Starting from the 9th of November for 4-5 days there was a cyclonic storm (induced by a cyclone taking place in the Bay of Bengal) in Pondicherry and its surrounding areas.
When the storm hit on the 10th, the average temperature for the next few days was 23 degrees. What made it worse was the wind, which went up to 50-60 km/h on the 11th. There was heavy rainfall of 6-18cm every day. It has been raining continuously for the past 3 weeks, and as of now the total rainfall just in the month of November is above 60 cms.
For some, like the fishermen all around the coast of Pondicherry, it meant days of being advised not to go fishing. For many children, there was no school as due to incessant rain the schools were shut. But to the families living on the streets of Pondicherry the monsoon is experienced entirely differently.
They are cramped in close quarters in a valiant attempt to shelter themselves along with their belongings from the rain. They face sleepless nights because of the rain fall.
For families living in the slum it is no better. Most of the slums are beside the canal and they get badly flooded making their place and their belongings inaccessible to them.
In order to make their lives during the monsoon a little more bearable, Sharana has already started distributing plastic sheets.
This is just a first initiative dedicated to creating a sense of normalcy for those in need of help in Pondicherry’s extreme monsoon season. It would make a big difference and improvement to the lives of all the families living in the street and slums of Pondicherry.
Since the government decided the school should remain shut for a few days, Sharana’s social workers had to make special efforts with Gayatri House to host more children.
Despite the difficulties the rain poses on supply of fresh vegetables and general access to everything, efforts have been made to daily provide lunch for children ranging up to 100 of them sometimes. The clothes remain damp due to the rain and with a huge number of children falling sick and experiencing either fever, cold, loose motion or breathing difficulties, these just made matters worse. Many arrangements for trips to the hospital had to be made. It’s been a difficult monsoon for both the families deprived of their homes and the overworked social workers.
In Aranganur also we faced a lot of damage, trees fell, and water was logged everywhere.
There were also very frequent power-cuts. Mani and Anbu were quick to respond, and they cleared the debris with the help of our strong VTC boys.
Although the recent cyclone and heavy rains have been a trying time for both the social workers and all our beneficiaries, we are proud of how our social worker stood the test and did everything they could to help out.