India

Maharashtra is heading for recovery

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The state of Maharashtra had been facing the after-effects of worst floods in more than a decade, disrupting normal lives and affecting communication. A major chunk of the population residing in Western Maharashtra had been grappling with the deluge caused by the recent spate of rain leaving around 40 dead and displacing more than 4.2 lakh people. The situation was alarming in Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara, Thane, Pune, Nashik, Palghar, Ratnagiri, Raigad, and Sindhdurg districts, with more than 761 villages in 69 tehsils reeling under flood. The roads connecting the affected villages were cut-off due to water-logging, hampering relief and rescue operations carried out by the government. A total of 342 bridges were underwater and had been closed for vehicles while around 30 state highways and 56 roads had been shut to prevent accidents. The State Government had announced compensation worth Rupees 15,000 and Rs. 10,000 per family respectively for the victims in urban and rural areas.

Caritas India partners started relief activities by distributing essential provisions (food, water, sanitation kits and clothes) in both urban and rural areas of Pune, Sangli, and Kolhapur. The rapid assessment conducted by the partners highlighted the critical impact of floods on the livelihood and security of the people, echoing concerns of the economically weaker sections like Adivasis and Scheduled Castes on recovery and restoration. While some families suffered an extensive loss of household equipment and provisions, their farm-based livelihoods had taken a hammering and were thus seriously affected their abilities to cope up with the post-flood effects.

Some of the pressing needs of the community is to restore farm-based livelihoods and helping farmers to start fresh crops of late crops or early maturing varieties of Kharif crops; restarting livelihoods and petty trades of economically weaker sections of society; repairing and reconstruction of the damaged houses; education and nutrition need of children to get back to school and Aagnanwadi and support to the affected women community with dignity kits.

With the support of HCL Foundation, Caritas India is intervening in the 10 most-affected villages of Daund Block of Pune District, Maharashtra. The intervention would be covering around 4200 beneficiaries with livelihood support to women, seed support to farmers, cash support for shelter repair, cash for work for women, educational kit for school-going children, dignity kit for adolescent girls and young women, neonatal kit for children less than one year old, playing and learning kit for children in Anganwadis.

A field office has been established in Daund to undertake the intervention. The staffs have imbibed the vision, and mission of Caritas India and understood the history legacy in the area of humanitarian aid, its goals, objectives, and activities. They were also oriented on the protection mainstreaming principles, accountability and Core Humanitarian Standards (CHS) and integration of the same in the processes of beneficiary selection, complaint/feedback handling mechanism (CHM), aid delivery, etc.