Mumbai: With Kerala reeling under the devastating impact of floods, Reliance Foundation (RF), India’s largest corporate-supported philanthropic organization, has kick-started a multi-pronged rescue, relief and rehabilitation programme to help people in the flood-affected regions of the state.
Smt. Nita M. Ambani, Chairperson, Reliance Foundation said: “In this time of acute distress faced by our brothers and sisters in Kerala, we feel duty-bound as fellow citizens and as a responsible corporate foundation to fully support the rescue, relief and long-term rehabilitation efforts in the State. On its part, Reliance Foundation will contribute Rs 21 crore to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. The foundation stands firmly with the people of Kerala in this hour of need. It will remain committed to its relief and rehabilitation efforts and continue its operations in Kerala until normalcy is restored in the state.”
Smt. Ambani added: “Reliance Foundation has risen to the occasion whenever natural calamities have hit any part of India. Since 2013, when earthquake and floods ravaged Uttarakhand, Reliance Foundation has trained a large team of hundreds of employees and volunteers to get involved in short, medium and long-term responses to help disaster-affected people. They have intervened effectively in Jammu & Kashmir (floods, 2014), Nepal (earthquake, 2015), Tamil Nadu (floods, 2015), Gujarat (floods, 2015) and Maharashtra (drought in Marathwada, 2016). We will stay engaged in Kerala and keep up our efforts until the situation returns to normalcy.”
Reliance Foundation, along with Reliance Industries and its group companies, have been undertaking significant relief operations across Kerala.
Rescue & Relief Operations in Kerala
· Since August 14, 2018, Reliance Foundation’s team has been carrying out rescue and relief operations in the six worst affected districts of Ernakulam, Wayanad, Alappuzuha, Thrissur, Idukki and Pathanamthitta.
· The team is supporting the rescue operations by providing critical updates on weather and locations of temporary shelters via Reliance Foundation Information Services (RFIS). It is also providing toll-free helpline numbers to the State disaster management authorities.
· RF has identified 15,000 affected families who would be provided dry ration kits, utensils, shelter, shoes and clothes in the coming days. The bulk of the material will be supplied by Reliance Retail.
· Through Reliance Retail, supplies such as ready-to-eat food, glucose and sanitary napkins have been provided to 160 government-run relief camps, sheltering about 50,000 people.
· A large consignment of relief material, weighing about 2.6 MT, has been handed over to the Government of Maharashtra. It will be transported by air to Kerala.
· 7.5 lakh units of apparel, 1.5 lakh pairs of footwear and dry grocery are being mobilised for distribution to the affected people in Kerala
· The assistance from Reliance Retail for the flood relief activities is worth close to Rs. 50 Crore.
Continuous medical assistance is a must for avoiding outbreaks of epidemics. Reliance Foundation is gearing up to undertake the following activities:
· Medical Camps in three districts: RF will set up medical camps with Malayalam-speaking doctors and paramedical staff in three districts.
· Supplying Medicines to State Government: RF will supply medicines to the government for use by district authorities.
· Livestock Camps: RF will also conduct camps to provide treatment and ration for livestock.
Infrastructure Development and Repairs
· Reconstruction & Repair of Schools & PHCs: RF team is identifying the damaged schools and primary health care centres and will undertake reconstruction and repair work of some of these public institutions.
· Construction Equipment: RF will provide construction equipment to assist the government in repairing/ rebuilding of public infrastructure like schools, colleges, roads etc.
· Skilled Craftsmen: RF will provide skilled tradesmen such as masons, carpenters and electricians through Reliance’s construction & maintenance contractors.
· Repair Clinics for Home Appliances: Reliance Digital is tying up with manufacturers to set up repair clinics for home appliances damaged by the rains – labour will be free and materials/components will be provided at cost.
· To enable people to stay connected with their near and dear ones in this hour of need, Reliance Jio has extended a complimentary 7-day unlimited Voice and Data pack for its customers.
· Jio has extended 100Mbps bandwidth between Idukki and Ernakulam as goodwill gesture to restore BSNL services in Idukki Collector Office and surrounding areas, which are isolated due to multiple landslides.
· Jio launched a toll free number, 1800-893-9999, to locate customers who have gone missing. On calling the toll free number, the last known location of the missing customer is shared through SMS.
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· Started a 24/7 helpline service, staffed by people with bilingual skills, to connect and reassure worried families separated from their loved ones.
· TV channels and social media platforms have initiated the ‘Open hearts, open homes’ campaign where people open the doors of their homes to accommodate affected people.
· Channels and social media platforms are focusing on busting any fake news being spread on social media.
· Delivering power banks to those with no access to electricity through tie-ups with volunteer organisations.