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Tata Relief Committee – In Response to J&K Flood Relief 2014

In response to the devastating floods that affected Jammu & Kashmir in September, the Tata group, under the auspices of the Tata Relief Committee, has set up a Relief Unit in the state to provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance to displaced families. Several Tata employees from various group companies have also volunteered to join the relief effort. The volunteers have been involved with activities ranging from running medical camps and setting up community kitchens, to providing safe drinking water, distributing relief kits, conducting village sanitation drives and helping with the safe disposal of animal carcasses. A total of 50 volunteers from seven Tata companies have volunteered in three batches in J&K.

Since this was our first time as a volunteer in disaster management and that too in Kashmir, which is a disturbed area, a mixture of excitement and nervousness was in mind. When we reached Kashmir and met the Tata Relief Committee, we were informed that the relief work was divided into three categories, namely Exploration, Distribution and Warehousing.

The Exploration Team was assigned the task of visiting the affected areas and providing a feedback to the Distribution Team, based on which, the Distribution Teams were assigned the task of indenting for, the required quantity of relief kits, from the Warehousing Team. After the relief kits were made ready, the Distribution Team was to distribute relief coupons followed by the relief kits, to the hapless locals. We got the opportunity to work alongside all three teams. As part of the Exploration Team, We visited and met the people of both urban and rural areas of Kashmir and interacted with them, about their problems. As a part of Distribution Team we helped distribute coupons and relief kits in Srinagar and the neighboring areas. As a part of Warehousing Team, we helped in preparing the relief kits and loading the kits onto the lorry, for distribution. Being an integral part of all the three teams was a wonderful experience for us working as volunteers.

During the days as volunteers in Kashmir, what was most touching was the behavior and attitude of the people. Although the people were living in very poor and miserable conditions they still hadn’t given up hope and there was no lack of hospitality, on their part towards their guests. We volunteers were always offered meals & refreshments, wherever we went. Everybody was sharing whatever little they possessed, with each other. Through this, we have gained very valuable insight on humanity and also learnt the importance of camaraderie.

As a volunteer in Kashmir, We have learnt that a volunteer must possess the latent qualities of patients and calm headedness. He/She should be ready to face any kind of challenges, both physical and mental.

Lastly, we would like to say that this was a great experience for us personally and we are certain that Kashmir, The Paradise of India, will regain its entity very soon.

We would like to thank Amalgamated Plantations Pvt. Ltd. for giving us such a great opportunity, especially Mr. Dibeyendu Sen and Mr. Deepak Modi for nominating us as a volunteers.