The most devastating floods hit Ernakulam district in the third week of August 2018. The heavy downpour from 16th to 20th August caused huge destruction to people, houses, livestock and property. Hence Don Bosco Vennala decided to extend its support in some means to the people whose lives were at stake due to the incessant rains and flood. With this idea in mind DB Vennala planned to have a collection hub for flood relief materials at Don Bosco Vennala. Meantime the situation was worsened and hence DB Vennala opened the centralized air-conditioned auditorium for the flood affected people as camps on 17th August since there were few requests to accommodate people in the centre. Even though the requested people were accommodated at relatives’ houses, from 18th August families began to flow into Don Bosco in large numbers.
Don Bosco, Vennala relief camp was a collaborative venture with the support of the Medical Centre Hospital in neighborhood. There were volunteers from the hospital, along with Don Bosco Youth Centre members, Salesian Co-operators, staff and students of IGACT, DBCC, past pupils of DB IGACT, friends and well-wishers. They all have rendered selfless service for the affected people during these days. Under the able leadership of Fr. Antony Vailatt SDB, the Rector of Don Bosco Vennala, Fr. Shino Karintholil SDB coordinated the activities in the relief camp together with Mr. Joby Chandy the Manager of the Fertility Department of Medical Centre Hospital. The camp was immediately registered under Cochin Corporation and hence enormous support was provided in different means including the village officer who was in charge of camp, camp in charge from the municipality and two helpers from municipality who took up the responsibility of cleaning the premises, toilets and urinals daily. The Cochin Corporation extended their support even to arrange vehicles for waste management and supplied food articles, bleaching powder and cleaning lotion to the camp. The generous contributions of the people from neighborhood have helped to meet all the requirements of the campers. There were 305 registered members in the relief camp out of which 195 were males and 110 female comprising 47 families. While on 21st water began to recede as rain had stopped and people started moving back to their own houses to settle down.
- The flood affected families were distributed essential materials such as food, medicines, household articles, mattresses, cleaning kits and clothes
- Vennala shared good rapport with the other relief camps in the neighborhood to share the excess food and other relief materials.
- Recreational facilities for children were conducted in the camp.
- Full time volunteers were made available at the relief camp for the assistance of the campers.
- Special ambulance service was arranged by the municipality to take intense sick people to the General Hospital.
- Medication- Full time nurses and part time voluntary doctors were made available for the campers. Medicines were supplied in the camp. Those who needed special medicines and doctor’s aid were assisted by the Medical Center Hospital.
- Since the hospital was near Don Bosco Vennala special cases were referred from the villages like old age people, infants and pregnant women to the camp.
Reaching out to the neighborhood by staff, students and Salesians
Under the able leadership of Fr. Prince Puthanangady SDB, the staff visited the neighborhood houses, other Salesian houses affected and the houses of the staff whose houses were also affected by flood. The staff and students volunteered to clean the houses and distributed essential household articles to the families to restore their lives.
In collaboration with BREADS Bangalore, DB Vennala also identified 30 families who were badly affected by the disastrous flood and rains. The identified families were distributed with household articles worth Rs 5500 which included a cooker, bowls, ladles, frying pans, hot cases, cooking vessels etc.
Distribution of relief materials at Kuttanad
At the request of Fr. George Moolankunnam, Parish Priest of St. Joseph’s Church Kayalpuram, Kuttanad, Don Bosco Vennala decided to offer help to the people of the locality. With the generous support of BREADS Bangalore, friends and well-wishers from Vennala 1400 families of Kayalapuram area was provided support. DB Vennala was able to distribute 3.5 tons of rice, household articles and provisions.