Saturday, September 20

Education centers

Thanks a lot to all our donors, itwould have been very difficult to sustain our little effort without
your help.
Vivek Ji,(Vivek Pandey)thanks so much for all the support and encouragement you have been giving us and e materials you have helps a lot.
People at Capegemini, your support and prompt dispatch of relief materials have
been really helpful, as has been the quantity & quality of materials that we received and distributed.

There is something about the importance and passion for education in the relief camps which is so
encouraging, and given a bit of support ..there is no limit to the heights this small emerging community commitment can reach.
On the Dafarka embankment, a small classroom started by Pratibha Kumari
has encouraged two more such units on the 4km stretch of temporary shelter
for 1000 odd family living there.
With milk for children,books,notebooks,slate,chessboards,ludo,educational charts
and posters being given to them we expect more students to join these small educational shelters. We plan to start a few more on the nearby embankment settlement in this week.

This is all very exciting, yet humbling, their faith in tomorrow,in government, in you and humanity.
People wait for relief to reach at these places, and any delay kind of makes
you feel guilty.These camps are 310 km away from Patna and detours
because of highway Jams are becoming our biggest pain..but at least we
have a traversable road and a tireless crew to reach out to almost any of these camps.

This is not a regular monsoon flooding. This is a river changing course, taking the shortest route to discharge into the plains..into the ganges..and this river is coming untamed right from the Himalayan kingdom.
This picture( google earth) shows the location of Kosi barrage, with left and right discharge canal system. The white color on the blue river image is SILT. Lots and lots of SILT. Kosi brings in huge amount of silt collected from catchment areas in nepal( ~ 86%) and India(~14%)
Kosi Barrage- right canalKosi barrage, left & right canal discharge
The breach happened about 12 km upstream of the main barrage, at the point where you see one broad blue band across the river bed where the Kosi crosses from the left flank to
right ( pic 4)), almost at center of picture.
The width and location of the breach can be seen in the satellite picture (pic 5)

Kosi Barrage Taming the riverSat.Image of breach,day 8
The width of breach is about 20 km. The new course of Kosi thus formed is
5 times wider than its older version and is slashing right across the heart
of kosi belt, almost perpendicularly south, meeting Ganges near Naugachia.
It almost seems like a ox bow lake of gigantic proportion...but it
isnt. Its something freaky.. the way a 10-20 meter initial breach can change the
course of humanity for more than 20 hundred thousand people ( Yes, thats two million) ...and more..its freaky, its unfortunate, it could have been avoided and its definitely not 'Natural' calamity. This might be the result of cumulation of small oversights from many years in the past.
The future is shaky too, but its something that we can try to shape..cant we ?
We are working on education & childcare in some small distant relief settlements, we aim to build a basic structure for small centers of education. We have already initiated three such centers..and we look forward to do a few more.
We look forward to your help and suggestions.

ALERT : A driving licence,ID card and some important documents belonging to Mr.G.Poornachander of Rajiv chowk, Karimnagar,Hyderabad, Andhra pradesh was found in the clothes sent by Capegemini,(Kolkata/Pune/Mumbai). If anyone knows Mr. G.Poonachander, please ask him to contact us asap.

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Friday, September 19

Life on embankments..

Kosi still hangs around here

Country boats made of Banana trunks hav transport.
Frail frame of shelter n occupant on embankment   

Kosi still flows around , but the bite is least near this

embankment. More than a thousand families live here now,

and every passing day..a sort of village is developing out here.

On way to camp

Dafarka Embankment Dafarka Embankment

Dafarka Embankment 

You have to carry supplies through to these camps..and its a 4 km hike

to the other end...its was almost impossible to get anything on the far

end as we were almost mobbed

carrying the supplies through.

The best option was to go early in the morning and start from the other


Dafarka EmbankmentDafarka Embankment   

Dafarka Embankment
Dafarka Embankment

These are schools that have been started at the embankment are really

doing very well..and we plan to provide sustained help to them till

 they are shifted to a permanent place.

Dafarka Embankment

Dafarka Embankment

Dafarka Embankment

Abhay & Guneshwar, both from DA-IICT,Gandhinagar,Gujrat,

volunteered to work with us..traveling all the way down from

Gandhinagar and immediately starting work

on these camps non stop for the last five days. Its been incredibly

pleasurable and inspiring to have them here..and as they leave us..we

are more

determined to carry on the education centers started, funded and

inspired by them.

Dafarka Embankment

Dafarka Embankment

Dafarka Embankment

Dafarka Embankment

Anand Bhadani is a M.Tech student and Guneshwar is a P.hD scholar at

DA-IICT, Gandhinagar.

Items Received/Purchased - today

Iteams received From Mr.Vivek Pandey, JP Nagar B'lore

12 KG Cerelac baby food

Bentadine (Povidone iodine ointment)
Silverex anti bacterial cream
Electrol ORS sachets
Items Received From Capegemini, Mumbai

51 boxes of clothes,food,shelter materials
Sent by Mr.Tulsi Dicholkar
Capegemini consulting India Pvt Ltd
B-3, Godrej Industries Complex
EEH, Vikroli E, Mumbai 79

Iteam purchased by Chandan at 
Amul baby milk powder : 30 kg in 200gm sachets : Cost Rs 11025.00
This purchase has been made on behalf of NGO "PRAYAAS" Bangalore
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Thursday, September 18

Bihar Flood Relief : Update from Baidhnathpur Relief Camp and Nearby area

Email from Chandan
Team distributed Books, notebooks, pencils,erasers, ludo, chess, football etc for children/kids at Baidhnathpur Govt. relief Camp.
After distributing the stationary and toys the team left (two hours late) for Dafarka embankment. Today was good, as now it has three small centers of education on that 4 km strip, as compared to only one, yesterday. The strength at these Centers went up by around 20 children/kids at each place. Because of the milk that's being provided to children/kids by our team. More kids are expected after slates and pencil were distributed in these centers today.
Guneshwar has done exceedingly well in his approach for having more education centers in these conditions... its showing..and its very encouraging.

Clothes sent by Capegemini( from Pune & Kolkata) were distributed, along with lots of biscuits, glucose, baby food and bedsheets(all sent by Capegemini group & others)On behalf of the beneficiaries and our team,We thank Capegemini group, other donors & all those behind the relief effort. You have touched a lot of lives out here !!
There are about 80-100 families here (out of 1200) who observe 'Roza' and it was difficult for them to store food and use it for breaking fast. Biscuits,dry food and milk powder provided by team has been a big help for them. Team distributed clothes sent by the donors. Its starting to look good.
I'll try to send you the list of things we need, but I have to make purchases locally as the need arises. We don't have time and transportation is very difficult, even from Trivenigunj or Supaul or Saharsa.
Team drove whole night & tried to reach the camps early morning (Its was 200 odd km of very bad drive). Team distributed relief materials & moved to next camp and tried to leave for base before sunset. It was bit tiring. So, whatever material we take is strictly according to needs of the camp.
Today I have to procure washing soap, bathing soap and milk powder. I'll get them locally tomorrow before leaving for camp.
I do understand the problems faced by accounts auditing team and their requirements, and am trying to address that issue.
Thank you guys. Thanks to all donors.
You are giving us all the help we need and all the support and things are shaping up.
Thanks & Regards,
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Wednesday, September 17

Situation of New Kosi Route

Kosi had broken into three tributaries near naugachia... and as today's satellite picture shows...only one stream of about 400-1000mt wide is alive and discharging straight into Ganges. It may be good because it means inflow and drainage of water through this rouge route of Kosi is getting less but it may be bad too, as more pools of stagnated water with rotting organic matter are exposes to aerobic conditions.
Disclaimer: We are not claiming any thing, Its just a prediction that has been published from flood relief operations point of view.

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Bihar Flood Relief : Update from Ground Zero

Email from Chandan :

Team is leaving for Trivenigunj around 9 pm.We have with us around 2000 biscuit packets, cerelac and baby food, food grains and clothes for women and children. Guneshwar is buying slates, notebook, pen/pencil/eraser, course books for (CBSE) children upto class 3.

I 'll be arranging for books for higher classes.Guneshwar has brought a water testing kit ( Jal-Tara,Delhi), 100 collection units, 3 crate essential medicines, from Gujrat. If somebody can find a baby milk powder supplier from Amul who can deliver it to trivenigunj. That would be best for us.
Team is not carrying any milk powder tonight, as we dont have any space left in our vehicle.

I'll be in touch... thanks so much guys for holding on...its the strength of the team that inspires us to go in deep down and distribute stuff to people who really need them. We are touching places about 20 km below (India) the area where the embankments gave away...its still horrible..
I guess as the water level goes down, the scale and stench of this tragedy becomes more apparent.
It has to be a sustained effort to make even a bit of difference.

Thanks & Regards,
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Tuesday, September 16

Amidst unmentionable conditions...children want to study .

Developments for the day..

Guneshwar and team, after spending the night at space and comfort provided by kind patrons of Mandan Bharti Jagriti Samaj Saharsa,at Trivenigunj, left for Daparkhar embankment where 100's of family are taking shelter.

They are living in makeshift half shelters,open to nature. Sky above, Kosi below

The team distributed clothes, made sure milk was prepared and given to the children, use of chlorine was demonstrated,and chlorine distributed along the stretch.

They made a list of children, things they need, food they get, problems they have.

What was heartening through all the misery and "real" flood situation, was that.. there was a girl student who was teaching the children there.

Fifteen KM from nowhere, their home .. a stretch of embankment kilometers long, under the unrelenting sun or cascading sky, surrounded by Kosi river...this girl teaches kids.

So, you see.. all is not lost. There is hope...and there will be life in the remotest of places...just because of presence of small dedicated people who excel in distress.

The team left the embankment at around 3.00-4.00pm and are nearing Saharsa now...they should be Patna by early morning

At the Baidhnathpur govt camp, a teacher asked what will happen to the children who have to appear for the board exams next year. Their school is being used as a make shift relief camp, and it will take time for all camp to be shifted into mega camps..and hardly any students come to the schools as of now. So, although they are teaching in these camps, they would like to start classes at their regular schools asap.

Lets hope that none of the students who have registered for Board exams, are denied this opportunity. I am sure our government and education department are capable of dealing with this huge responsibility.

This is one thing that shines bright throughout the places we have been...right in the heart of kosi..the importance of education, and the continuation of the same amidst unmentionable conditions.

In bachhon ke aaknon me paani hai, chehre pe tez` hai..pata hi nahi chalta ki ye is traasadi ke beech hain.. its a wonder...and no wonder Bihar has excelled in education amidst poverty.

Next year, when these kids appear for their will be an answer to a very difficult and painful question mother nature asked them.
'Do you have it in you...can you swim through..can you be successful ?'

The answer will be a resounding "YES".

And tell you what, they will not be swimming towards shelter...they will be sprinting towards victory!

Touchwood !
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Received Items from Capgemini, Pune and Kolkata

Today we received following material from Capgemini, Pune and Capgemini, Kolkata. These items are labeled and packed separately, which is a great help for us. We will save time on sorting and repacking. Thanks to all involved for their generous help, without your help it would not have been possible to carry out the relief operations.

Capgemini Kolkata - 5 boxes (sent by Mr Biplab Haldar, Consultant, IFM, Capgemini)

ASYST park, plot - GN37/1, sector V
Salt lake, Kolkata - 91

Containing following items:

Pants,Shirts, Tshirt,Salwar ,Salwar pant ,Dupatta,Saree,Bedsheet ,Sweater,Blanket,Childrens' pant,Children shirt,Towel,Shoes,Biscuit ,Chura,Sattu & Amul milk

Capgemini`~ Pune -

33 boxes ( Cleanly segregated & labeled)

Clothes - 10 box ;Food grains - 5 box,Biscuits - 6 box,Bedsheets - 12 box

Thanks a ton to all our donors. God Bless you all.

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Monday, September 15

Baidnathpur relief camp, Saharsa.

Baidnathpur relief camp, Saharsa.

Its a largish camp with around 200 shelters.
We have distributed 480 odd garments which was with us. Food is provided by the Govt, and NGO's are not allowed to cook food or provide cooked food to the beneficiaries.

Milk powder is needed here, we have distributed around 46 kg of milk powder (along with the Aanganwadi volunteer and Camp caretaker), reckon we need more.

Lack of clothes here..most of the children here need clothes...they hardly hav any.

The teachers are holding classes for the school here since 7-8th sep. They hav some books for lower classes, but need stationary and books for higher classes.

Govt health workers have been maintaining the handpumps, providing potable water. Chlorine /Halogen tables are available here.

We are trying to get the list of students/age group to supply them with books/stationary.

They also need some kind of recreational activity, so trying to arrange for football/volleyball etc.

Things needed; Clothes,books,dietary supplements,...and more milk powder.

Baidnathpur,Saharsa. 1.30pm,sep152k9

PS: We will be sending the required materials by tonight. Also, would request someone from 'Goonj' to help these children with clothes, if possible. You can send clothes directly to our team in Patna from nearby city. As transportaion is taking too much time and cost so please post consignment from nearby city.


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Sunday, September 14

Bihar Flood Relief - Update from Ground Zero

Every flood affected district has mega 100’s camps running. Situation is improving. Our team is in touch with AOL (Art of Living) and Mandan Bharthi Jagriti samaj camp. But these operations are still restricted to urban areas. Other team is constantly looking at essential requirements that we can provide based on need and our capacity.

Now in addition to water purification tablets, essential medicines and baby milk powder we has decide to provide cloths for adolescent children, specially girls. We are concentrating on essential needs of women’s and children and team will take call based on the assessment of ground situation.

Today Guneshwar Ji (along with his friend) is going to Saharsha from Patna. They are carrying about 500 piece of cloths for children’s and baby milk powder. Guneshwar Ji will visit Mandan Bharthi Jagrithi Samaj relief camp at Saharsa today. We are expecting more requirements from Guneshwar Ji by end of the day.

Thanks to Guneshwar Ji and his friend for coming all the way from Ahmedabad and joining the team at ground.
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Some more Items reached Patna

Clothes from Paladion, MumbaiClothes n medicines from sent by Mr.Rajul(Jamui) Lifejackets sent by Sandeep,Mumbai300 packets of chlorine tablets (300x1000 chlorine tablets) Water Purification Tablets 400Packs (Order placed by Mr. Partha Sengupta from Hyderabad)

1) Clothes from Paladion, Vashi, Mumbai
2) Clothes (12 sacks) and medicines sent by Mr Rajul (Jamui)
3) Life Jacket sent by Sandeep Ji, Mumbai
4)300 packets of chlorine tablets (300x1000 chlorine tablets).
5) El-Chlor water purification tablets, in
blister packs
6) Purification Tablets 400Packs (Order placed by Mr. Partha
Sengupta from Hyderabad)

Thanks to Parth Sir for coming forward and providing us much needed water
purification tablets.
Baby milk food sent by Vivek & Pinky Ji, Mumbai

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