Chennai is the capital city of the Indian State of Tamil Nadu. As the fourth largest city in the country, it is a major cultural, economic and educational center. Recently Chennai was hit with a devastating natural disaster.
Record-breaking rainfall, generated by the annual northeast monsoon occurring in the months of November-December 2015 that hit the city, and the 2015 South Indian flood has had monumental effects on Chennai. This disaster was reported to have displaced approximately 1.8 million people and killed more then 500 individuals. This devastation caused somewhere between $7-15 billion dollars in damage.
OnDecember 2nd, 2015, Chennai was officially declared a disaster area. The days to follow brought along suffering. People were forced to leave and seek refuge with family in neighboring cities. By December 6th rescue efforts were coming to an end and the relief efforts were surfacing. The Chennai Corporation dispersed relief packages, consisting of mostly food. Slowly other necessities were starting to be restored: mobile, banking and power.
The damage this disaster caused is hard to imagine and even harder to put into words. The suffering these people felt is life changing, and sometimes- particularly when we are so geographically distant from a place like this- it takes stepping back and looking at the whole of a situation to truly empathize.
A friend of FEAT mentioned he would be visiting Chennai in February 2016. He generously asked for a small donation of socks to provide to a family he would be staying with. This small gesture, that many would take for granted, provided smiles. It brought just a little bit of joy, but opened our eyes to the ripple effect that one small act of kindness can produce.
-Bianca Corey, FEAT Team spreads smiles