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Between the land and the sea - Notes from #ChennaiRains 7

1. Manivannan Ias
CHENNAI FLOOD: IMPORTANT update by the 24 x 7 Bengaluru Control Room (CRRC): 6.45 pm, 8th December:
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If you have wanted to donate relief materials, and not yet, please donate NOW!
WHY?
1. There is a HUGE GAP between the quantum of supply for relief material and the need. The requirement is 15 times more than the supply! (Please check our public dashboard:http://rainhelp.pyrumas.com
2. You can TRACK where your material is going, and which NGO is handling it in our dash board. The 5 NGOs working with us are: (Aid India, Art of Living, Arapoor Iyakkkam, Agni India, and Rotary International). They are escorted/supported by the local admn, so, it will reach the needy and would not be diverted or pillaged.
Our 24x7 helpline will provide you any information round the clock. As our helpline numbers are NOT temporary, but PERMANENT for the KUWSDB, we can provide information anytime in future, even after 3 months or 6 months. You can in-fact view the working of the CRRC here:http://ipcamlive.com/56657a9b4b797
3. We may close down the relief operations in next 7 days, and thereafter do only the follow up actions, as we may not have the economies of scale.
HOW TO REACH US?
Please contact us thru any of these channels:
1. Email: crkuwsdb@gmail.com
2. SMS: 9220092200 (prefix WATER leave a gap and then type the details of the persons to be rescued and then include your name and number, in case the teams need more information from you)
3. Telegram messenger: 7259760333
4. WhatsApp messenger: 9880655555
5. Phone (landline): 08040001000.
Let’s join hands to provide the maximum relief to the affected people of Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu.
Kindly share this post widely!
Thank you very much for your support! 
Sending out one lot of clothing, blankets, bedspreads, toiletries and biscuits contributed by many of you and transported to us. This is going to Tree foundation, which is coordinating relief work among marine and fishing communities in various pockets from Neelankarai to Villupuram.
About 200 volunteers are on ground packing and sorting clothing - Neelu spoke to me saying that there is an urgent need for blankets and clothing here.
I do not know Neelu personally but she has been vouched for by Praba Ram - so for speed of response I am depending on my friend network to identify excellent distribution points.
If you have reasonable quantities of decent, well mended clothing (for both genders and age groups), towels, blankets and any toiletries do speak to Neelu and send some supplies here.
Neelu's husband Saeef can be reached on 8939151205 or 9790878888.
Thank you Nandini Sivakumar and Siva for coordinating and reaching so much of these relief materials to us.
R, our employee will be handing over the materials and taking pictures of operations at the facility.
p.s: Neelu's relief operations have been hampered by relief trucks being muscled in on and being diverted elsewhere. Volunteers everywhere, please be discreet. Do not display the goods. and pretend that you know where you are going - asking directions excessively is leading to a lot of on ground chaos.

The chennai floods has shown us how Strong and responsible we are and at the same time shown us how stupid and irresponsible we were/are.
I am pretty sure none of us want another such disaster in Chennai or anywhere, but are we ready to work towards it??Can we now accept that CLIMATE CHANGE is for REAL!!!
The prime reason we were quite successful in bringing Chennai back to its feet is because our youngsters did not wait nor did any of us who volunteered wait for Government instructions or aid. Can we NOT wait for Government to tell us how to rehab and live going forward to avoid such a disaster ???
Can we as an individual change the way we live life
- Avoid plastic bags ( refuse, reduce, reuse , recycle should be our mantra) take our own reusable cloth bags, use our own containers to buy groceries or get take out food??
- can we compost our kitchen wastes etc instead of tying thm in plastic bags and dumping in the landfills??
- Avoid disposables of all kinds( napkins, diapers, plates, cutlery etc ) instead switch to reusable options( cloth pads, cloth diapers, etc)
- can we car pool or use public transport more ??
- can we avoid pouring toxic cleaners like vim lysol harpic etc which are slow poisoning us and other living things ?? Instead shift to baking soda vinegar , activated effective microorganism and other natursl cleaners??
From our tooth brush in the morning to the mosquito coils at night so many things that are toxic disposable and choking Mother earth and Us. Can we stop using them ?? There are ecofriendly alternatives , I am sure our great grandparents lived without all these and were healthier.
Yes so much we can do instead of waiting ..,
IF WE CAN DO ,NOTHING FABULOUS LIKE IT
IF WE CANT,NOTHING MORE DANGEROUS LIKE IT.
4. 
The real problem is I am unable to be as honest in my writing as I want to be, without worrying about possible people that I might offend.
But many of us have to admit collective responsibility, even possible culpability.
I look at my reports from 2005, they can be reproduced in full today, and even passed by changing a few names here and there.
It is total humbug that the mess today is caused by the rains.
Rains and floods were all nature, yeah, but the mismanagement of the city is all man-made.
I hope my friends investigate a few points in the coming days.
1. Was the Chennai Corporation's "Disaster Management Plan" which should have factored in major floods, put to effect? Why were there no govt. boats and which were the govt. community halls/central kitchens that were pressed into service?
2. Given the highly centralised regime in this State - with every one waiting for "approval", were there possible delays that led to the culminated release of 70,000 cusecs from the lake on a single day?
3. Did MET department fortnightly forecasts reach the PWD and why did they brutalise the city's waterways all at once?
4. Can we look into serious data on what were the floods that damaged the city? It was not rain from the sea, but the water from downstream the riverways.
5. In specific instances like Mambalam, I would encourage friends to look at super specific data. When was the Mambalam canal last desilted? How many times was it desilted in the last 10 years?
6. We keep talking mostly of the slum tenements on waterways when it comes to encroachments. When was the last time any concrete structure was pulled down?
7. How many cases are even pending in the courts over hearings as government identified encroachments on water ways?
This is a brilliant opportunity for journalists to hone their investigative skills. Collect all data from the past two months, and sift through them. I guarantee you this is a chance to take your reporting to another level - not just reactionary but something way more.

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