Orissa Cyclone

On October 29th 1999, the sea rose up against Orissa, India. Twenty-five foot tidal surges and wind speeds of 260 km/h devastated this coastal area. It left only a few to tell horrifying tales of those dreadful days. A six-member team went to Orissa on November 15th. Other volunteers helped in picking, transporting, sorting and packing relief material at HOPE worldwide's office. 700 blankets, 700 torches, 1000 packets of candles, 200 packets of milk powder, 200 packets of Bournvita, 1000 packets of biscuits, 360 kg of plastic sheets for roofs and medicines worth INR 12,000 (USD 275), and 250 kg dal (lentils) were purchased for the relief work.

The Resident Commissioner of Orissa at Delhi gave HOPE worldwide free transport for relief material to Orissa. We really thank the Resident Commissioner and Northern Railways for their unconditional support. The staff at the railway station was also very cooperative. They provided two brake wagons specifically for HOPE worldwide's relief material.

The team immediately left for Ersama Block, the most affected area. The team had to carry the relief materials to the villages as the roads were in a terrible condition. In Goudsahi village, the villagers themselves helped in the orderly distribution of the relief materials. Even in their starvation, they wanted everyone to get equal share without partiality, which is something to be appreciated. The doctor in the team organized the medical camp and treated 125 patients. He noticed that they were more tired than sick due to the intense physical and mental struggles they had to go through because of the cyclone.

The team also visited various villages such as Saharsabedi and Dahevar to distribute the goods. The team also came up with a "Token System" so that everyone could get their share. The team members were the only contact that the villagers had with the outside world after the cyclone. They were very happy to see the workers, they shared about their experiences with the team. There were a lot of tears and pain but also stories of courage and resilience in spite of the disaster. The team also gave medicines worth INR 10,000 (USD 230) to Mr. Rabindra Nath Jena, a Registered Medical Practitioner who belonged to the village to continue the work.

In all, HOPE worldwide's Orissa Relief Operation Team helped 700 families in fifteen villages in Ersama Block of coastal Orissa.













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