Assam IRS Officer Arranges Free Health Camp For 500+ Flood Victims; Donates Medicines & Sanitary Napkins

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Assam is still reeling from the devastating floods that ravaged district after district, displacing and endangering many lives. Perhaps the biggest challenge awaiting the survivors now is post-flood rehabilitation. Breakout of infectious diseases can turn into the scale of an epidemic anytime. Government and non-profit organisations are working, hand in hand, to provide urgent medical care as well as relief support. Meanwhile, Guwahati-based IRS officer Padmapani Bora recently organised a mass-scale health camp in Hajo, a remote village of Kamrup – one of the worst affected districts. 

The Camp Was Attended By 567 People

The camp was attended by around 567 people, comprising adults, children and senior citizens, most of whom have borne the brunt of the ravaging floods and sustained injuries or contracted serious ailments. Six experienced doctors who supervised the camp conducted meticulous check-ups and preliminary treatments. There was also a substantial stock of basic and emergency medicines which were distributed for free among the patients according to their prescriptions.

The camp also distributed menstrual hygiene products like sanitary napkins among adolescent girls and adult women. Basic toilet essentials like soaps and sanitisers were also distributed. “Our next plan is to organise health camps in remote village schools where the average nutrition level of the students is woefully low. In the next three months, we wish to focus on improving the health and nutrition of these underprivileged children,” Bora shares with Efforts For Good. Incidentally, Bora donated a considerable portion of his monthly salary to arrange the health camp. 

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

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Supporting Education

Six years ago, Bora’s wife Mridusmita Das founded Srijanasom Trust, primarily aimed at holistically improving the lives of the people of Assam. Their focus spans a wide spectrum – ranging from health, education to art and culture.

Assam Flood Health Camp
At the health camp

In the past, Srijanasom had offered educational scholarships to young, meritorious girls, whose family conditions hinder their academic prospects. The ‘Srijanasom Siksha Sarothi’ and ‘Srijanasom Siksha Prayas’ aim to support the education of students, mostly girls, whose families struggle to make ends meet.

Assam Flood Health Camp
Anamika Rangson being awarded the scholarship

One of the girls who was recently awarded is four-year-old Anamika Rangson who lost her father to a car accident when she was barely eight months. Her mother, a daily wage earner, might not have been able to fund her schooling. Srijanasom Siksha Sarothi scholarship will now cover all her educational expenses till college.

“We have also adopted two schools in Jorhat where we are pursuing infrastructural development as well as supporting their basic expenses,” informs Bora.

Preserving Assam’s Fading Traditions

One of the most striking features of Srijanasom Trust, which makes them stand out among other non-profits, is their effort to revive the fading traditions and culture of Assam. “My wife is a classical dancer. Both of us nurture immense respect for Assamese heritage. There are so many kinds of music, dance and folk art which are dying in these modern times. It is our duty to preserve our rich culture,” asserts Bora.

Assam Flood Health Camp
Moghai Oja Srijan Award ceremony

The duo started the Moghai Oja Srijan Award – a lifetime achievement honour awarded to maestros who have dedicated their lives in saving lost arts of Assam – from Sattriya dance to mask making.

All funds for Srijanasom Trust are primarily sourced from Bora and his family’s personal earnings. Only recently the NGO has started receiving some contributions from corporates and well-wishing individuals.

Recently, Padmapani Bora also wrote a book about 60 obscure but most beautiful heritage sites in Assam, the foreword for which has been penned by Amitabh Bachhan.

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It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote

‘Happy Fridge’: The Key To Bridge Food Wastage And Hunger Problem In India

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Rahul Khera and Gautam Jindal, volunteers (aka hunger heroes) at Feeding India, were among the many Delhi NCR residents accustomed to seeing hungry children pick up half-eaten burgers or stale sandwiches from the dustbin and savour those with the brightest smiles. Like many others, they also had the will to promote equitable food distribution but was perplexed about the approach, until they learnt about the community fridge initiative which has gained unprecedented success in Saudi Arabia and few other European countries. Meanwhile, community fridges were already being installed outside restaurants or in public places in a handful of cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Coimbatore and Kochi.

Say Goodbye To Throwing Away Excess Food Because Now You Can Donate The Food To The Needy – Happy Fridge

Thank you for overwhelming response for the Happy Fridge concept. We need more funds from you to install more fridges like this across India. With the limited funds avaialble Feeding India was able to install three fridges only. Kindly donate here http://bit.ly/happyfridge

Posted by The Logical Indian on Saturday, October 27, 2018

Needless to mention, with a shocking 103rd rank in the Global Hunger Index and a food wastage estimate of around Rs 58,000 crore – India was perhaps the best country to implement such an initiative. With Gautam’s help, an enthusiastic Rahul invested his own savings to install a ‘Happy Fridge’ outside his residence at Sun City, Sector 54 in Gurgaon. Set up in 2017 by these Feeding India volunteers, the fridge in Gurgaon has inspired the NGO to scale up the project across India.

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

‘Happy Fridge’ fostered many smiles

It didn’t take long for the local residents to learn about this laudable endeavour. They welcomed it, as wastage of excess food was a recurring problem in almost every household. “Intimating the localities was no mammoth task, thanks to social media. However, it was difficult to spread the word among those who actually needed the food,” shares Rahul, who went from auto stands to slums, inviting rickshaw pullers, ragpickers or roadside vendors to avail the community fridge any time they feel hungry. “The security guards of our residential complex played a huge role in explaining how the fridge works to the beneficiaries,” he adds.

The operational and maintenance costs of the ‘ happy fridge ‘ are being maintained diligently by the community members.

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Making memories, sprouting awareness

“I remember one young man who had arrived from a village looking for some menial day job. Somehow he had run out of his paltry savings and had no money to buy one decent meal a day. For about a month, our happy fridge was his solace, till he earned his first salary from a housekeeping job,” shares a jubilant Rahul.

In another incident, a truck driver returning in the wee hours of midnight was starving after a whole day’s hard work. He had run out of cooking fuel at his home, so our fridge was at his rescue.

“The residents keep all sorts of palatable dishes in the happy fridge, ranging from dry snacks, fruits to cooked meals. Sometimes, they even keep raw vegetables, to ensure not a single bit of good food ends up in their trash while other people go hungry to bed,” reveals Rahul.

On an average, each happy fridge supplies around 10-15 meals in a day. The gratitude and pure smiles of the hungry souls after a fulfilling meal are more than enough to continue to motivate Rahul and his neighbours. In fact, inspired by him, many other communities in the Delhi-NCR region set up community fridges in their areas.

Feeding India will set up 500 Happy Fridges

Since the past few years, Feeding India has been a prominent organisation working in the forefront to solve the hunger problem in India. Primarily, they were involved in redistributing leftover food from weddings and parties among the underprivileged people in different cities of India. Their volunteers, better known as “Hunger Heroes of India”, worked actively to bridge the gap between food wastage and food crisis.

“We used to get a lot of calls from individual households to collect their excess food. However, unfortunately, we lacked the manpower and planning to launch our programme on a door to door basis. We were desperately looking for an alternative when we learnt about the community fridges,” shares Srishti Jain, co-founder of Feeding India.

After interacting with Rahul Khera and other campaigners of community fridges, Feeding India decided to amplify this extraordinary project throughout the length and breadth of India. Presently, they have launched the #FightFoodWaste campaign to install 500 community fridges – nicknamed ‘ Happy Fridge ’. So any passer-by – be it a kid going to school without a lunchbox, or a labourer returning home late at night with no promise of a dinner – can now grab a pack of biscuits or a bowl of ‘dal-chawal’ (rice & lentil soup) to satiate their hunger. Click here to contribute for ‘ Happy Fridge ‘ and ensure India never sleeps hungry again.

Feeding India also urges everyone to make a promise to stop wasting food and instead consider donating it to those in need.

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Quote
It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.
- Mother Theresa Quote
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