India Floods Appeal: one year on
‘It was hard to believe in a life beyond my husband’s death. I don’t know how I’ve overcome this tragedy,’ recalls Sarita.
In June 2013, heavy and incessant rains devastated Uttarakhand state, northern India. Flooding and landslides destroyed homes, lives and livelihoods.
More than 6,000 people died, many of whom were young men earning a living from tourism. Tragically, families like Sarita’s not only lost their precious loved ones but the main breadwinners.
Thanks to Christian Aid partner ATI, just like Sarita, Kamla Devi (pictured) is now earning an income from silk weaving
Livelihoods - making a living
Shattered by the sudden loss of her husband, the struggle to survive wore on.
Sarita and her husband wanted a better life for their children. Sadly, she must now make ends meet and provide for the family alone.
‘We wanted to give them a good education. Following the death of my husband, this seemed so far away.’
However, thanks to support from Christian Aid partner ATI, 1,150 households are now earning a living through bee-keeping, silkworm rearing and silk weaving.
With training and equipment provided, poor and marginalised women and men are now earning a vital income thanks to silk and honey.
‘It gives me hope and confidence that I will fulfill the dream of my husband and provide a better education for our children.'
Bold and brave, Sarita’s determination is clear: ‘I will become the highest earning spinner and I’m prepared to put in the extra time and labour needed.’
It was clear following the emergency that the health services in the state were no match for the devastation.
Christian Aid has since commissioned a study on the health services in the area, making recommendations for improving the capacity of the health sector and planning for future disaster scenarios - particularly during the busy tourist season.
The report recommends making more resources available, improving and upgrading mobile health facilities, and devising incentives for doctors to work in the most remote regions.
The findings and recommendations are currently with the state government and we’re monitoring the progress closely.
Thank you to everyone who donated
In the wake of the devastation, we launched the India Floods Appeal. Thanks to the generosity of people like you, our partners in India reached 30,000 people with emergency relief items such as food, blankets and tents.
Anand Kumar, Christian Aid’s India country manager said: ‘We would like to thank everyone who took the time to make a donation.
'As well as helping us reach out and meet essential humanitarian needs, such generosity is now supporting the work of rebuilding the lives of so many people affected by the severe floods in Uttarakhand, northern India.
'It’s with this support that our partners can continue to make a real, lasting difference.’
Photo gallery: India floods
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