The floods and fury of that affected hundreds of villages and displaced millions in Kerala last year touched the hearts of many across the world. As the visuals flashed on television screens and the heart-wrenching stories shared on social media made an enormous impact on people, many sent across food, clothing, household items for men, women and children in no time.
In Delhi, the members of a youth movement felt that they should also do something during this calamity. Being students, they were denied permission by their parents for volunteering work for rebuilding. After brainstorming, they concluded that they can support their counterparts in Kuttanadu schools.
Thus born the 'Help Kuttanad campaign,' by the Leaders For Tomorrow Foundation (LFT), which distributed nearly two tonnes of study materials in dozens of schools, by Thursday, in flood affected areas of Kuttanadu, the lowest lying area in the country and one of the worst flood affected areas in the state.
Around 3400 LFT volunteers worked in 200 schools and colleges to collect a truckload of educational materials for children in Kuttanad.
The distribution, held nearly six months after the floods, followed a massive campaign conducted in 200 schools and colleges in Delhi during September-October. “We were touched by the plight of those affected by the floods in Kerala and wanted to help in rebuilding their lives,” said Kayenaat Gill, North Zone President, Leaders For Tomorrow Foundation.
The six-member group of the Leaders For Tomorrow foundation arrived at Kuttamangalam, a remote hamlet near Vembanadu lake, to distribute education materials in various schools. For a week they visited schools in Pulincunnu, Monkompu, Kavalam, Kainakary, Kuttamangalam, Kannadi, Nedumudy etc.
Leaders For Tomorrow foundation, a organisation to promote youth leadership and social work, was started in Delhi University in 2004 by Binoy Job, then a visiting faculty. Job is a native of Kainakary in Kuttanadu.
“We purposefully delayed the donation drive, as we know that all the enthusiasm that was seen to help Kerala may come down in a few months, and the real needs such as that of students, who lost most of their study materials, may come up later,” said Uma Parvathy, general manager, LFT.