Mr. Sudheer, Director, RDT who is one of the team leaders stationed at cyclone affected Visakhapatnam
“Previous experience of RDT staff in the distribution of relief materials in the areas affected by natural disasters helped us a lot to set up the base and to take up immediate relief measures.
List of affected villages in both Srikakulam and Vishakhapatnam was obtained from the government authorities. We also gathered information from the local press and general public about the location, distance and condition of villages which are badly affected.
Our first preference is to reach out to those interior villages which are adjacent to the sea shore. Teams first visited the villages and conducted a general body meeting. They explain about RDT, its founders and programs of welfare and development that are being taken up by RDT. Also they shared the experience of RDT in undertaking relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction works in the areas affected by natural calamities.
Rapport with the local leaders and youth is quite helpful in the process of conducting door to door survey and also in the distribution of relief materials. Beneficiary families shown their ration cards in support of their residence in the village under reference.
Muthyalammapalem is one of the villages where the distribution of relief materials was carried out smoothly to around 1200 families. In that village there had previously been a lathi (baton) charge when families came to receive relief materials provided by government and other organizations. This was shared by people when the general body meeting was conducted. Hence, youth came forward to voluntarily help so that all families come in queue to receive the materials.
We were told that the government had distributed rice, red gram, milk, sugar, vegetables and kerosene for the cyclone victims. Both vegetables and milk was supplied at regular intervals. It is also said that supplying of drinking water in water tankers happened.
Coupons with RDT seal were issued to eligible families a day before and timing of distribution/location will be explained to each family. Depending upon the size of families 2 to 4 counters were set up to speed up the distribution process.
Families who received the relief materials were highly satisfied with the quality and quantity supplied to each family. Moreover the process that was carried out by RDT right from the survey till the end of distribution of relief materials to all the eligible families without missing any family is appreciated by beneficiary families and village leaders. They expressed the feeling that someone who are very close to their hearts are sharing their suffering and providing good quality materials in a critical hour.
People are now slowly coming out of the deep shock caused by the cyclone. The roofs made of plastic/asbestos sheets, iron rafters and bamboo sticks were blown off due to high velocity winds. Support from both the government and other organizations are helping to overcome the present crisis.
Electricity is still not being restored in villages where RDT carried out relief measures. It is likely to take another 15 days of time. In Visakhapatnam City, electricity is restored in almost 50% of the areas but work is still going on. It is likely to be completed in less than one week period.
Today, i.e., on 22nd October 2014 two ministers by name Mrs.Sunithamma and Mrs.P.Sujatha happened to visit the village where RDT is distributing relief materials. One of them is from Ananthapuram district and they felt happy the way RDT is distributing relief materials in a systematic manner. She briefed about RDT to another minister.
There are requests from the fishermen to provide nets and boats. We observed that some of them were completely damaged and some were completely lost. It needs a thorough survey to understand the situation which will take a longer time. The government has announced a compensation of Rs.10,000 to each fisherman family but disbursement is yet to take place.