Meet the youngsters who are getting Odisha back on its feet after the devastating Cyclone Fani

Cyclone Fani made landfall in Puri at around 8 am on May 3, 2019. Odisha was struck with winds of speed 130 kmph and upwards. Even Bhubaneswar wasn't spared from the wrath
Serving chaas during a relief camp | (Pic: We4You)
Serving chaas during a relief camp | (Pic: We4You)

When the going gets tough, the tough get going and Odisha is a prime example of this. After Cyclone Fani tore through the coastal state, devastating temple towns like Puri and not even sparing Bhubaneswar, a lot of irreversible damage was done. But the people of the city, like the proverbial phoenix, are rising from the ashes and rebuilding their beloved state. Though there is a lot that needs to be done, here are a few organisations and people who are really going the distance when it comes to providing relief material. 


Lending a hand: Volunteers from We4You helping out | (Pic: We4You)

While there are many whose houses and lives have been ripped apart by Cyclone Fani, we tend to forget about the officials who are working hard to restore electricity or remove debris from roads, who also need some attention. So the very first thing Abhaya Mohanta, one of the co-founders of We4You, tells us is that they are handing out chaas every day to all those working in the blistering heat. "This gesture is important and they need to stay hydrated," he says. 

Apart from this, they are providing mosquito nets and sleeping mats to those who have no roof over their head and need to protect themselves from pests while trying to get some much-needed sleep. Even their office space is open to anyone who needs to charge their phones or needs some shelter. The NGO is currently focusing on two places and directing all its energy into restoring normalcy in Range Sasan and Chandanpur, near Puri. "We will do the best we can," says the youngster.

Bhubaneswar Round Table 53

Signed and sealed: Materials for kits ready to be packed | (Pic: Bhubaneswar Round Table 53)

Bhubaneswar Round Table 53, part of the Round Table organisation, is focusing on relief work like distributing water and solar lamps to those who are in need. "We are bringing water tankers to slum areas," informs Kabir Taneja from the organisation. The volunteers are also putting together a kit which has essentials like mosquito repellants, glucose/ORS, candles, matchboxes, tarpaulins, medicine, sanitary napkins and distributing these to as many people as they can to ensure that at least some people have the bare essentials. "Our relief work is basically divided into two parts. First, we are currently concentrating on ensuring the survival of the people. Second, we will start restoration work soon which will include mass plantation drives and more," informs Kabir who is quick to point out how, even after such a devasting storm, Odisha is not receiving the attention and help it deserves from outside. 

Speak For Animals

At work: Biswas helping the calf | (Pic: Speak For Animals)

Kusal Biswas narrates a grim story of how he saw a man trying to hack a calf to death out of desperation and hunger, but thanks to Kusal's efforts, the calf was saved and suffered only minor injuries. While humans can speak for themselves, how do animals like the calf speak about their distress? This is were Kusal is stepping in and doing the best he can for the animals that have been affected by the storm, "And we will continue doing so," he adds emphatically. 

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