As the team of volunteers dispatched by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) in Amritsar waded their way through the waterlogged streets of North Paravur in Ernakulam district, a clear sense of purpose guided them. “The floodwater had started receding, but it was still knee-high at places. After returning from the relief camps, people had […]
As the team of volunteers dispatched by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) in Amritsar waded their way through the waterlogged streets of North Paravur in Ernakulam district, a clear sense of purpose guided them.
“The floodwater had started receding, but it was still knee-high at places. After returning from the relief camps, people had begun to clean their homes and set things in order. Ours is a door-to-door relief drive, and we provided each family with a kit containing essential provisions and articles for daily use,” said Bhagwant Singh, an executive member of the SGPC, who is part of the 50-member group that’s been carrying out relief activities in Kerala since August 20.
“The doctors in our team examined the people, who were visibly tired and worn out. That was when someone asked for clothes and undergarments for women and children. Our purchase team noted down the requirements and bought them from a shop in a nearby town,” he said.
Arriving with a truckload of relief supplies and medicines, along with a medical team comprising four doctors, they set up a camp at Gurudwara Sahib in Thevara before fanning out to the flood-hit areas. The relief team would be around for another week or so.
“We have been to North Paravur, Kuttanad, other parts of Alapuzha, Cherai and Nedumbassery. Whether it was the earthquake in Gujarat or floods in Uttarakhand, Nepal and Jammu and Kashmir, we were there to support the affected.
As a matter of principle, we do not differentiate between people on the basis of caste, creed or geographical location,” Mr. Singh added.
On their arrival, the team from Amritsar received unstinted support from the local Sikh community. “They acted as our guides and led us to the badly-affected places,” said Mr. Singh.
The packing of nearly seven tonnes of relief material into small kits was done at the Thevara Gurudwara, and 400 to 500 such kits were distributed among the flood-hit daily, said Bunty Singh, a member of Gurudwara Sahib, Thevara.
“Another truck primarily carrying notebooks and study material for students has also arrived a few hours ago. It contains a nine-tonne relief cargo,” he said.
Volunteers from organisations such as Khalsa Aid and also the Akal Academy in Himachal Pradesh are working in tandem with the SGPC team. Dr. Harjit Singh, a general physician in the group, said there was a spread of water-borne diseases among the flood-hit. “Most people had developed skin infection, some had breathing trouble and asthma, while a few others were diagnosed with cardiac issues. But normal cold, cough and fever were common,” he said.