While Mumbai is in the news for the trauma inflicted by the Monsoon Gods, things are as bad or worse in town such as Panvel -- a mere two hour drive from India's financial capital.
Rain-affected Panvel needs help
August 4, 2005
The highest ever rainfall in Mumbai’s history has left a trail of death and destruction not only in Mumbai’s suburbs but also Panvel, Raigad and other parts of Maharashtra.
Panvel is particularly badly affected, say sources working to provide relief in the distraught town just a couple of hours from Mumbai. While the government has been shamed into action in Mumbai, one can’t say the same about Panvel.
Individuals such as Dr.Arun Ranade have been working overtime to save lives and heal people. Dr.Ranade is a surgeon, a huge campaigner for blood donation and a social activist.
I hear from him and others that over 200 people are dead in Panvel and the destruction of property is estimated at over Rs 100 crore. For some strange reason, very little about Panvel’s misery has been reported in Mumbai newspapers or on television channels (except for Manohar Joshi’s visit to condole the death of his teacher).
There are large sectors of low income housing colonies that have been completely flattened, leaving people destitute. Although electricity and water was finally restored on Tuesday – after a week—the fear of epidemics remains alive. The incessant rains and trauma has led to several illnesses.
Dr.Ranade has some amazing stories about lives saved, people who have recovered after being unconscious for nearly 12 hours and also efforts that have failed. But clearly, it is an ongoing and equally vital process to heal the less life threatening problems. His is an effort that I can genuinely vouch for.
Dr.Ranade tells me that Panvel town, and his own medical aid efforts require the following urgently.
1.Medicines: What is urgently needed is vaccine for typhoid. Also ointment for skin infections. Then Doxycycline to prevent epidemics and a variety of other medicines such as anti-Diarrhoeal drugs, painkillers, antibiotics and regular medicine for cough and cold. They are running short on all of these. Anything to clean water, chlorine tablets, phenyl or disinfectants are also welcome.
2.. They also need durries, bedsheets or other coverlets, which have all been washed away.
Anyone who wants to contact Dr.Ranade directly can call him at:98212 31191 or 27453182 or 27467380.
The Address is: Dr. Arun Ranade, Ranade Surgical Nursing Home, 148, Shruti, V.B.Phadke Marg, Middle Class Housing Society, Panvel – 410 206.
Amit Malik ([email protected]) of Behtar Bharat BehtarBharat 30th Floor, Centre 1, World Trade Centre, Cuffe Parade, Colaba, Mumbai - 5, India. Tel: +91-22-56387272 Fax: +91-22-22188175 Mobile: +91-9820136382
And I ([email protected]) are trying to put together some relief material and send it over.
Amit has also got Shiva of Hindustan Lever to get his company to pitch in with company products. HLL has already distributed over Rs one crore worth of their products to rain-affected people. This is in addition to that contribution.
Anyone who wants to join our effort is welcome. We already have several people chipping in. This site will update the information.