Tuesday, December 1, 2009

26/11: Looking Back, Looking Ahead 8

From our Kolkata Chapter:

Baisali Chatterjee Dutt, ebullient, cheerful and always willing to go that extra mile to help those in need, whether it is collecting funds and material for the victims of Cyclone Aila, or handholding Purnima Goswami, as she settled back into Kolkata with her grand daughter Aahana Mishra. Here's what she has to say.

Sitting in Kolkata, I watched with horror as the unimaginable unfolded itself before my eyes...one of my favourite cities in the world was under attack. From terrorists. A part of my mind went straight to denial, hoping that it was part of some unknown, unseen movie. The other part of my mind started praying for the safety of friends and family. I went through many emotions over those three days...fear, terror, anger, rage and an unnerving sense of helplessness.
And I hated it.
When I heard about the IndiaHelps initiative, started by some amazing people, I knew I wanted in. I wanted to help people rebuild their lives from a devastating tragedy. I wanted to put a smile back on someone's face, give hope where none seemed available. IndiaHelps gave me that opportunity.
It helped me overcome those awful feelings of helplessness.

Baisali Chatterjee Dutt

Sunayana Roy, advertising professional and theatre personality, brings to India Helps an optimism and a can do attitude that keeps spirits up. Sunayana has been keenly involved with Momina Khatoon's case and coordinating relief for Cyclone Aila victims. These are her words:

Having sat through the vigil (virtually) with Kiran and Rohini and other friends in Bombay this time last year, I understood why Kiran felt the need to do something about it. Perhaps we can't stop the terrorists... but we can help our fellow citizens in their hour of need. That is what India Helps has been doing for a year, forging past discouragements, rejoicing in small achievements and ready and willing to do whatever it took.

Sunayana Roy
Advertising Professional

From our Delhi Chapter
Smitha Verma, journalist, read about India Helps online and came on board. She has contributed to Aahana Mishra case (a non 26/11 IH case) and worked for flood relief. She handles our New Delhi Chapter. Her words:

It was a night of terror, fear, helplessness and anger. As I sat glued to the television set, in Delhi, watching in horror what was unfolding in Mumbai; I said a silent prayer for being safe. But the anger, anguish and helplessness were palpable. It continued for two days, as I wept inconsolably, for lives lost. They were people whom I have never met but the tragedy that left a toddler without parents, a husband without wife, a father without kids and much more was beyond any consolation. A month later, I came across an initiative India Helps started by Mumbai citizens but having members from across the globe who were united in their thoughts and action. Their adage, "Whom have you helped today?", hit me hard and there I was a part of the team in no time. When I close my eyes and hold my toddler close to my chest, I know there are many who don't know what it feels like, because someone somewhere thought terror was the solution to everything. An year later, I wish the nights are more peaceful, serene and blissful for not just my family but for everyone across the world…….and that is what we at India Helps strive for.
Smitha Verma

No comments: