West Bengal India Ravaged by Cyclone
I have received an urgent update from Sister Monica, with graphic images of the devastation they have experienced as a result of Cyclone Amphan just days ago. Sister Monica, as part of the Kolkata Mary Ward Social Centre, has served alongside the marginalised for over two decades, across 11 projects specifically in West Bengal and the Nawada District in Bihar, India.
On the 20th of May, the cyclone wreaked havoc in large parts of the state and devastated lives, homes, farms and infrastructure. Sister Monica has reported it is the largest cyclone she has ever witnessed. Thousands of trees were uprooted, property destroyed and both physical and virtual connectivity has come to a standstill due to the joint effect of the cyclone and the ongoing pandemic.
Kolkata is grappling with no power or water supply due to the cyclone. Power and internet companies have declared it could take weeks to restore. Houses in slums are damaged and people are left with no clean water, roof or source of income. Most people living in the slums are daily wage earners and due to the extension of COVID-19 lockdown, have no savings and are on the verge of starvation.
Sister Monica and the KMWSC field staff are working hard to provide support to those in need. This includes producing and distributing Cyclone Support Kits. The contents of a kit can include: food, clothing, cooking utensils, essential personal items such as soap, detergent and bandages, and various emergency shelter items such as tarpaulins, mats, tin sheets and mosquito nets.
Right now, we are in the process of sending funds to India to assist with their immediate needs. These funds are limited due to the many needs across all our global projects at this time as a result of COVID-19. It is our objective to be able to send more funds directly to India so that more Cyclone Support Kits can be distributed to help alleviate suffering. If you are able, please consider partnering with us at this critical time.
Your involvement at this time makes a huge difference, more than you may realise, and we are truly grateful and thank you for your ongoing support and commitment.
We offer our prayers and hope for you and your loved ones to keep well and stay safe in the coming months. We will keep you connected with news and stories of courage and confidence.