When the water came, it took away my shop along with all the things that I have stored in them says Ram Lal. Now winter fast approaching we have to find out a way to earn a income. Another two local boys, Satye and Ramkrishna both lost their jobs when the helicopter company they were working with stopped operating.
The big worry that they had was what to do now ?
Satye and Ramlal are now proudly setting up their own enterprise making candles and selling them in the local market. Ramkrishna is working with iVolunteer as a field coordinator identifying entrepreneurs like them and helping them build lost businesses. All this thanks to the generous support iVolunteer received this year from hundreds of Donors world wide.
If you asked me this what we will be doing after collecting money for Uttarakhand Floods relief, I would have said ” NO”. IImagined our job will be to provide relief material and be done and over with it. Little did we imagine the scale of destruction of livelihoods and lives. The relief phase is almost over. Now is the time to worry about how to keep the stove in the homes burning.
iVolunteer, is not a grassroots NGO. We don’t have any experience of working at the grassroots. We provide volunteers who work with the NGOs who then sometimes work on the ground. So all this work that we are doing is very new to us. At the moment we are working in 4 villages near Guptkashi and setting us small enterprises like candles making, soap, marmalade, incense sticks etc. We make a small grant to the entrepreneurs, give them trainings and help them make linkages with the market.
We are currently focussing on products that can either have a local market or are of high value that can be sold in Delhi or Dehradoon.
I don’t know how successful we will be in our work but from the recent trip to Guptkashi I can say this with 100% confidence that the communities in Uttarakhand have amazing resilience and they will be back on their feet in no time. All they they need is our help and support