Thursday, March 5, 2009

Report on Cheetah Camp Fire victims

This report came in from Nomad. These girls were rendered homeless by the blaze that engulfed Cheetah Camp in Jan 09.

I spoke to Shabnam and this is what she had to say:

Members in the family: 6 (mother, Shabnam + 4 sisters). Father has been missing.


* A doctor had kindly allowed them to stay in the dispensary but now his agreement has expired, they have till tomorrow to move out of there.

* An anonymous helper has offered to pay for the deposit of Rs. 15,000-20,000 for a rented house in Cheetah Camp itself.

* The monthly rent will still be an issue. This would amount to an approx. 2,000 p.m. (1500 rent + 500 electricity, water)
* Immediate need: Rent money

Daily needs

* At the time of the fire, the family escaped with nothing more than the clothes on their back. They have no money and no belongings at all. She mentioned that they cook one thing in the only utensil they have, empty it and cook in it again.

* They had received a few thousand as help for groceries from Govt. but this has been long over, as part of that was taken away by the landlord of the house that burnt down against the deposit.
* She also mentioned that since the story came in the newspaper, most people are assuming that they would have received ample help but the rent deposit is the only aid they have been promised so far.

* Immediate needs : Clothes, bedding, groceries, utensils, some money for needs like milk, vegetables. Looking at even the basic meals for 6 of them, approx. Rs. 3,000 p.m. (including ration and some money for milk etc.)


* The four younger girls have not been able to go to school because there's no money to take a rickshaw and the pedestrian route is via a railway crossing which the girls cannot manage without risking their lives.
* Immediate need: Rs. 1000 a month is sufficient to get them to school every day.


* It was very heartening to hear Shabnam say that the thing they need most is a job for herself so that the family can become independent. She said that no one can look after them forever and that is not what they want anyway.

* She is 21 and has passed her BA final year. She is conversant with Hindi and spoke decent English over the phone.

* Immediate help: A job for the girl is their key need and the long-term help they are looking at.

Monthly help (in Rs.) : 3000 + 2000 + 1000.


Utensils, clothes, shoes, bedding etc.

I gave her my mobile number and told her briefly about Indiahelps. I also told her that once I talk to the group I will call her by tomorrow or one of us will visit her. I think groceries, utensils and some cash for rent+daily needs are the urgent needs; job for her will be the next.

Anyone who can help in any way do contact us at

Sent from BlackBerry® on Airtel

No comments: