Healing the healers – We went there to heal, and returned healed instead!

Hearing and watching updates on the floods in Kerala and Kodagu had alarmed us at United Way Bengaluru and awakened a deep desire to help the lakhs of hapless people who had lost their homes and were facing utter devastation.

Pics: United Way Bengaluru on the field

Galvanized into action, we began doing the more obvious things – we launched an online campaign to involve more people, called for donations and touched base with well-wishers and partners in both the affected areas to ascertain needs and assess how best we could help. When the extent of damage became evident, we were somewhat overwhelmed. The devastation was complete and the affected people had to begin rebuilding their lives from ground zero.

Pics courtesy: Google

It also seemed a calling not to merely send relief supplies but accompany the supplies and reach out in person. Our teams worked feverishly to put relief in place. The first problem we encountered was lack of stocks with leading distributors. It seems the entire world was reaching out to help and yet, it was not enough. We had to order for basic needs from other cities and when they arrived, our teams camped at the distributors to ensure they were sorted, packed and secured.

We were ready to roll finally and we left for the affected areas, determination and a resolve to rebuild lives and restore hopes strong in our hearts. Despite the resolve and the will, what we encountered on the field was something we could not have imagined ever. The wrath of nature, the destruction, the disruption and the utter chaos stunned us. What stunned us even more was the stoic acceptance, the steely resolve in the people to bounce back and the dignity in them as they accepted our help.

We had gone to heal but we came back healed. The act of giving heals, reaching out is therapeutic and we have come back inspired by the indomitable spirit in humanity. Above all, we want to now reach out and thank all our supporters without whom we would not have been able to reach out. Thank you!

 

 

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