We need International attention and help towards Kerala Floods 2018
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The Indian State of ‘Kerala’ has been facing the worst floods it has ever seen.
- At least 370 people are said to have lost their lives so far.
- The situation was never seen in Kerala in anyone's memory. At least 10000 people are stranded in areas badly hit by flood awaiting rescue, including infants, senior citizens, pregnant women, tired and hungry and in the face of grave danger. All of them could not be rescued, some lost their lives awaiting help.. without food, water etc for over 4 days.
- At least 300000 people are in relief camps.
- At least 1000000 people are displaced.
- Hospitals are under water.
- Dead were seen floating around.
- Relief workers and volunteers are struggling to get food, clean water and medical aid to those in relief camps.
- Fuel is out of stock in many places.
- It should be noted that the most courageous rescue attempts are carried out by the locals, fishermen and volunteers out of desperation, as the Government rescuers seem outnumbered and unable not reach many areas on time.
- The state of Kerala is looking at a loss of over 2.8 billion USD
Please don’t get me wrong, perhaps the government officials have been doing everything they could, but apparently they seem to be outnumbered and overwhelmed. Locals and fishermen are seen conducting rescue operations themselves with whatever little they have. News channels like Asianet are actively helping too. Everyone is doing more with less..!!
BUT, THIS DISASTER IS NOT YET GETTING THE ATTENTION IT DESERVES. THOUSANDS INCLUDING INFANTS, SENIOR CITIZENS, PREGNANT WOMEN ARE STRANDED IN THE FACE OF DANGER FOR DAYS WITHOUT FOOD, WATER OR MEDICINES, IN PLACES WHERE RESCUE SERVICES ARE UNABLE TO REACH. THIS QUALIFIES AS A NATIONAL DISASTER, INVITING ATTENTION AND HELP FROM ORGANISATIONS ACROSS THE WORLD.
WE HAVE A NEW DIRECTION SINCE 18th AUG 2018, after seeing feedback from a similar petition: https://chn.ge/2L4h5nP
UN had responded to the other petition saying India is quite capable of handling such a calamity, and they could act only based on a request by our governments, and our governments have not made such a request so far.
Our plea is now to the Honourable Chief Minister of Kerala and the Honourable Prime Minister of India, whoever should take a first step to:
- DECLARE THIS AS A NATIONAL DISASTER..! I read some arguments against this saying, to declare something as national disaster means to accept that the rescue and relief efforts by the state government has failed or are insufficient. I don’t want to make this political. I know nothing can break the Kerala spirit and we are doing the best we can, but do you think this was a grand success? Most of us cannot wrap our heads around the fact that thousands were trapped on roof-tops for 3 or 4 days sending distress signals, and they were promised airlift several hours later, first light of day etc. Infants, people with special needs, the elderly.. every hour is critical for them. They could just perish waiting for help. And perish they did. Not thousands sure, but hundreds. Chengannur was worse, many people were rescued by local volunteers, and not by government rescue services, the people who survived, said they did not even see a policeman come to their aid, no food packets, not water.. It is said that they were in isolated regions very very hard for the rescue services to reach. But food packets at least? Not to blame anyone, just to point out that the rescue operations did fall short in many places. So I still think this qualifies as a “National Disaster”.
- MAKE DECISION IMMEDIATELY TO ASK FOR MORE HELP, EVEN REQUEST INTERNATIONAL RESCUE AND RELIEF WORKERS TO JOIN US, WHEN THEY NOTICE THAT RESCUE AND RELIEF IS NOT PROGRESSING AS EXPECTED, WHICH IS THE CASE SO FAR.
- It is said that by Sunday, all rescue operations would be finished. But lakhs of people are displaced from their homes and in relief camps, THINGS ARE LOOKING VERY BAD in most relief camps. Some may argue it is ok, but don't you think our people deserve better? This is just the beginning, there would be more problems with diseases, hygiene, rebuilding the state and so on. Once again, local volunteers, school students etc are doing an exceptional job in relief work, but we think the Central Government should join them and help extensively, keeping all political differences aside. Please learn from the rescue operations, not to lose time in making key decisions, when something does not seem to work. I think declaring Kerala Floods as a "National Disaster" is needed also during this phase, so it attracts more global attention.
I know that our rescue officials and locals and fishermen have been working tirelessly, and they have saved thousands of lives already, but we can no longer just rely on just one form of help. Although the Government Rescue Services have saved thousands of lives, hundreds also lost their loves because rescue was clearly falling short in many places. We should not lose time. People are still stuck in many places battling with lives. And then situation is very bad in most relief camps across Kerala. Then the state has to bounce back from it's severely damaged economy. This problem is far from over.
We need more Global attention and more news coverage so that the Government of India escalates this matter to a "NATIONAL DISASTER" category and requests International Aid whenever they see that our efforts are falling short.
This Facebook Page has all the details you need to make contributions for the cause: https://www.facebook.com/keralafloods2018/
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