Sunday, March 7, 2010

Reay Road Fire victims

This report in from Dilnavaz and Sayantani:
Hi team,
Sayantani and I visited Kawla Bunder in Reay Road this morning and here's what we have to report:
We met some of the victims of last Sunday's blaze, who claim that 250 homes have been razed to the ground, with everything in them lost. No human casualties, though. They are living in semi-covered dwellings and pooling in money to feed themselves. A nearby temple (known in the area as Madrasi Mandir) is supplying some food daily. Living conditions are abysmal, and the area is very polluted. When asked, the residents said they'd appreciate utensils and primus stoves, and anything else we give is also very welcome, given that they've lost everything they had. Only the older children in the area go to school, the younger ones don't.
I also spoke with Khushboo from the Magic Bus before we visited and she informed us that help is coming in from political agencies and we shouldn't get carried away by what we see. The residents, however, said they hadn't received much from the Congress government and the local MLA Milind Deora hadn't arrived yet, but is likely to visit tomorrow. Some women even requested that I call him and tell him about their situation.
I suggest we work through the Magic Bus after meeting with them since they already have staff on the ground and have an established network in the area. Khushboo said her team would be happy to pass any collections on.
Edited to add: India Helps requests anyone who would like to contribute old clothes/utensils/primus stoves/Bed linen, etc, to kindly mail us at or along with your location in Mumbai to enable us send you a convenient drop point. The children affected would also appreciate stationery and books, school bags, water bottles etc. We will forward everything collected to Magic Bus.

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