URGENT APPEAL FOR RELIEF AND SUPPORT IN EARTHQUAKE HIT AREAS : 28 JANUARY 2001

Dear Friends,

The earthquake in Gujarat has caused havoc of unimaginable proportions. Enormous destruction and immense human tragedy has engulfed large parts of Gujarat, especially Kutch, Ahmedabad and parts of Saurashtra. The full magnitude of the tragedy is yet to emerge. Overwhelming gestures of support and assistance are pouring in from all over the country, but the impact is so huge that it is still falling short.

We appeal to everyone to come forth and give all the assistance and support that they can. We are giving below some details about what is required which is becoming clearer now.

Meanwhile, the first team from Narmada Bachao Andolan of 25 people is leaving tomorrow from Mandeleshwar along with a truck load of grain/food / clothes etc. to go to Kutch. It will reach Baroda tomorrow night and leave onwards for Kutch. We are planning on further volunteers and relief to go in the next days and are hoping to continue the same for a month at least. Those who want to join the NBA teams should contact the Baroda office.

Relief and support is required most in Kutch, as this is the worst affected area, but other areas too will need support.

The following things are required:

  1. Food: dry and ready food is preferable as it takes a long time by road to reach the affected areas and food should not spoil. Dal, rice and grains are also needed. Grains should be ground into flour before taking. Also tea, sugar, salt, oil etc.
  2. Clothes: all types. Especially warm clothes, blankets, durries, chaddar etc.
  3. Lamps: Torches, cells for the same, kandil (kerosene lamps), candles, matches
  4. Medicines: we are trying to get a list of the medicines that are most needed, but any good doctor can help such a list to be put together. Meanwhile, friends at "Locost" have suggested that the following medicines will be required.
       Pain Relief - Ibuprofane, Asprin, Dclofenac, Paracetamol
       Infection Prevention - Amoxicillin
       Injuries Dressing - Cotton, Bandgaes etc.
       Dysentry - Diaorehha - Oral Rehydration kits (ORS), Furazolidone,    Metronidizole
       Anti-Bacterial - Cotrimoxazole
       For Asthama - Salbutamol, Aminophylline, Chloroquine
  5. Water: Reports reaching us say that water is a very serious problem. A number of people are trying to send water pouches. It may be better for the same to be taken from nearby areas rather than a distance. Carbouys / buckets for fetching water from distance. Any team leaving for the areas should carry enough food for themselves, and carbouys / jerry can which can be filled with water.

Apart from this are the specialised requirements like cutters, cranes, bulldozers and so on.

VOLUNTEERS

Volunteers are required urgently for all types of works including removing the debris, rescuing and carrying the injured and the dead, assisting in the relief distribution, fetching water and so on. Doctors and para-medicals are also required urgently, especially orthopedics.

RELIEF COORDINATION

The Government has set up several coordination control rooms for relief operations. Control rooms have been set up in the district Collector offices for this purpose. In the worst affected areas, the collector offices have also set up booths or counters where those coming in to assist, or with relief supplies can contact.

The Government of Gujarat coordination centres for voluntary organisations to enquire about relief can be contacted at:

Sharad Raval, Dy. Director (Revenue) at Gandhinagar (02712) - 51901- 02-03 At Ahmedabad (For Ahmedabad) Dy. Collector - 079-550 8445, 550 9960, 550 8130 (As per Indian Express, Baroda)

NGO COORDINATION CENTRES

Several NGOs in Ahmedabad have come together and have set up coordination which can be contacted at: 079-6854248.6852358,6857745,6856685

In Baroda, Shishu Milap is coordinating the relief and support work.

NBA is in touch with the NGO coordination centres and will also try to keep in touch with those who have already reached the affected areas to keep up dated on what assistance is required and where, and where teams and relief should go.

For those who want to send relief / send teams, NBA can help in getting the proper information. Those wanting to send relief in vehicles, please note that trucks are not YET being allowed to go to Kutch due to road damage, but smaller vehicles like Mazda, Tata 407 etc. can go. Please check before sending. It is advised that vehicles carrying relief material get a permit / certificate from their Taluka authority to allow them to pass freely through the check posts.

We will try and keep you updated. Please do mobilise all the support you can.

Nandini Oza,  Shripad Dharmadhikary
On Behalf of Narmada Bachao Andolan