This Article is From Jun 06, 2009

Kolkata pitches in to help Aila victims

AP image


A massive relief operation by the state government and NGOs is underway in West Bengal for cyclone Aila victims in the Sunderbans.

In Kolkata, a citizens' group has provided a platform for the man on the street to participate in the response to the natural disaster.

And he has responded by donating a loaf of bread, packets of biscuits, bottled water, milk powder, clothes. Some even donated 400 kg of rice and 100 kilos of pulses.

The City of Joy has not disappointed.

"This is the first time we are trying to involve the public on a largescale. There were people trying to donate potatoes and chana and things like chur. We said we would prefer rice and dal (non-perishable items) that's what the people need right now." said Gaurav Gupta, a volunteer of Calcutta Sparkling 2009.

Cooperation has come in other forms too. The civic authorities and the police have granted permitted them to park a container in up market and congested Park Street, continuously for three days.

Children are making use of their summer vacations to assist these volunteers in the relief drive.

"Some people just pass and don't say anything, but the people who give something feels really nice that some people do care about others," said Camilla Patherya, a volunteer.

It's not important what or how much you give; it matters that you give. Some donors have been walking around Park Street to locate a ration shop for their contributions. By Sunday it will be known if Kolkata's heart is large enough to fill up this huge container.