A sparsely furnished room in south Delhi’s Kalkaji locality has become a “control-room” to monitor and organise relief work in flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir.
An old dining table surrounded with rickety chairs is the centre of action with volunteers managing rescue operations, relief dispatch and information dissemination through social media. A bulletin board boasts contact details of NGOs, airline officials, truck drivers, airport volunteers, Jamia and JNU ‘point’ persons.
The ‘Kashmiri Volunteers in Delhi: Flood Relief’ was formed last week, after floods ravaged parts of Jammu and Kashmir. Comprising largely of Kashmiri students and professionals living in the Capital, it operates from the house of a young filmmaker from Aligarh, Aman Kaleem.
Kaleem, who founded the group with her friends from Kashmir, many of them students and journalists, said they are focussing on two aspects — rescuing those stranded and providing relief material to them. The group also ensures coordination between all donation points across the country. According to her, two volunteers from Delhi went to Kashmir a few days ago and are now at the Srinagar airport, coordinating relief efforts.
“They are collecting the stuff we send them from Delhi and passing it on to local volunteers to be distributed across Kashmir. Medicines are our priority right now. We sent drinking water as all water there is contaminated. We also sent chlorine for water purification. We are also collecting baby food, sanitary napkins, packed food, biscuits, life jackets for the victims as well as our volunteers and tents for those rescued,” Kaleem (26) said.
The group, which has partnered with an NGO Community Youth Collective, said it also has volunteers in the functional hospitals who are updating them with medicine requirements. The group is also coordinating the information network. “The information network is heavily relying on social media,” Kaleem said.