Tuesday, December 6

Theatre group lends a helping hand to Yaas-affected villagers in West Bengal

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The devastation by cyclone Yaas, visible across coastal districts of the state, has prompted theatre groups in the city to help out hundreds of people. On Thursday, the theatre group, Purba Paschim, and cultural grousps, The Bengal and Abrittilok, reached out to the residents of Khan Pukur, a village at Hingalganj in North 24 Parganas.
“The villages are still flooded as the water is receding slowly. Whenever there is a high tide, these areas run the risk of being inundated again. We saw the villagers wading through waist deep water to receive relief material from us,” said Saumitra Mitra of Purba Paschim.
The condition of several areas in North 24 Parganas worsened after high tide inundated the villages during Yaas. “Embankments got breached in several places and water entered the villages. Hundreds have lost their homes overnight with almost nothing to survive on. When we started with the relief work at places like Kumirmari, the perils of these people brought tears to our eyes. We are a small organization with limited resources, but we managed to feed them so far. Several non-government organisations have also come forward to help,” said Swami Parisuddhananda, secretary of Ramkrishna Mission Ashram, Taki.

“Since the cyclone had hit the areas, they started to serve khichuri to the villagers while taking care of their basic needs. Several organisations are also helping them with dry ration,” Mitra said.

“We have formed different teams that are working in the areas like Gherir Bandh, Kumirmari, Khan Pukur, Haola Para and Sandeshkhali. We had a better response from the NGOs last year when Amphan struck the state. But the numbers are low as the pandemic has restricted the movement of people, said Parisuddhananda. With more volunteers and larger participation of voluntary organisations, he is hopeful of feeding hundreds till the situation swings back to normalcy.

Source: Times of India

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