Shortage of volunteers affecting distribution of relief materials in Chennai

TE Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on January 22, 2018 Published on December 07, 2015

Shortage of volunteers is slowing down distribution of relief materials to flood affected people in Chennai. This has come at a time when large volume of relief material is coming to the city from various parts of the country.

During the weekend, thousands of volunteers braving many odds, including chest high water level, ensured that essential items like food, water and medicine, reached the affected people.

However, being Monday most of them have resumed duty leading to shortage of volunteers. In many places, policemen were distributing relief materials.

People sourcing relief materials have flooded the Facebook and WhatsApp with messages seeking volunteers for distribution.

A message in Facebook said that people organising relief are falling short of volunteers in many areas to ply relief material from one point to another. “Please let me know if you or anyone you know can spare time to chip in. Please reply on this thread with details of the area you stay in and if you have transport, will try to connect you to the specific requirement.”

Being a holiday for schools and colleges, students came out in large numbers to distribute relief materials. But, it was not enough as the demand was so high, said volunteers. “The government has extended the holiday for schools and colleges by another two days. We hope to rely mostly on students for distribution,” said Indu Shyam, relief worker.

Vinodh Harith, who along with 50 others involved in relief work, said the group had over 50 volunteers till yesterday, but has 10-12 today. “We are using the lull to streamline stuff so that we don't waste precious resources. Volunteers have gone back to work and some companies are doing on their own distribution. We are trying to streamline aid because there is excess of aid in some areas and very little in others,” he said. Harith, founder and CEO of the Chennai-based CMO Axis, said needs of people have also shifted from food to blankets sanitary napkins, medicines and gloves.

The group, called TEAM Chennai in Facebook, will shift its focus to cleaning in next two days. “We will need more volunteers for that effort and it will be good if large companies focus on that,” he said.

Arun Jain, Chairman and Managing Director, Intellect Design, said “Friends high amount of volunteers needed at Nehru Indoor stadium to unpack the big packs and repacks in to small.”

Published on December 07, 2015
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor