India: World Vision provides relief to flood-affected communities in Mumbai

by Jayanth Vincent - Communications
World Vision has swung into action in Mumbai, providing cooked food and medical care in a number of flood-affected communities around the city.

Among the beneficiaries was 14-year-old Mahesh Rajunath Sonkamble, who lives in the Valmiki Nagar slum in Mumbai city.

Visiting a medical camp organised by World Vision as part of its relief work in Mumbai, Mahesh said four days living in a flooded home had left him and his family feeling ill.

"I heard about the camp. I have had a fever and cold for the past few days. We have no place or money to go to get treatment. In the camp, a doctor enquired about my health and later his assistant gave me the free medicine," he said.

World Vision conducted medical camps with volunteer doctors in various locations, amid fears of disease outbreaks in the post-flood phase.

"Till now, most of the patients are suffering from colds, coughs and fever," said Dr. Massey, one of the volunteers providing treatment. "They have been living in houses which are still damp and wet. I have not noticed any disease outbreaks so far."

World Vision's program manager in Mumbai, Biju Mathew, said the biggest challenge is finding enough medicine to prevent the various diseases that may break out. "All our supplies are running out, and there is no others available on the streets," he said.

With a number of programs operating in Mumbai. World Vision staff have been providing cooked food and other dry rations to replace provisions washed away by the floods.

Each relief pack contains 5 kgs of rice, 3 kgs of lentils (dhal), 1 lt cooking oil and water purification tablets. Around 800 families in seven slums will be provided with these relief supplies.

World Vision works with three programmes in Mumbai - the Mumbai Area Development Program (funded by Korea and India), Mumbai Network of Care (funded by Australia and New Zealand) and the Mumbai-Thane HIV/AIDS project (funded by Thailand, Germany and Finland).