Initiatives by JMS
The districts of Raichur, Koppal, Haveri, Bagalkote, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Bellary, Belgaum and Gadag were hit by the unprecedented floods on 1st October 2009 which left a devastating effect on the lives of people who were just recovering from the severe drought (May to Sept 09).
• One million people rendered homeless
• More than 3,55,000 people took shelter in 1,211 relief camps in the worst-hit northern districts.
• More than 350 villages marooned;
• Over 1.2 lakh houses collapsed.
• Over 3,000 animals washed away.
• 16 districts of Northern Karnataka got affected.
RAICHUR DISTRICT – RELIEF AND REHABILITATION IN FLOOD AFFECTED VILLAGES IN RAICHUR DISTRICT – MANVI AND SINDHANUR TALUKA:
a) Immediate Relief: Soon after the floods, distribution of food grains was undertaken by identifying the neediest people whose houses were flooded.
• No. of Villages- 51
• No. of families-163
• No.of Kgs of Rice-3950
• No. of Kgs of Dal-195
b) Survey of the affected villages to advocate with the government for proper relief and rehabilitation and liaisoning with government for flood relief efforts – From October 2009- March 2010. The intervention was done in 23 villages. The volunteers were supported to do this work for their honoraria and travel.
c) Advocacy – Organising Public Meetings with the Govt Officers: In two centres Gonvara and Balaganur of Sindhanur villages, public meeting with the flood affected people and govt officers was organized in which nearly 200 people in each places attended. People were apprised of the government flood relief measures and people also placed their grievances before the government officials. The karyakarthas also attended meetings at various places in the state regarding the issue of natural disasters and people’s entitlements. As there was a lot of misappropriation of relief compensation in the villages and many villages submerged were not even visited by government officials delegations of people were taken to Tehashildar in Manvi Talukas.
d) Smokeless Biomass Stoves (Chulika) for the affected villages: Chulika is a smokeless oven which also consumes almost half the firewood. It is a portable oven. Keeping the health impacts of kitchen smoke on women and since in many households were cooking on the roads after the floods, the Chulikas were purchased from ISquare D, a company by NGO entrepreneurs (Mr. T. Pradeep of Samuha). A total number of 378 chulikas were promoted in the villages. These are now used by the people. Village women from Potnal were also sent to Deodurga Taluka where Samuha has been using these stoves for the last 2 years. Biomass Stove- Chullika are,
• Scientifically designed
• Consumes less than 50% firewood
• Smokeless- Good for health
• People who are in the relief camps like the village Huligunchi in Sindhanur taluka are using it.
B. REHABILITATION EFFORTS AT JMS RAICHUR:
Jagrutha Mahila Sanghatan (JMS) is a collective of Dalit Women Agricultural Labourers working in Manvi and Sindhanur Talukas of Raichur District. The office of JMS itself had got flooded and about 40 resident children who are studying in the Chilipili Child Labourer’s School were fortunately saved in the night as the flood waters were rising in the centre. The JMS centre houses the initiatives of Terracotta, Neem Fertiliser and Herbal Medicinal unit and also functions as a bridge school for the child labourers. The water rose to 5 – 6 ft in the night washing away all the materials and the loss was about more than 5 lakhs. The rehabilitation of JMS centre and work of relief and rehabilitation was primarily supported by Association for India’s Development (AID). The following Plan of Action was given to AID which was agreed upon by them.
1. Repair and re-equipping JMS office with necessities so that the centre becomes fully functional
2. Supporting Terracotta livelihood unit of women with compensation for their loss
3. Supporting Neem livelihood unit of women with compensation for their loss
4. Supporting Herbal Unit of health workers with compensation for the loss (purchase of raw materials) and to restart the work.
5. Rehabilitation and Livelihood reconstruction Measures – some of the suggested plans were to support some people with tin sheets for shelter, some livelihood options (goats or live-stock) etc. Along with this on the health front, especially of women, the following plans were suggested as measures to be considered as part of rehabilitation: drinking water (fluoride purification filters), fuel/firewood-efficient/less carbon emitting stoves – CHULIKAS – (which are particularly good for women’s health) etc. These stoves were being developed by some entrepreneurs (ISquareD, formed by T. Pradeep of SAMUHA) which would consume half the firewood compared to open ovens.
6. Advocacy processes include,
a. Surveying the villages, correcting government surveys
b. Petitions for work under NREGA
c. Rectifying the distribution of compensation by government and identifying those who have not received compensation.
i) Reconstruction of the Terracotta Unit of Potnal SHG: The group of women who are running the terracotta livelihood unit under the name of CHIGURU lost their raw materials such as threads, beads, metallic anklets, bells, key chain rings and the clay. Beside the un-baked terracotta jewellery which was prepared and kept also got washed away in the flood. The total cost of the loss was estimated at Rs. 1, 42,110/- . As part of the process of helping the women were helped to re-build their unit. The washed outroom shed of the children was reconstructed using Bamboos and tin sheets.
ii) Reconstruction of the Herbal Medicines Unit of Health Workers: The health workers run a unit of production of herbal medicines. The estimated loss of the raw materials and the prepared medicinal products was Rs. 54,500/- As part of the rehabilitation, the purchase of actual raw materials was supported. Besides, health trainings were conducted for 30 SHGs of women in 18 villages to raise awareness on the issues of health in the flood affected villages.