Community members distribute food stuffs among residents
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Mid Day

Project Rise has come to the rescue of 375 families and local police in Shrivardhan taluka of Raigad district, one of the worst-hit by Cyclone Nisarga. The local Dawoodi Bohra community initiated the project to provide relief material to four of the worst-hit villages in Shrivardhan taluka.

Families in Bhoste, Vadghar, Chiklap and Danguri are amongst the 78 villages in Shrivardhan that continue to live in the dark since June 3rd. Mid-Day has been consistently reporting on the issues of locals over the past two weeks.

‘Our heart goes out to the tribal families in Raigad fighting Covid-19 and Cyclone Nisarga. The cyclone has displaced thousands of families and left many without livelihoods,’ said Aziz Tapiya, a Project Rise volunteer in Panvel.

‘A team of about eight volunteers led by His Holiness’ representative in Panvel, Khuzaima Moiny, went to these four villages and interacted with the families there to distribute essential goods,’ Tapiya added.

His Holiness Dr Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin is behind Project Rise through which the community has adopted over 375 families in the four villages.

Families were given tarpaulin sheets and a month’s supply of candles and dry ration kits. Ration kits were also given to Shrivardhan Police who have been working round-the-clock to help locals.

‘They are living with no power, foodgrain and roofs. We had to procure tarpaulin from Mumbai as it was in short supply, but we managed to provide tarpaulins to 350 houses, and 722 boxes of candles were distributed among the villagers,’ said a volunteer. ‘A woman told us that her family had been starving for four days,’ said Tapiya.

Devastation in the wake of the cyclone

Volunteers have shared their contact numbers with village representatives and local administration in case of further requirement of assistance. ‘It might take around six months for them to come back to normalcy and nearly a year for their livelihood to settle. We will stand by them throughout,’ said Tapiya.

Work in progress

Sachin Gosavi, the tehsildar at Shrivardhan, said, ‘Villagers are living in the dark since almost all the electricity poles are damaged and so are the substations which are being repaired.’ Many have also lost their food stock, due to damaged roofs, broken tin sheets and heavy rain. Candles are in short supply too. ‘We have already paid them an ex-gratia amount,’ he said, adding that a number of NGOs had come forward to help local administration. ‘Some get potable water bottles, food grains, etc. We are grateful to Project Rise,’ said Gosavi. ‘Some villagers working in Mumbai too have returned to the villages during the lockdown. This has made things tougher as the number of people in the villages has gone up,’ he pointed out.

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