MP: Organisations invite volunteers for drought duty

  • Neeraj Santoshi, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: May 17, 2016 18:32 IST
Dried up lake of Prithvipur in Bundelkhand. (HT file photo)

Have a first-hand feel of drought-crippled lives and see how you can help people combat the curse which has affected 13 states of the country, is the unique call of a social organisation on social media.

The idea is to make people experience what people are going through in drought-hit villages and help them respond to the situation on their own instead of urging them to do their bit, says a Swaraj Abhiyan member.

Swaraj Abhiyan, a social organisation along with National Alliance for Peoples Movements, Jal Biradari and Ekta Parishad, has embarked upon a novel mission through a Facebook page, with a compassionate appeal “be a drought warrior by volunteering to be on a ‘drought duty’ for a week—a kind of self-funded internship – and “Rise as a Patriot!” An endeavour which is bound to help human beings out of whocares-youngsters, says a volunteer.

Shruti, coordinator of the Drought Duty Campaign told HT over phone that the campaign would start from May 25 and conclude on July 15. “Those interested can email their applications to us and then we will plan how we can send batches to different areas,” she said.

She said each batch would have a local coordinator and a trainer from Swaraj Abhiyan.“The batches will be given orientation first. Then the volunteers will survey the drought-affected villages, work with the locals on water management and water harvesting and disseminate information on government schemes and initiatives through which they can benefit,” she said.

Anupam, incharge of the media and communications at Swaraj Abhiyan, said that the volunteers would have to pay for their stay, food and travel. “They will have to mention their area of choice, preferably the drought-hit area nearest to them,” he said.

He said Swaraj Abhiyan along with National Alliance for Peoples Movements, Jal Biradari and Ekta Parishad, had also decided to take out a Jal-Hal padyatra from Latur in Marathwada to Mahoba in Bundelkhand between May 21 and May 31.

On May 11, the Supreme Court had pulled up the states for their “ostrich-like attitude” on drought and stated that they ignored information provided by central agencies and failed to take any preparatory steps to tackle a possible disaster. Bundelkhand region spread over 70,000 sq km in 13 districts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, is battling drought for last three years. According to the recent survey conducted by Swaraj Abhiyan, disaster-like situation prevailed in the Bundelkhand region due to drought, with households battling hunger, cattle deaths and water scarcity.

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