Help for more than 700 disaster-affected Indian families

Over 600 families received emergency shelter kits while the rest of them could better weather the winter

(Top) Families hit by Cyclone Phailin received emergency shelter kits containing materials such as tin roofing sheets. (Bottom) In Uttarakhand, winter kits distributed by HFH India help flood-affected families to keep warm. Photos courtesy of HFH India.

MUMBAI (February 7, 2014) — Help for more than 700 cyclone- and flood-affected families in India came in the form of emergency shelter kits and winter kits distributed by Habitat for Humanity.

In the eastern Indian states of Odisha (formerly known as Orissa) and Andhra Pradesh, a total of 611 families affected by October 2013’s Cyclone Phailin were provided with emergency shelter kits. Each kit contained materials such as tin roofing sheets, canvas cloth, rope, hooks and steel fasteners which can be used for house repairs or to set up a temporary shelter.

Up north in Uttarakhand state, 101 families whose homes were damaged by the June 2013 floods received winter kits to provide warmth amid chilly weather. These kits included sweaters, shawls, quilts, blankets and woollen mats.

Female-headed households comprise one-third of the families helped. Thankful for the assistance, Radhima Devi is confident that the winter items will last her family for several years.

India is where Habitat for Humanity began its operations in the Asia-Pacific region in 1983. The country is now among Habitat’s largest programs in the region, having assisted more than 45,000 families.

Last December, Habitat celebrated 30 years of working in India with a charity gala dinner hosted by the IndiaBUILDS Advisory Committee. Headed by Rajashree Birla, a director of Aditya Birla Group and Pramit Jhaveri, CEO of Citi India, the committee aims to raise funds and garner resources to help build 100,000 decent homes a year in India.

The gala dinner held at Trident Nariman Point hotel in Mumbai was attended by corporate executives, high net-worth individuals and celebrities. Guests could bid to spend a day with HFH India’s ambassador and Bollywood actor John Abraham or to have gourmet dinner on a cruise with HFH India ambassador and actor R Madhavan playing host.

An apartment unit donated by Pashmina Developers, owned by Asit Koticha, chairman of financial services ASK Group and a member of IndiaBUILDS Advisory Committee, also went under the hammer. Paintings by well-known Indian artists such as Badri Narayan, Bhavani Katoch and Bose Krishnamachari were auctioned to raise funds for Habitat’s disaster response projects in Uttarakhand and Odisha.

Mrs Birla also unveiled a coffee-table book celebrating donors and partners who have contributed significantly to HFH India’s work over the past three decades. Mrs Birla said: “I believe that a house is the primary need of every human being. A house transcends just shelter. The sense of security that it gives paves the foundation for leading a life of dignity, for imparting values and education, to the children and a meaning to life. It at once provides the opportunity to every individual to unleash his or her potential.”

Find out more on HFH India’s or page.