Mostly it is the women or children who arrive to collect the supplies or attend the medical camps. The men are now out looking for work during the day. Many are day laborers and their work opportunities have dissolved in the aftermath of the floods, adding to their family’s struggle. Varanasi is famous for its silk weaving and cloths, but many of the looms were destroyed by the floodwaters, and must be repaired before work is again available. Inundated farmlands mean farming jobs are not available till the farms recover. Other employers can no longer afford to take on staff as they focus on rebuilding their business.
One of the children, a small boy of maybe 3 or 4, arrives and his eyes and cheeks are severely infected, one eye almost closed with the swelling. He did not see the doctor when the medical camp was in his area. His mother did not know it was a serious problem. As the doctors are not available at the time, the nurse arranges to get the required prescription so that this beautiful boy can be treated. The medical camps also continue offering basic consultations and free medical to those requiring assistance.
Next week we will continue to provide ongoing assistance through food and medical supplies. Although the floodwaters have receded some low-lying areas are still sitting in the stagnant water, the water unable to drain. Here the government is now arranging to have the water pumped out, but, till this happens, life remains difficult in these areas. At the same time we have begun planning the possibilities to assist these poorest of communities to rebuild housing, and to supply other essentials so they can reestablish themselves. All this support to these communities in need is only made possible through the generosity of the global Sai Maa Community.