Kashmir Flood Relief
In response to the devastating floods that affected Jammu & Kashmir in September 2014, the Tata Group, under the auspices of the Tata Relief Committee, had set up a Relief Unit in the state to provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the displaced families. Several Tata employees from various group companies had also volunteered to join the relief efforts. The volunteers were involved with activities ranging from running medical camps and setting up community kitchens, to providing safe drinking water, distributing relief kits, conducting village sanitation drives and helping with the safe disposal of animal carcasses. A total of 50 employees of seven Tata companies had volunteered for relief work in three batches in Jammu & Kashmir. One of the volunteers tells us about the unique experience.
As first time volunteers for disaster management, en route to Kashmir, a politically volatile but exquisitely beautiful region, we were experiencing a mix of excitement and nervousness. On reaching Kashmir we immediately got to work and met with the Tata Relief Committee, who guided us through the functional segregation of the relief programme, namely Exploration, Distribution and Warehousing. This was done in order to expedite and make efficient the process of delivering aid to the local community.
While distributing relief kits and coupons, we had the opportunity to visit Kashmiri households and speak to them about their problems. During our stay in Kashmir, we were touched by the warmth of the people. Despite their miserable living conditions at the time, they continued to exude hope for the future. It seemed as though the recent calamity had no bearing on their hospitality towards their guests. We were always offered meals and refreshments, wherever we went. Everybody shared whatever little they possessed with each other. Through this experience we were able to gain valuable insights into humanity and learnt the importance of camaraderie even under strained circumstances.
We left Kashmir with the certainty that the ‘Paradise of India’ would be restored to its earlier glory very soon.