As you all know over the past week, Chennai has been rocked by the worst natural disaster since 2004 when the Tragic Tsunami decimated the city.
The cyclone coupled with heavy rainfall has brought the city to a standstill. Over 200 people are dead and several thousands are reported missing. Nevertheless, Chennai has responded incredibly over the last couple of days and normalcy doesn’t seem too far off.
Dozens of NGO’S have stepped forward in an effort to serve the distressed by providing basic needs such as food, water and clothes.
One such Organization is the Agni Foundation. Founded by Tamil Nadu’s only Asian gold medallist in swimming – Agnishwar Jayaprakash in 2014, this group of 25 core members and 150 volunteers have been submerged in the rescue and relief operations in the city for the last one week.
The Founder & Director, who has been heading the group’s operations on ground expressed his grief over help not being provided to the orphanages and the old age homes.
“There are still more than 50000 people homeless. The relief camps set up in government schools and community halls by the Government have been sheltering most of these victims. However, the souls at the orphanages and homes are still stuck. They prefer to stay at the comfort of their homes even if they are water logged as compared to fighting for food at these temporary shelter homes where only the fittest survive!! “ expressed Agnishwar.
He explained how his team of volunteers have been working tirelessly night and day relaying across food, clothes and emergency medicines to the orphanages.
It is indeed very heart-warming to know that Volunteers from across continents have answered Chennai’s calling. Valentina Gonzalez from Chile has been helping serve food and distribute clothing for the victims for the past week. She has even written to many universities and governments from South America to extend a helping hand to the affected parties here in Chennai.
A unique form of service that the volunteers have mastered is felicitating the pick-up of proceeds from the comfort of the donor’s doorstep which has made helping much less complicated. “The police and corporation officials have cordoned off the affected areas to prevent further chaos so it will be difficulty for socially driven to directly impact the victims” said Jayanth, a teenage volunteer of the Agni Foundation. He further explained how socially inclined citizens have staged a United front in helping the victims by turning out in the hundreds.
This group started out by creating awareness for deserving orphanages and struggling special homes by empowering the orphanages with a presence online. “It was an initiative that drew inspiration from the Digital India campaign incepted by the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. Designing and hosting a website free of cost was the first step to financial independence for these NGOs. Many of these homes serve huge segments of our special community, but are struggling to stay afloat due to lack of awareness and access to funds from the socially inclined society” said Agnishwar.
Over the last year this amazing group of youth has served more than 120 deserving NGO’s across Tamil Nadu. Their true sense of achievement however is how they have been one of the many socially driven youth organization’s to answer Chennai’s cry for help in the time of disaster!!
The – Agnishwar Jayaprakash has also written to our Prime Minister on behalf of the people of TN seeking his personal visit to the affected areas.
Agni foundation do not collect cash in any form, so please feel free to lighten your homes of any old clothes, blankets, food packets, clean water and emergency medicines that will help the victims of this calamity. To help or volunteer, please contact the coordinator Mr.Vijay kumar at 9445024084 / 9551687602 or visit the Agni Foundation official Web page at:
www.agnifoundation.org which is updated every few hours with the current scenario on ground. Please do your bit as Chennai needs You!!