Rebuildings Lives and Recreating Opportunities
It was three years ago, in September 2014, that Jammu and Kashmir faced unprecedented floods of the century. Incessant rains in the first week of September lead to massive floods, wreaking havoc in the valley as well as in Jammu region. Three years on, J&K continues on the road to recovery.
Stepping into the disaster affected area, the CII started relief efforts by distributing relief material including drinking water, torches, water purifiers, baby food, ready to eat food packs, tents, medicines, blankets and toiletries. From there on, the CII Foundation (CIIF) expanded the work to include long-term rehabilitation in the disaster-affected areas, to provide livelihood support, facilitate construction of household toilets, ensure medical preparedness and enable computer education for students in select locations.
Shakeela, a widow and mother of three children from Shahgund village in Bandipora district, found it extremely difficult to make both ends meet. A class 7 school dropout, Shakeela was running her home on widow fund and community support, totaling to a monthly income of Rs 800. Her village being cut off from other villages & towns due to poor connecting roads, offered meager livelihood opportunities. CII Foundation, along with its implementing partner Koshish, helped Shakeela set up her provision store and taught her the basic operations of the store. Shakeela has learnt the art of responding to the local market and keeps improvising on the grocery items in her shop. After 8 months of being operational, she is currently earning around Rs 6000 per month.
Like Shakeela, CII Foundation, with Implementing Partners Koshish and Help Foundation is providing new/ alternate livelihood support to 130 vulnerable families in 27 villages of Baramulla and Bandipora districts in J&K. The project, supported by Godrej & Boyce, is especially reaching out to women, widows, persons with disabilities and BPL families. The beneficiaries are given various livelihood opportunities such as sheep rearing, embroidery & tailoring, provision store etc. The livelihood offerings are need based and in consultation with the beneficiaries. The project focuses on developing group enterprises and linking them up with market to make these groups self-reliant.
Sanitation and health are other key areas of work for CII Foundation across India. In J&K, the Foundation, with support from DCM Shriram and Godrej & Boyce facilitated construction of 128 household toilets in three villages of Bandipora district. Community driven interventions had been initiated to spread awareness on the importance of hand washing, and undertake regular sanitation and cleanliness drives.
For Bashir Ahmad Dar, a 45 years old fisherman from Kema village in Bandipora, open defecation was a way of life. Bashir’s wife had by far given birth to 6 children, of whom only three survived. The doctors believed that the other three died due to unhygienic conditions. “My financial condition was such that I could not have afforded a well built toilet”, explains Bashir. CII Foundation, along with its implementing partner Doctors for You (DFY) helped families to construct household toilets and encouraged the residents to establish good sanitation practices.
Healthcare systems and medical facilities are badly affected by disasters. To ensure medical preparedness and quick response post disaster, CII Foundation is providing well equipped ambulances available especially at night (Implementing Partner- Wanchoo Trust), organizing medical health camps, developing the capacity of healthcare providers and distributing free medicines to over 300 households in Baramulla and Bandipora districts. The project ensures maternal and child health, immunization and nutritional support to children, and reproductive sexual health through regular OPDs and sensitization drives in Bandipora, reaching out to 372 households.
Sharing her experience, Jabeena from Aloosa, Bandipora says, “I previously had two miscarriages, which made me fearful of my current pregnancy as well. The doctor in one of the medical camps organized by CII Foundation suggested some medical tests and has been closely monitoring my pregnancy to avoid unexpected complications. I have completed 8 months of pregnancy by far and am very optimistic on an uncomplicated delivery and a healthy new born baby.”
CII Foundation, along with its implementing partner Help Foundation also enabled computer education for students in selected schools of flood-hit Ghat Phalhalan and Ghat Ghopalan in Baramulla district. The project included setting up of computer lab, providing infrastructure support, building capacity of teachers, and providing scholarships to meritorious students.
CII Foundation, since its inception in 2011, has been implementing disaster rehabilitation interventions post the Uttarakhand floods in 2013, J&K floods in 2014, Nepal earthquake in 2015 and Tamil floods in 2015. Over the years, the CIIF rehabilitation projects have been reaching out to the survivors by rebuilding infrastructure, strengthening education facilities, enabling financial security through skill training and alternative livelihood opportunities and ensuring accessibility to healthcare services.
The Foundation has also been organizing capacity building programs for companies on disaster management and developing a unique in house cadre of employee volunteers who can be deployed at the time of natural disasters.
To facilitate convergence of humanitarian aid and relief efforts for efficient and quick response to natural disasters in any part of the country, CII Foundation more recently has developed a Disaster Response Platform- www.disasterresponse-ciifoundation.in .The online real time inventory platform maps corporate sector resources, ranging from drinking water and food to emergency transportation and communication, which can be supplied or donated by companies during disasters.