Some parts of Maharashtra are still 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 has initiated its relief distribution under the recovery phase with the support of the HCL Foundation on 12th November 2019 in Pune (Maharashtra). Fr. Jolly, Assistant Executive Director – Caritas India, Fr. George, Forum Director – Western region, Ms. Rose, Governing Board Member of Caritas India were present during the first distribution in Pansarey Basti, Daund, Pune. Fr. Jolly while addressing the gathering explained to them that due to the code of conduct because of state elections in Maharashtra the distribution was a little delayed and expressed regret for the same. The visiting team also interacted with the women and adolescent girls and expressed their solidarity with them in the aftermath of the floods in the month of August 2019.
Under the dignity kit, a total of 1000 beneficiaries including women and adolescent girls will be covered across the 10 identified villages and slums. One of the beneficiaries Ms. Mariam Pathan, age 24, resident of Pansarey Basti (slum), Daund, recipient of dignity shared that the quality of items provided by Caritas India is good and the quantity is enough for 2-3 months for the family members.
In the coming days, the team has planned to extend the support of neonatal kits to 150 families with children of age below 1 year, 500 playing and learning kit to 500 children through the Anganwadis, seed support to 1000 farming families and education kit to 1000 school going children of the age 7-15 years. The target beneficiaries have been identified after a tedious consultation process with the community representatives, stakeholders and due feedback from them after displaying the final list of the beneficiaries of all the kits in the public place. The beneficiary list was revised after the community feedback. Community participation is the key in the entire process of beneficiary selection as it covers two of the core commitments under Core Humanitarian Standards (CHS) i.e. “communities and people affected by crisis know their rights and entitlements, have access to information and participate in decisions that affect them” and “communities and people affected by crisis have access to safe and responsive mechanisms to handle complaints”.