India

India: Relief for cold wave victims

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News and Press Release
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Cold wave sweeping northern India claimed over 500 lives. Most of the dead were poor and elderly people. Dense fog compounded the misery in India's most populous state of Uttar Pradesh which pushed the death tool to 300. In adjoining Bihar, the chill claimed 45 lives and the state government asked all educational institutions, particularly schools to extend their winter break.
Weather-monitoring officials attributed the cold wave to westerly disturbances over the Himalayas, which overlook Uttar Pradesh and the northern states of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.

Winter temperatures in northern India are not as extreme as the freezing weather in North America or Northern Europe. They mostly ranged between three and six degrees Celsius (37 and 43 degree Fahrenheit) across northern India with the pilgrim town of Varanasi recording the lowest temperature of 1.9 degrees Celsius (35.4 in Fahrenheit). Hundreds of homeless people die every year because they do not have warm clothes or blankets to protect themselves.

The National Headquarters of Indian Red Cross, on the information received from various sources and the situation update from its branches released the following relief items:


Relief supply to the Cold Affected
S. No.
State Branch
Items
Unit
Quantity
Total Value
1.
Bihar
Wollen Blanket
Pcs
3,000
450,000
2.
Jammu & Kashmir
Wollen Blankets
Kitchen Sets
Cloth Sheeting
Pcs
Nos
Mtrs
500
500
2,000
290,000
3.
Punjab
Wollen Blankets
Pcs
3,000
450,000
4.
Uttar Pradesh
Wollen Blankets
Kurta/Pajama
Saalwar/Kumeez
Shawls
Muffler (Woollen)
Pcs
Nos
Nos
Nos
Nos
2,000
100
100
100
100
345,500
5.
West Bengal
Woollen BlanketsS
PVC Rolls (4mx50cm)
Pcs
Rolls
2
5
450,000
Total
1,570,000

Bihar

On the occasion of Army Day on 15th January 2004, Bihar State Branch organized a function to honour 25 war widows and 21 ex-servicemen who had lost their limbs on war front at Raj Bhawan, Patna.

Speaking on the occasion, the Governor of Bihar and President of IRCS, Bihar State Branch Mr. M. Rama Jois, said that the real service to humanity is the real worship of God. He thanked Indian Red Cross Society for their contribution in alleviating human sufferings during disaster and emergency situations. Mr. G.S. Kang, IAS, newly elected Vice President of the Bihar State Branch and Dr. A.A. Hai member of the Managing Committee were also present on the occasion.

Maharashtra

Ms. Maya Sadhwani, employee of the Maharashtra Blood Bank has been awarded a certificate from Mr. Arnold T. Mascelli, Acting Vice President, American Red Cross for her valuable voluntary service during North East Ohio Flood and Tornado during her holiday in U.S.