and a little motivation from Goonj that encouraged 17 residents of his village to work under our ‘Dignity For Work’ initiative towards the cleaning of their 500-metre stretch of the main road that was completely covered with cyclone debris. As Nisarga battered a large part of Ratnagiri, crumbling roofs and grounding more than 6 lakh trees, it isolated this region from the rest of the district. The locals, however, with a zeal to regain their access to the mainland, cut and pruned the fallen trees and moved the heavy trunks merely using their axes, saws and ropes. As a result of their efforts, relief can easily reach them now. In fact, it was only on seeing Goonj’s vehicle carrying relief material and Rahat Kits coming in through the repaired road that the locals truly understood the need of the initiative and realized the importance of what they have achieved.
Storyteller: Avinash Chauhan
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