New Delhi : Unprecedented floods caused by uninterrupted heavy downpour wreaked havoc in Jammu & Kashmir, unleashing death and destruction of property, making the floods the deadliest since Independence. The surging waters have 10 districts namely Srinagar, Anantnag, Baramulla, Pulwama, Ganderbal, Kulgam, Budgam, Rajuri, Poonch and Reasi leaving lakhs of people marooned. While many have been rescued with painstaking efforts of the Army, Air Force, police and administration, thousands still await help.
Smile Foundation, a national level development organization, was on the ground immediately after the disaster and has completed its first phase of operations, which were focused on emergency rescue and distribution of humanitarian supplies including food, powered milk, biscuits, water, chlorine tablets, ORS packets, school bags, stationeries etc. to children and families. Villages Malke Chak, Surya Chak in Jammu and Lasjan, Soitang, Shahgund, Gulshan Muhallah, Gondi boon and Kaniyari in Kashmir regions in J&K were covered.
In the second phase of relief operations, Smile Foundations’ Disaster Response team on ground is focusing on providing relief materials and comprehensive healthcare to the flood victims. As the regular supply of ration has been cut off, Smile Foundation is providing a minimum stock of ration to families. The snowfall in Kashmir is expected to start very soon. As most of the people have lost their belongings, the organisation is equipping them with bare minimum woollen and blankets for the winters. The number of hospitals affected in the floods is huge, causing a severe healthcare crisis. Moreover, sand depositions, inundation of water into the shelters, and accumulation of filth everywhere has left the valley a breed ground of diseases for the survivors. To address the healthcare needs of the people, Smile Health Camps are being organized across the affected villages.
As a response to the damaged healthcare facilities in the state, Smile Foundation will be deploying mobile hospital units in the affected villages, besides conducting regular health camps, until the said facilities are restored. In addition to healthcare, education of the children has come to halt with the destruction of schools. Smile Foundation will be extending their support to camp schools, till the educational infrastructure of the valley is reinstated.
Smile Foundation’s Disaster Response Programme
Smile Foundation, with its welfare interventions focused on children and their families, responds to the call of humanity in times of such calamities under its Disaster Response programme. From the Tsunami in 2004, Kashmir earthquake in 2005 to the Uttarakhand floods in 2013, Smile Foundation has acted promptly to reach out and respond to the immediate needs of the disaster affected people, while also maintaining a sustainable approach to help them rebuild their lives by facilitating their education, healthcare and livelihood.
Some of the calamities during which Smile Foundation has initiated disaster response are the Tsunami, the Kashmir Earthquake, the Maharashtra floods, the Bihar floods, the Uttarakhand floods and now the Jammu and Kashmir floods.