Cyclone Amphan has torn through West Bengal. Many parts of the state, including the city of joy, have been devastated. Lakhs of homes have been damaged. Crops in thousands of acres destroyed. Livelihoods lost. The poorest have been hit the hardest. Now your support will help the people of Bengal recover from this cyclone's devastation. Join us to help the poorest who have suffered the most in Bengal. Your donations will help provide food and medication to those who need it the most.
We leave you with this song of hope for Bengal conceived by Shantanu Moitra and rearranged by Rathijit Bhattacharya and performed by his team of talented musicians
Swanand Kirkire, Lyricist, Singer, Writer on #AllForBengal Telethon:
As the whole world is dealing with the COVID crisis, Bengal has been attacked twice over. For Bengal to get back on its feet, it needs our support. We have to stand with them. Bengal will definitely recover.
There will be music and laughter once again. Bengal will teach us about beauty and grace once again. I am sure of it. Regardless of what governments do, we the people need to stand with Bengal. And this is the appeal I make to you all today.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee explains the extent of the damage caused by Cyclone Amphan in Bengal
Neelam Makhijani, CEO and Country Director, ChildFund India on other challenges of the situation arising out of the crisis in Bengal:
CK Dhanuka, Chairman, Dhunseri Group of Industries
Friends, it is really sad what happened in Bengal due to the cyclone. People have lost their houses. The government of the state, Mamata didi doing their best.
But it is required that all of us jointly contribute something. Anything, Rs 500, Rs 5000, Rs 5 lakh, Rs 5 crore whatever we can. Because Rs 500 even can give a tarpaulin for a shed to protect four people. So let us not hesitate in contributing. And it will be a great thing if we contribute to this cause. They are really in need of money.
To donate click here.
Taranjit Singh, Managing Director, JIS Group Educational Initiatives on the #AllForBengal telethon:
Parth Jindal, Managing Director, JSW Cements & JSW Paints and Director, JSW Sports & JSW USA:
JSW has a very personal connection with Bengal. We have been selling products there. We have recently set up a cement plant there and are employing people there. We are providing cement all over Bengal.
Thank you so much to NDTV for doing what you are doing to provide relief.
In the state of Bengal, we have over 1,500 dealers who sell cement. We have asked them to double up and reach out to people with food, medicines. It is time to together stand with the people. It is our time to give back to the community with more than what we have received
Usha Uthup, Pop, Film & Jazz singer on #AllForBengal Telethon:
Look at Bengal, look at Kolkata. On top of all this COVID and pandemic going on, this devastating Amphan. Unbelievable devastation all over Bengal. It has been terrible. There are some parts of Bengal that don't have electricity even now, that don't have water to drink. Children just dying for some water. Isn't that horrible? Let's all stand together and say Kolkata, Kolkata, Dont Worry Kolkata, we are your Kolkata. That's right, we believe in Bengal. Come on everybody, let's stand together and say it with all our hearts - dil se kehte hain - Bengal we believe in you.
Sonu Nigam, Singer on #AllForBengal Telethon
At a time like this, I can only send them my best wishes. Bengal is my home too. My wife is from Bengal. Many of my closest friends are from there- Bickram Ghosh, Jeet Gannguli, Shantanu Moitra. There are many such people associated with Bengal, who I am very close to.
Biswadip Gupta, President, Corporate Affairs, East, JSW Steel & Trustee, JSW Foundation
It actually began because of this COVID -19 lockdown. I was sitting in my home and after Amphan had struck, a large number of young, small groups came up and asked for my help and suggestions in planning out how to do something for this, particularly in South 24 Parganas - that was the worst hit place.
So there were about 8 organisations that reached out to me. And I vicariously got involved with them and started the relief work with them. And each one came with different value systems. Some made community kitchens, some did food distribution, but basically these were the young warriors who reached out and were the first movers once the cyclone had hit.
Amitava Ghosh, Author & Padma Shri Awardee on cyclones and their impact on lives and livelihoods:
All the studies of climate scientists all say that we are going to see a huge increase in cyclonic activity. And also, an intensification of cyclonic activity. I mean you've seen surely that just in these few weeks we've had so many cyclones. I mean in the Bay of Bengal but also in the Arabian Sea. It's kind of extraordinary the increase in the cyclonic activity that we see, certainly in our neighborhood. Cyclones draw their energy from heat and the water. And the waters around us, they are heating up very very fast. So that's what's actually providing the extra energy for these cyclones.
The problem is that when this water comes in, it intensifies the process of saltwater intrusion. So, Cyclone Aila for example in 2009, even though it, fortunately, didn't take a terrible toll in lives, it took a terrible toll in livelihoods. A lot of people lose their ability to feed themselves.
Right now, I'm hearing from Sundarbans that many people just don't have water. They have to walk for miles and miles to get drinking water because all their freshwater sources have been salinated. And that land, which is actually quite fertile land, once it gets salinated it takes you years to bring productivity. Though here I must say, fortunately, there is an amazing seed scientist, Debal Deb, whose work you may know. He has been specializing in developing and regenerating salt-resistant types of rice.
The first cyclone I experienced was when I was 8 years old. I remember it vividly. I remember the water flowing through our house. Actually, there was a little pond behind our house, fish was going through our house - it was an extraordinary experience. So, yes, I think everyone who is familiar with the landscape of Bengal knows that. we grew up with these extraordinary events. And I also experienced actually a tornado in Delhi in 1978, so I have a long sort of strange relationship with these weird sorts of weather events. So, I'm very much drawn into them.
But you know, we have to remember that it's just not me. I mean, on the landscape of Bengal, everyone who inhabits it including writers, filmmakers and so on develops this kind of relationship with these weather events.
Vidya Balan, Actress on #AllForIndia telethon:
My heart is breaking because I have a very long, a very unique and lovely relationship with Kolkata and West Bengal. That is where I started my career. My first film was a Bengali film, Bhalo Theko. Since then I have shot many films there like Parineeta, Kahaani, Kahaani 2, Begum Jaan. Not just in Kolkata, but also Falta, Shantiniketan & Chandand Nagar. Each time I felt at home. I never felt like I was miles away from my own home because the people gave me so much love and accepted me wholeheartedly.
Today, I am worried about all of them. But I know that Bengal will heal very quickly. I will do as much as I can for them, and I appeal to you to do the same. Let's all help to rebuild Bengal. I would like to send all my love to everyone in West Bengal. Stay well.
Harsha Bhogle, Cricket commentator & Journalist
I have a soft corner for Bengal, who doesn't? My brother studied there for 4 years, my son studied there for 5 years and Bengal itself has contributed so much to India, as we know it, through its artists, its poets, its writers, its painters and the world that we are most familiar with, the film industry where the contribution has been enormous. Today, Bengal is hurt not just emotionally but physically too.
So is my beloved Eden Gardens. So many memories every time I talk Eden Gardens, I used to love walking across the Maidan. Now I don't always walk across but you enter through the BC Roy club house, the two dressing rooms on either side. And there's a side screen in front of you which blocks your view of the crowd. So, you walk up there slowly and bend and then look around it and there lies the Eden Gardens' full house, lovely day, there's no better sight in cricket anywhere in the world. I'm hoping the Eden Gardens recovers quickly from this. I'm hoping Bengal recovers quickly too. Bengal needs our help, it's time to be with Bengal.
Amit Trivedi, Film Composer, Singer, Lyricist on #AllForBengal telethon
I appeal and urge everyone to not lose hope. All of us are with the people of Bengal during this difficult time. We are together in this.
Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate in Economics on #AllForBengal telethon:
To be quite frank, there are issues of political elections coming up in West Bengal in which the ruling party at the Centre and the ruling party in Bengal will be the main rivals. And that rivalry also reflects a little, more than a little, in the ease with which the help from the Centre becomes forthcoming to help the state.
Well, there are two levels of suffering. There is an immediate problem of survival, shelter, eating, food and water. There's also, once the cyclone is gone, they would have destroyed the fields, animals for those who live by animal earning and untold damages in the cultivating fields.
So, there is a capital problem and there's an immediate survival problem. And it's quite important to pay attention to both.
Shoojit Sircar, Director and Producer on #AllForBengal telethon:
The Bengal cyclone has really been devastating and I have seen a lot of misery around. Village after village is actually not there, people are not actually finding their homes, the roofs have gone, my house is absolutely in the center where the cyclone passed through. It was chilling and scary. And I can't tell you how it felt? All the trees are completely uprooted around my house.
So, Bengal has seen I think the worst, I think its devastation and misery all around. So please, Bengal needs support. And whoever and whatever way you can support Bengal, please do. Rebuilding Bengal is not going to be easy it's going to be very very tough. And thank you for support whoever, and we are all together in this fight and in this rebuilding of Bengal. Thank you so much.
Rajkumar Hirani, Director and Editor on #AllForBengal telethon:
I have been fortunate enough to have lots of Bengali friends right from my college days when did theatre together, then in the Film Institute. These people exposed me to art in Bengal, they exposed me to Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Rabindra Sangeet. Even when I came out of the institute I worked with a lot of people from Bengal like Shantanu Moitra, who did the music for my films. Biswajit Chatterjee who did the sound design for all my films.
So, today it breaks my heart when I talk to my friends in Bengal to see the disaster the cyclone has caused there, I feel we all need to get together at this moment and do something to rebuild Bengal. I promise to contribute and I'll be happy if all of us come out and do something for Bengal.
Dia Mirza, Actor, Producer, UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador and UN Secretary General's SDGs Advocate:
I have a deep personal connection with Bengal, my mother is Bengali. I spent many of my summer vacations growing up in Kolkata. My first Bengali film 'Paanch Adhyay' will always be very special to me. While I was filming 'Ganga, The Soul of India' I spent many hours, many beautiful precious moments engaging with local artisans, musicians, farmers, activists, tribes and people across West Bengal.
Whether it is our art or architecture, craft, culture, cuisine, poetry, science, the technology we owe so much of what we celebrate to Bengal. I hope that we can collectively stand in solidarity with the people of West Bengal.
While we continue to do the best we can, to help with relief work for COVID-19, I think it should be equally compelling on our conscience to help rebuild the lives of those who have been affected by cyclone Amphan. Thank you NDTV for doing this and for making the difference that you are.
Dr Jai Ranjan Ram, Psychiatrist, Apollo Gleneagles Hospital, Kolkata & Joint Director, Mental Health Foundation:
I think COVID was a silent threat. Each one of us who live in this part have a connection with Sundarbans. The visuals showing the conditions in which people are in right now, there is no drinking water, no shelter, no roof on their head. Above all, there is COVID-19 situation.
Even during this situation, the number of volunteers who have come forward, is a heartening sight. It will go a long way to restore the faith and confidence of the people there who are suffering the most.
Roland Angerer, Asia Regional Director, ChildFund:
I have lived 4 years in India and I have seen how much difficult it is for mothers to cook food put it on the plate. The COVID has already been a problem and the cyclones has brought so much more problem. The temporary shelters can become a problem when people go back home as the transmission can happen there. The rate of transmission is likely rise in the days to come. We have to make sure that testing facilities are restored and available, the handwashing needs to be restored and for this we need help. Less money is available right now and we are struggling to help the people in Bengal. We have fundraising campaigns in 11 countries and we people people living abroad to come forward and help.
Sundarbans have a difficult terrain and it is difficult to reach them. There is a need to train them locally. The resources have been washed away.
Biren Ghose, Country Head, Technicolor India on telethon:
I received my education in Kolkata. I think the education one has in Bengal goes way beyond the college. I owe my success to the city and its institution. I work in animation and visual effects, we are trying to depict the fury of nature and telling the story virtually. We work closely with ChildFund in many grassroots education institutions. I believe this is the time for us to help people together. I wish to make a personal contribution on behalf of my family.
Sunil Chhetri, Football Captain on #AllForBengal Telethon:
I feel very sad. The day it happened, we tried to call my in-laws but we couldn't get through. It bothered us. But what was more saddening was the devastation that the cyclone has left behind for the farmers. It is so sad to see them say that they have lost their homes. We are sitting at homes, safe with food to eat but we all need to help those who have lost everything. Any help will go a long way. I request you all to come forward and help. You can only imagine what they must be going through.
It is very difficult to give any positive message right now. especially for those who have lost everything. Only thing I can say is just be strong, we are all with you.
Chandrashekhar Pandey, Program Director, ChildFund India on how the money raised so far will be used:
To donate and help Bengal, click here.
Restoring livelihood can help in restoring the food need and nutrition and education needs of children. Restoring of houses is also the need of the hour.
Looking into the entire thing, the three emerging priorities are:
1. Food and shelter: most of the kutcha houses have been washed away. There is a food and nutrition crisis, especially among children and women.
2. Health and hygiene: health is suffering. there is no clean water. the health services like immunization is suffering
3. Livelihood: Most of the migrant workers are returning home. in such a situation, there is no food and no jobs. It is extremely to restore the livelihood.
Aparna Sen, Filmmaker, Screenwriter & Actress recites a Rabindranath Tagore's poem as she appeals for help for Bengal
Neelam Makhijani, CEO & Country Director, ChildFund India on #AllForIndia Telethon:
It is a pleasure for ChildFund to be an implementation partner for Amphan relief. The state needs us so much. The work we do in Bengal has escalated now. We all know how bad it has been with Amphan and COVID-19. I truly believe that we all share the same stars. But even there we live in different situations, there are haves and have nots. There are 35 lakh people in Sundarbans who have been completely devastated. We must all come forward and become part of the solution. Absolutely nothing is left for the people there.
Kavita Krishnamurthy, Singer on #AllForBengal telethon:
Bengal holds a very special place in my heart. I was brought up in a house with two families; my parents, the Krishnamurtis, and my uncleji and mamuni were Bhattacharyas. And it's my mamuni who held my hand and brought me to Bombay and dreamt that I would be a playback singer. I also learnt Tagore music in Delhi from Suruma Basu and this love for Tagore music has continued all my life. So, Bengal definitely has a very special place.
And today, I know they are going through trouble times with the cyclone and COVID. But I know Bengalis are very strong, very united. I am sure they will come out of this trouble. I pray for Bengal, I pray for the peace and harmony of the people and they will come back to their great strength again.
Shantanu Moitra, Composer, Musician and Pianist on #AllForBengal Telethon:
On May 20th, when Amphan hit Kolkata, I was chatting with my friends and they were saying it is something they have never seen before in their lives. Glasses shattering, howling winds of 130 kmph, trees falling, electric poles falling - devastation. And it just occurred to me that if this was happening in a place like Kolkata, what was happening in the interiors of Bengal? In villages of Bengal. Next day, my fears came to be true. We got to know that villages were wiped out, Sunderbans, 24 parganas. This is a very difficult time for Bengal, with Corona and then Amphan. But I believe that a lot of relief work needs to be done - is happening, of course, but needs to be done for Bengal, to come back to where it was. We are all in it together. Bengal is part of me, part of what I do. I feel the pain. I plead to all of you that with whatever little you can, let's come together and help Bengal.
Juhi Chawla Mehta, Actress & Producer, Co-Owner Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata has been a part of my life. The day Qayamat se Qayamat released in Mumbai that same day Lado Gopal came to Mumbai from Bengal to sign a movie. So, I can say that I started my career from Bengali movies also. Then IPL brought me back to Bengal. My Mother-in-law is also from Bengal. So in many ways, I am associated with West bengal.
Watch full interview of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the devastation caused by cyclone Amphan
Sourav Ganguly, Former India Cricket Captain on #AllForBengal Telethon:
COVID-19 has affected the entire country. It is tough but be safe. The state of West Bengal will get back t its feet but it will take some time and support from people.
Millions of trees have fallen down. The mango tree near my house was uprooted. This is a season of mangoes. We have pulled it back and it now gone back to the ground. The same should be applied to life as well. Let's bring back the life od affected people back to normal and help them recover.
Everyone should come forward to help with any amount as per the capability. But I would still say that there is a need of a permanent solution in terms of infrastructure because cyclone keeps coming every year in areas like Sundarbans. There is a need to make people empowered in order to face the consequences of cyclones and storms.
It will take quite a bit of time to recover. People are travelling from the cities to the Sundarbans with food and helping them to rebuild their house. Sundarbans are very dangerous with animals who can land up so near to the people as they might not know where to go. The people there are now fighting with fear, and fighting to know what will happen next.
I have seen the Amphan standing in my verandah and it was devastating. I have seen it from so close. It was unreal. But we were lucky because we live in cities with big blocks of buildings but those who are in the outskirts, the speed of wind was unreal. The villages are still suffering. It was completely cleared up. We talk about govts but such a big devastation can be supported and recovered with the help of people
Sangita Jindal, Chairperson, JSW Foundation on #AllForBengal Telethon:
It is absolutely wonderful to see people coming forward to help but unfortunately more is needed. Although we have left Bengal and staying in different parts of the country but we still love Kolkata. It is in our DNA and will never go away.
Humanity is going through a very trying time. Nature tested Bengal severely through that super cyclone. The stories of the destruction of communities, families, schools..it is agonizing. I was born and brought up in Kolkata and it will always be a part of my heart. We are doing our best but we definitely need more.
Mamata Banerjee: The estimated amount of damage is more than Rs 1 lakh crores. It’s a severe disaster.
More than 60% of the population, more than 6 crore people were directly affected, spread over 16 districts out of 23 districts of West Bengal.
Of course because of our safety rescue operation, evacuation - 98 lives we have even lost because of collapse of houses, buildings and trees, falling of trees. More than 50 lakh houses have been totally damaged, may be 17 lakh hectares of agricultural land has been totally destroyed.
More than 50 lakh farmers have lost their livelihoods, 58,000 hectares of water bodies got destroyed killing fishes.
Especially you know the Sundarbans area is the heritage site. It is an international heritage site, Sundarbans area and out of this 4,200 sq km of Sundarbans which is a world heritage site got severely damaged. And it is damaged about 1,600 sq km and more than 21 lakh cattle and animals died.
Horticulture was 2.5 lakh, it has got damaged. Thousand acres of forests damaged, schools, college, substation, power stations, electric poles, ICDS centers and health centers, everything has been destroyed.
Houses were blown away, crops destroyed, livelihoods ruined. An estimated 2 lakh people are homeless.
Many parts of the state including the City of Joy have been devastated. North and South 24 Parganas are completely destroyed.