In the last few years, natural calamities have been hitting different areas of the country with widespread destruction left in their wake. The floods in Kashmir and neighboring areas are the most recent in this series of devastating occurrences, the magnitude of which the state has never seen before. With almost 200 dead, over 500,000 left without homes and the toll rising every day, the nation watches with bated breath and heartfelt prayers.
Men, women and children in the region now face the question of survival - a battle to make it from one day to the next with no idea of what the future holds. The swollen floodwaters have drowned their homes, taken everything they own and left them at the mercy of fate. The survivors of this disaster now face an uncertain future, with lack of food and drinking water causing more losses every day.
While the first phase of the calamity has passed, heavy rains continue to lash the state, while starvation, exposure and water-borne diseases loom over the horizon. Surrounded by contaminated water, desperation and thirst could lead to a monumentally higher loss of life than has already occurred!
While controversy reigns over the question of why this event was not forecasted and people warned in time, let’s not forget the people themselves. The rest of us go about our daily lives without any worry about whether we will live to see tomorrow, which the people of J&K cannot even imagine any more. Many of us have become so desensitized to human tragedy that we spare a few minutes to watch the latest news update and then return to our regular lives right after.
Let’s not be accused of that, please!
How Can We Make a Difference?
Over the last few weeks, images and videos of the floodwaters and rescue efforts have been pouring in. The way the Indian Army and NGOs have joined hands to provide aid and relief reminds us of how it is possible for a nation to come together in support. Volunteers from all over the country have pitched in for the rescue efforts too, donating time, money and essentials to offer succor to the victims of this tragedy.
Medical professionals and civilians from diverse regions in the country have left their homes, families and jobs to head to flood-affected areas and assist in the rescue efforts. If they can take such selfless action, the rest of us can certainly do our part too. It doesn’t take much, just the desire to share what we have and show our love for people who are, after all, our own!
We’d like to make an appeal to anyone reading this post. Share, tweet and spread awareness of the issue, and donate whatever you can to the cause. NGOs have set up collection centers in every city, so you can donate material or money for the cause. You can also make online donations that will be used to purchase clothing, drinking water, non-perishable food items, medicines and other essentials. Volunteers and associated organizations will arrange for these collections to be transported and distributed in affected areas.
If you would like to help with donations for the rescue efforts in Jammu and Kashmir, here's a list of items that are needed:
Non-Perishables - Tents, Tarpaulin / Plastic Sheets, Utensils, Blankets, Medicines, Solar/Emergency Lights (Hand-Cranked or Battery-Operated) and Batteries, Buckets, Umbrellas, Crutches, Sanitary Napkins, Bandages, Mats, Mattresses, Water Purification Tablets, Ropes (no old/used clothing please)
Non Prescription Medicines - Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS), Zinc Sulphate, Paracetamol, lbuprofen, First Aid Kit, Betadine, Hydrogen peroxide, Vitamin C, Iron Sulfate (FeSo4), Zinc, Multivitamins
Prescription Medicines – Amoxicilin, Doxycline, Ciprofloxacin, Norflox TZ, Anti-Tetanus lg, Permethrin Cream 5%, Lindane Lotion 1%, Salbutamol, Nebules and Nebulizers
Cash/Online Donations – To cover the costs of transportation, logistics and purchase of relief material
Resources and Links
If you would like to show your support for the people of J&K, we’ve listed some online resources below:
Visit these sites for further details or contact them for information on how to organize collection drives in your area.
Please Note: This post has been published with the intent to raise awareness and help flood victims, in good faith and without any commercial motive. We have done our best to list accurate information, but you may need to verify details of NGOs operating in your area for more details and updated lists of required materials.