Although our core objectives include value-based education, nutrition, healthcare and community building, we have served in the aftermath of several natural disasters. Our experience includes the reconstruction and rehabilitation of a village after the 2001 Kachchh earthquake, software relief and rehabilitation of a fisherman village post the 2004 Tsunami and rehabilitation efforts around Netala after the 2013 floods and cloud bursts in Uttarakhand. Our intention and expertise is always to connect with the people at the ground level, over our support and serve according to their needs.
Earthquake Relief (Nepal)
During the afternoon of April 25th, a 7.8 Richter scale earthquake shook most of Nepal into devastation. Thousands of lives were lost and many more were seriously affected. According to reports, more than 600,000 homes needed to be rebuilt across the country. Soon after a second earthquake measuring 7.3 in intensity hit the country once more, intensifying the destruction of the nation and escalating the fear of the people.
Immediately after the first quake, a Manav Sadhna team went to assess the situation for two weeks. During this time, we identified the villages of Ranipani and Bakultara in Karve District, comprised of about 2000 inhabitants. They lost about 90 percent of their homes. We provided relief assistance with tarps, blankets, and grains helped remove rubble, assisted with first aid and primary health care and provided emotional support through discussion, playing games and spending time with each family. After an extensive field survey, community discussions and forming a local village committee, we helped fund a Community Center built by a local architect and team. Space, used for informal education activities, weddings, bhajans, and community building activities, is overseen by the village committee.
Flood Rehabilitation (Manav Utthan, Netala Village, Uttarkashi)
On June 16th, 2013 Uttarakhand was affected by one of the worst floods the country has ever seen. People lost their homes, farms, livelihoods, and hope. At this time, Manav Sadhna sent a small team to help with immediate relief at villages around Uttarkashi. After an initial survey, we distributed hundreds of kits of clothing, utensils, stationery, health and hygiene products. The team provided first aid and primary medical services. With community support, we also constructed a temporary bridge in response to the collapse of a local bridge, without which people had to walk 8 additional kilometers just to attend school and go to the market.
After immediate relief, we selected Netala Village for longer-term rehabilitation as we were drawn to the enthusiasm and eagerness of the youth here. So we funded and built Himganga Manav Utthan, a community center for local youth to run holistic education classes and computer classes as well as provide space for women to engage in livelihood initiatives.
Tsunami Relief (Tamil Nadu)
On December 26, 2004 a Tsunami raced across the ocean, striking the eastern coast of India and shocking thousands of lives. Immediately after the Tsunami, Manav Sadhna acted as a collection centre for Ahmedabad and its surrounding areas. We created relief kits for 1,500 households, which included cooking utensils, rice, grains, lentils, spices, oil, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, saris, lungis and other necessary items for the victims. Each of these kits would allow a family to sustain themselves for two weeks. The kits filled an entire train cabin when sent to Tamil Nadu.
Due to the Tsunami, Perunduraikuppam, a village in Tamil Nadu about two hours south of Chennai, faced a serious blow to their boats and nets, completely upsetting their livelihood. Manav Sadhna sent a team to Tamil Nadu to work with Harijan Sevak Sangh of Tamil Nadu and Rachnatmak Bharati Samaj, both local NGOs, to provide relief to the villagers. Relief work consisted of a seven-day experiment in software relief - connecting with the people, understanding their pain and mobilizing them to work towards community development. This process served as a therapy for alleviating the grief caused by the Tsunami and looking forward to the next phase of life. After the seven days, the local NGOs moved in to provide hardware relief. Manav Sadhna donated two boats and two sets of nets to the village. Additionally, the Share and Care Foundation also supported our initiative by providing more nets and an additional 18 boats for the village. Today the villagers have returned to the ocean and their way of life.
Earthquake Rehabilitation (Kachchh)
The major earthquake of January 26, 2001 which hit Kutch and impacted other parts of Gujarat caused great devastation. Manav Sadhna offered it’s assistance by distributing donated items swiftly and effciently around the state and adopting a village in Kutch near the Indo-Pakistani border called Ludiya. Due to the large number of people migrating after the earthquake; Hindus are the minority in Ludiya today. After the earthquake, the locals had nothing left and felt inclined to relocate in places where they would no longer be in the minority. This change would lead to the loss of their unique way of life and traditional handicrafts.
Through Manav Sadhna’s efforts, the local Muslim community joined hands with this Hindu community to encourage them to remain in Ludiya and rebuild their lives there. Based on the Gandhian principle of Gram Swaraj (independence at the village level), Manav Sadhna aimed to rebuild a self-sustainable village that catered to 2,500 inhabitants spread over 10km. In less than three months, the villagers were back on their feet living in 455 new bhungas (traditional mud huts), utilizing 90 toilet and bath blocks, six fully equipped primary schools and seven pre-primary schools, three check dams, two water ponds, five underground water tanks, three community centres, a health centre, a fodder bank, a bus stand, and a temple.
Today, we continue to work with the villagers in the field on water management, preservation, marketing of traditional handicraft work, education, and communal harmony. Manav Sadhna raised more than 1.4 crore rupees to use for Ludiya. Many national and international organizations, individual donors, supporters and volunteers partnered with us to make this project a success.
In 2002, Manav Sadhna and Indicorps collaborated. Through this partnership, six international volunteers have spent a year each for the last three years in Ludiya, working in the areas of watershed management and handicraft development. Through the watershed project, the volunteers worked with locals to build wells and check dams to create longstanding sources for water in each hamlet. In a three-year project to preserve, develop and market traditional embroidery and patchwork of the region, Indicorps volunteers established and ran a Rural Design School (RDS) to encourage creativity and personal development among female embroidery artisans. The RDS aimed to help preserve the traditional craft of embroidery by encouraging women to create their own designs and help them develop their craft while supporting the marketing of their goods to secure a sturdy source of income. Today 90 women continue to work with our sister organization, Gramshree, through which they are able to earn consistently.