When the flood waters began to recede much of the watching world assumed the worst was over. But to many of the families who had been affected by the disaster, the worst was just beginning. Thousands of domestic and farm animals that had drowned are now scattered over the area where they are decaying in the streets. Add in the ongoing problems with water and sewerage services and disease will soon cause major problems. Many families have returned home to find their houses uninhabitable and their clothes and belongings ruined. The cameras may have gone but the struggle for recovery continues.
The Salvation Army is still working to bring aid and comfort even though many Salvationists have been affected by the disaster themselves. In the early hours of the emergency, Captain Vanjare of Goregaon Corps in Mumbai was out assisting others as the waters reached his own home. His wife and two-year-old child were saved but they lost all of their belongings. The captain and his family continue to serve others. Captains Stephenraj from the Jerrimery Corps, also in Mumbai, didn't wait for outside help to arrive but instead gave away most of their own personal clothing and belongings to families who had lost everything. Other Salvationists in the region have similar stories to tell.
Even as the rest of the world has moved on to other issues, The Salvation Army in the west of India is beginning to move on to the next phase of the relief and recovery work. According to Major Suresh S. Pawar (Director of Social Services for the Maharashtra area of The Salvation Army's India Western Territory) the most pressing needs at this time are for household supplies and public health interventions as well as some additional distributions of emergency food.
Funding is being sought to help provide long-term solutions and donations can be directed to the The Salvation Army's South Asia Disaster Fund.