DELUGE IN CHENNAI AND CUDDALORE AREAS IN TAMIL NADU
HUMANISTIC AND EMPATHETIC ENDEAVOURS AND RESSUE OPERATIONS OF DRAVIDAR KAZHAGAM
The flood havoc caused by the torrential rain in Chennai City, Thiruvallur, Kancheepuram and the surrounding areas, Cuddalore coastal belt and the nearby areas was exposed to nightmarish experience during the first week of December and November 2015. Leaving the belongings in their homestead as such and getting rescued from the rain water despite immersion of their residence was itself arduous task to many.
It was painful to see people only with their dress on, devoid of daily earning avenue, after leaving the family in some location and asking for financial help in Chennai City. Savage rain dented the self-respect of the aggrieved individuals. The admirable positive human trait emerged as spontaneous help to the suffering fellow humans by every individual both physically and financially. Humanism prevailed among the humans at the hour of crises, the alike of which had happened in Chennai city roughly hundred years back.
Dravidar Kazhagam, the humanist movement founded by Thanthai Periyar, presently led by Asiriyar Dr.K.Veeramani started from the first day itself its empathetic endeavours by preparing food and distributing them by black shirt cadres to the rain affected masses in various parts of Chennai. The helping and rescue process which started in a small scale at DK’s head quarters, Periyar Thidal, Vepery gained momentum with the helping hands of the lovers of humanity and the organisational cadres from all over Tamil Nadu.
The helping gesture got materialised either as cash or kind. Nadigavel M.R.Radha Mandram, the marriage cum public meeting hall has transformed itself as a giant store house with the involvement of black shirt cadres in the preparation of food, packing and transporting them to the needy places and distributing them to the people in distress. The Rationalist Propaganda or Public function hall became a massive cooking unit. DK commenced the humanist service without any deadline for its rescuing deeds. It continued till the restoration of normalcy in the daily routine of Chennai victims.
In Cuddalore and surrounding areas DK pioneered by conducting medical camps under the auspices of Periyar Medical Mission and administering medicines to the people of the affected areas beside the supply of food packets to them.
Asiriyar Dr.K.Veeramani appealed to the people to help their fellow humans and to rescue them from the suffering by all means. Many individual humanists, lacking the support, manpower and infrastructure to involve into the recue and relief operations came to Periyar Thidal to supply their food and clothing materials for distribution to the affected people. Rotary International took special initiatives in this humanistic task in association with the cadre network of DK for their effective role in the services.
What is distinct to be aware of is, that religion, caste and economic status, richness and poverty did not come in the way of extending help to all types of sufferers. Specifically to be remembered is that a number of mosques, temples and churches kept their doors open for all the sufferers, irrespective of religion, caste and creed. Religious differences and caste distinctions disappeared altogether.
Great social reformers have ever suffered and have been suffering to do away with the man-made differences of castes and religions. It is this havoc of rain and flood that came due to the vagaries of monsoon, levelled everything on the same plane. All sorts of people have been made to realise that all human beings are equal and the discrimination on the basis of religion and caste had to be forgotten forever. Though we do not like such a bitter lesson from Nature, we cannot but realise that its punishment appears to be a blessing in disguise. Its teaching is that men and women are equal and humanistic love is the supreme quality to be cherished.
Rain Disaster Photo Exhibition by the Emerging Buds
It was not only the grown up and the adult cadres of DK, but the very young school going ( including the primary school going) children engaged themselves in the humanistic task by organising and conducting photo and drawings exhibition at Periyar Thidal for the two days – 12 & 13, December 2015. The photographs of the rain ravaged areas, the suffering people in such sorrowful environment were displayed in the exhibition.
A special cash box was placed at the venue for the liberal donations from the visitors to the exhibition. The sizeable amount collected from it was donated by the bud-kids for the rescue and relief operations.
Periyar Humanist Services
Having witnessed the massive disaster and the immediate unpreparedness to face the situation and to engage in the rescue and relief operations, Dravidar Kazhagam founded a permanent service wing namely viz. Periyar Humanist Services (PHS). People who are service minded either through their finance or physical labour, beyond the ideological and organizational limitations can join Periyar Humanist Services. The foundation of Periyar Humanist Services was duly announced on 24th December i.e. the 42nd Memorial Day of the Humanist Revolutionary Periyar E.V.R. PHS will serve with its functional base at Periyar Thidal, Chennai.
Honouring the cadres of DK and other organizations and individuals
On the Memorial Day of Periyar, all the cadres of DK, other service organizations and the individuals who involved themselves in the rain deluge rescue and relief operations and conducting medical camps were invited and honoured on behalf of Dravidar Kazhagam by its President Dr.K.Veeramani. The humanist – kids who organized the Rain Disaster Photo Exhibition were also appreciated and encouraged with due certificates.
Let the helping gesture of the people continue until the needs of the public are fulfilled!
Let such gesture continue unmindful of the logistic support and relief measures to be made available to the aggrieved people by the Government machinery!