The low-lying Sunderbans delta is always vulnerable to extreme weather, and the recent Cyclone Amphan certainly left its mark. Large areas were flooded, and settlements and cropland were destroyed.
Through the local partner organisation, Arpan Mahila Samity, CRS was able to provide emergency supplies to the remote area of Jharkhali on 07 June. The food packages will help families suffering the double blow of the coronavirus lockdown and the impacts of the cyclone.
Meanwhile the school building is being used as a quarantine centre for people with, or suspected of having, coronavirus.
West Bengal and Bangladesh were struck by Cyclone Amphan last week.
In Kolkata, streets were flooded, and trees fell on roads and buildings. There was widespread flooding in low-lying rural areas to the south of the city too inundating villages and destroying cropland.
Many people now find themselves without food and water, and some have been made homeless. This comes on top of the challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.
CRS, in partnership with the Diocese, will continue with their planned second phase of emergency food deliveries to communities in response to the COVID-19 situation, but with added urgency in light of the new crisis.
The UK Friends have already sent £9,000 to CRS and a further £1,500 is ready to transfer. The crisis is by no means over yet, so please keep fund-raising and donating if you are able. For ways to give, please visit http://www.cathedralreliefservice.net/donate/uk/
Food packages were given out to 100 families in Topsia on 13 May. People queued up in the narrow lane outside the local club room to collect their parcels containing emergency supplies.
Emergency supplies were distributed to 250 families in Basanti Devi Colony (top) and 100 families at Sukantanagar (bottom) on 30 April. CRS staff and members of the Diocese were helped by local volunteers.
The women and instructors of Nari Dana have been making good use of their time under lockdown by producing face masks.
CRS Director, Rig David, travelled to the homes of members the Nari Dana team to deliver batches of cotton material. They are making masks for members of their family and local community, as well as taking orders.
Larsen & Toubro, the Indian multinational, that has supported CRS activities including Nari Dana over recent years, placed an order for 500 masks. Meanwhile the Diocese of Kolkata ordered 200 and another customer ordered 300.
This is a great opportunity for Nari Dana women to maintain their livelihoods during this very difficult time.
You can also support Nari Dana by purchasing brooches made by the women from recycled fabrics. These are on sale via the Tabitha Living online boutique: https://tabithaliving.com/product-category/brooches/ 100% of the proceeds will go towards the Nari Dana women.