'Focus on bringing life back on track'

Sep 29, 2013, 01:38 IST | A Correspondent

Regular education is priority, says Nita Ambani, chairperson, Reliance Foundation that is helping Uttarakhand. Focus on employment and health next

The Uttarakhand floods saw large-scale devastation, but Nita Ambani’s Reliance Foundation is going all out with relief work. “My team’s first priority is to provide the residents proper accommodation, employment, and education for students before the cold sets in,” Nita Ambani told Sunday Mid Day.

Nita Ambani with daughter Isha in Guptakashi
Nita Ambani with daughter Isha in Guptakashi

“A team of 70 relief workers and 90 doctors of the Reliance Foundation provided immediate relief services to the flood-affected state during the initial days. Now, we are working towards helping the state to move towards normalcy and the priority is education for the kids and providing accommodation for the homeless,” she added.

After reaching Guptkashi, Ambani visited the state-inter colleges in Lwara and Taithi. She also visited Augustmuni and announced the renovation of the Takshila Public School. The foundation has stationed 20 people in the 40 most-affected villages of the district. For the residents of Lwara, the foundation is building homes. Ambani handed over the first such home to resident Parvati Devi. It has also started work of finding alternative employment opportunities for the affected residents.

 With the Employment Mission, the foundation aims to reach out to 25,000 people (5,000 homes). It is also conducting workshops for the locals, which includes training them, and helping them with farming activities and taking their produce to the markets. Till now, it has helped 3,690 families that stay in the far- flung areas. More than 450 families have been provided with immediate accommodation. It has spent R10 crore till now in the relief work and has claimed that money wouldn’t be a hurdle ever in the process of providing help to Uttarakhand.

Nitin Pradhan, Guptkashi (Rudraprayag), said, “Cold is the biggest hurdle for the residents. People associated with the resurrection of the state belonging to the government as well as NGOs are facing troubles. Apart from providing temporary homes for the homeless, the biggest challenge is to get day-to-day materials. Five days after this calamity struck Uttarakhand, the team of Reliance Foundation was in the state. Since then it has been providing the required help. Nita Ambani was in the Guptkashi area of Rudraprayag on Thursday to inspect the work done so far, and to prepare future relief work. Her daughter Isha also accompanied her.”

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