Rebuilding Lives and Recreating Opportunities

CII Foundation Rehabilitation Interventions in Jammu & Kashmir

Torrential rainfall caused disastrous floods in Jammu and Kashmir in September 2014. Incessant rains in the first week of September led to massive floods, wreaking havoc in the valley along with the Jammu region. Three years on, J&K continues on the road to recovery.

Stepping into the disaster affected area, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) started relief efforts by distributing relief material including drinking water, torches, water purifiers, baby food, ready to eat food packs, tents, medicines, blankets and toiletries. The CII Foundation (CIIF) expanded the work to include long-term rehabilitation in the disaster-affected areas, to provide livelihood support, facilitate construction of household toilets, ensure medical preparedness and enable computer education for students in select locations.

Shakeela, a widow and mother of three children from Shahgund village in Bandipora district, found it extremely difficult to make both ends meet. A class 7 school dropout, Shakeela was running her home with the help of community support and a widow fund, that amounted to a total of Rs 800 per month. Livelihood opportunities were meagre as her village was cut off from other villages and towns due to poor connectivity, CIIF, along with its implementing partner Koshish, helped Shakeela set up her provision store and taught her the basic operations of the store. Shakeela has learnt the art of responding to the local market and keeps improvising on the grocery items in her shop. After working for 8 months she is currently earning an income of around Rs 6000 per month.

Like Shakeela, CIIF, with Implementing Partners Koshish and Help Foundation, is providing new/alternate livelihood support to 130 vulnerable families in 37 villages of Baramulla and Bandipora districts in J&K. The project, supported by Godrej & Boyce, is especially reaching out to women, widows, persons with disabilities and BPL families. The beneficiaries are given various livelihood opportunities such as sheep rearing, embroidery & tailoring, provision store etc. The livelihood offerings are need based and in consultation with the beneficiaries. The project focuses on developing group enterprises and linking them up with the market to make these groups self-reliant.

The other key areas of work for CIIF include sanitation and health across India. In J&K, the Foundation, with support from DCM Shriram and Godrej & Boyce facilitated construction of 128 household toilets in three villages of Bandipora district. Community driven interventions had been initiated to spread awareness on the importance of hand washing, along with regular sanitation and cleanliness drives.

For Bashir Ahmad Dar, a 45-year old fisherman from Kema village in Bandipora, open defecation was a way of life. Bashir’s wife had given birth to 6 children, of whom only three survived. The doctors believed that the other three died due to unhygienic conditions. “My financial condition was such that I could not afford a well-built toilet,” explains Bashir. CIIF, along with its implementing partner Doctors for You (DFY), helped families to construct household toilets and encouraged the residents to establish good sanitation practices.

Healthcare systems and medical facilities are badly affected by disasters. To ensure medical preparedness and quick response post disaster, CIIF is providing well-equipped ambulances available especially at night (Implementing Partner- Wanchoo Trust), organizing medical health camps, developing the capacity of healthcare providers and distributing free medicines to over 300 households in Baramulla and Bandipora districts. The project ensures maternal and child health, immunization and nutritional support to children, and reproductive sexual health through regular OPDs and sensitization drives in Bandipora, reaching out to 372 households.

Sharing her experience, Jabeena from Aloosa, Bandipora says, “I previously had two miscarriages, which made me fearful of my current pregnancy as well. The doctor in one of the medical camps organized by CIIF suggested some medical tests and has been closely monitoring my pregnancy to avoid unexpected complications. I have completed 8 months of pregnancy, and am very optimistic on an uncomplicated delivery and a healthy newborn baby.”

CIIF, along with its implementing partner Help Foundation, also enabled computer education for students in selected schools of flood-hit Ghat Phalhalan and Ghat Ghopalan in Baramulla district. The project included setting up of a computer lab, providing infrastructure support, building capacity of teachers, and providing scholarships to meritorious students.

CIIF, since its inception in 2011, has been implementing disaster rehabilitation post the Uttarakhand floods in 2013, J&K floods in 2014, Nepal earthquake in 2015 and Tamil Nadu floods in 2015. Over the years, the CIIF rehabilitation projects have been reaching out to survivors by rebuilding infrastructure, strengthening education facilities, enabling financial security through skill training and alternative livelihood opportunities, and ensuring accessibility to healthcare services.

The Foundation has also been organizing capacity building programs for companies on disaster management and developing a unique in-house cadre of employee volunteers who can be deployed at the time of natural disasters.

To facilitate convergence of humanitarian aid and relief efforts for efficient and quick response to natural disasters in any part of the country, CIIF more recently has developed a Disaster Response Platform (www.disasterresponse-ciifoundation.in). The online real time inventory platform maps corporate sector resources, ranging from drinking water and food to emergency transportation and communication, which can be supplied or donated by companies during disasters.

The CII Foundation (CIIF) was set up by CII in 2011 to undertake a wide range of developmental and charitable activities pan India by enabling industry for infusing inclusive development.
CIIF works towards inclusive development by providing a meaningful bridge between marginalized communities and donors, especially corporates by providing strategic guidance on CSR and developing and managing high impact programmes.

The thematic areas of CIIF include: Education; Public Health and Sanitation; Skilling, Employment and Livelihoods; Gender Equality, Women Empowerment and Safety; Environmental Sustainability, including water; Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation.

In this effort, the Foundation works together with corporates, governments, communities, and civil society institutions to channelize their collective resources towards social and community development.

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