Feast for Thought

Not pontificating. Only trying to bat on the side of the environment. And ethics. And simple living. And slowing down. (And trying to learn and practise before preaching or teaching...)

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Between the land and the sea - Notes from #ChennaiRains 2


1. Shashank Ravi's album.

Shashank Ravi added 34 new photos to the album: Incredible Gestures during Chennai/Cuddalore Floods 2015 — with Manikanda Subbian and Srinivasan MK.
This album contains all those common people who have made a significant difference in their own small way..
A proof that humanity exists..


Super proud of team Krya. Every one has cleaned out their wardrobes and brought clothes. This is going to ECR today.
I asked R what his child was going to wear. He told me she could do with a lot less choice right now.
Yes we can do with less choice right now. People have lost their clothing and are cold.

3. Shravan Krishnan
We have wildlife sos joining us for rescues today. They have sent a team consisting of vets, rescuers and biologist. With the support from the Forest Department we would be patrolling the city to rescue wild animals affected in these floods. Deers, snakes, jackals, birds and more. Pls call 9566184292 if need any help!!!

4. Preethi Sukumaran

An update on Babaji Ashram - Pozhichalur
Dear family and friends,
I am overwhelmed by your kindness and generosity towards the children and senior citizens in this ashram. Since I put up this update, this ashram has been flooded with food, volunteers and cash contributions.
I have received generous pledges in my inbox as has Gokul Rajan, a long term volunteer at the Ashram.
Some of you have sent me messages bordering on anger because you want to contribute and I haven't given you a bank account to do so. This generosity is goose bump inspiring.
Here's what we have been doing. We have been organising food every single day at the Ashram. Spearheaded by Anandhi Swaminathan and her husband Sam, volunteers from Get convention centre and Olympia Opaline have been going 3 times everyday for the kids meals. These meals have been on the kids request.
Yesterday's breakfast was idli and sambhar as requested by the kids. Dinner was poori and gulab jamun , again on request by the kids. (The fact that the kids are bright and allowed to ask is itself a sign of them being taken care off well).
Gokul, Sam, Anandhi, Srinivas Krishnaswamy and I met last night to take stock of the situation. Gokul went through their immediate needs and we have as a team worked out what immediately needs replacement or buying.
We have meet our needs for the immediate rehabilitation of the ashram - this includes cleaning expenses, replacement expenses, bill payment expenses, provision expenses.
Our next step is to work on ensuring the centre received a sustainable income every month to support the kids and seniors well. We are also looking at how we can scale operations so that capacity can be expanded to take in more kids and seniors.
To do all of this, we are scrutinising the financial and general management of the ashram with a keener eyes. We are looking at audited statements and going over the books.
Only money is never the answer. Money with great systems and processes will help this facility better.
It is our vision to be the support structure for these kids until they graduate and are gainfully employed. At this point only, are they truly rehabilitated.
We do not want to play Santa Claus , give money and vanish. But be there to ensure this facility exists, does well, and does justice to its inhabitants.
Therefore I am still not going to give you a bank account to transfer money right away. I want your long term support. I want your money, time and skills.
This is how I would like to do this. Please send me an email -preethi@krya.in with the subject "orphanage rehabilitation assistance". In this please detail out your support - the money you think you can pledge, if it is one time or ongoing, if you can volunteer at the Ashram, and what you can volunteer towards.
These children are our collective responsibility. And no parent's job is ever done.

5. NawaZ Ur RahmaN feeling emotional.
2 years ago when we were looking for office space, A landlord refused to give us the space for rent by bluntly saying that he won't give it to Muslims.
Now, When we were doing relief work in his locality which was flooded as well, he recognised me and said "I still recognise you" and then we exchanged pleasantries. Later before leaving that place he told me something which moved me "NEENGA THEEVIRAVAATHI ILLAE SIR, ENGALA MAATHIRI MANITHAVIMANAMAE ILLAMA PAGUPADU PAAKKURAVANGA THAAN THEEVIRAVAATHI. ROMBA VARUTHAMA IRUKKU. ENNAYA MANICHURUNGA. (You are not Terrorist. It's people like me who treat people with discrimination in a inhuman way are terrorist. I regret and forgive me.)"
I didn't had words to tell him as I was overwhelmed with emotion.
Later, I left the place with moist eyes.!!!


6. Sumita Pai with Aarti Madhusudan and 19 others.
So the past few days have seen 100s of students & parents volunteering to pack food and supplies at CRR venues. After the blackout - being marrooned and cut offfor almost a week - I was eager to re-join the CRR team.
Set foot into one of the venues and was completely BLOWN AWAY by the sheer number of kids lifting, sorting, folding, serving, packing etc. at a furious pace with utmost concentration and precision, following the guidelines to the T. The energy that only the youth can bring and that too in such large numbers can only be seen and experienced. Vibrant, joyful, and sprinkling with laughter, it is a real treat and inspiration to work amidst such a massive movement.
The icing on the cake is when S.Murali Krishnan or 'Drums Murali' as he is popularly known, boosts everyone's morale further with his beats!

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