Students Act: A little relief after Chennai floods

Last year, around the second week of November, Chennai received the heaviest rainfall I think I’ve witnessed in my life. Teachers and parents at HLC told me that the last time we received this amount of rain was almost 3 decades ago!

Due to the severity of the rain, school was closed for over a month. It was terrible. But, we had exams coming up, so whenever the rain ceased a little we would sneak in for a day at school. The rain was that bad.

Because so many people were adversely affected by the flooding, I used to get e-mails from the school board requesting donations of blankets, clothes, etc… Most of us contributed in the best ways possible, donating whatever we could.

Whenever I did go to school, I could see clothes, carpets, mats, biscuits, and daily rations piled outside the director’s room. Knowing most of these items were things us students sent in, was an amazing feeling!

Here in HLC, we believe heavily in social and moral responsibilities. We feel it is our duty to help out with any social needs which affect our city. Naturally, when we arrived at school and saw all the relief supplies, we felt the desire to help out with the processes. But the task of reaching out to needy people at the time of a crisis is not easy. It takes a lot of planning and preparatory work.

Initially, we filled two lorries with supplies and, thanks to the efforts of many, we had gathered enough supplies to last over a month!

There were many stages to the procedure by which we distributed all the flood relief supplies:

  • First, we had to scout and find the area where we were planning to distribute the supplies. The team had to talk to the locals and police to know which areas had already received aid, and which supplies people were most in need of.
  • Second, volunteers transported everything in a truck and as soon as we reached the relief area, the supplies were unloaded and human chains were formed to move the supplies.
  • Third, the supplies were sorted according to food, medicine, clothing, etc… and made into packs big enough for a 4 member family.
  • Fourth, we had to find a suitable place with even crowd flow to ensure that everyone got a fair amount of rations.
  • Finally, with the help of a few teachers, we students went around in small groups and knocked on every door in the neighborhood, distributing the materials to which ever family needed it.

It was great seeing the smiles grow on the peoples faces. Even though many lives were badly damaged by the disaster, the moment of joy they felt as a result of our initiative made us feel really happy too. It was a great experience and I really felt proud about what our school did for our beloved city.

Mrinal Pramod

Mrinal is a 12th grade student at Headstart Learning Center. He is a sports enthusiast and blogger who enjoys sharing stories of Changemaking.