On the 25th of February, a massive fire swept through Kalabagan, a slum area in Dhulian, leaving hundreds of people homeless. The fire burned ~150 small shacks in the slum to ashes. The sudden outbreak of the devastating fire left the residents shocked and local authorities scrambling. Though no casualties were reported, there was an enormous loss of both homes and belongings.
Kalabagan houses hundreds of people. Most people are low-wage earners who faced the trauma of seeing the little they had accumulated over the years disappear in a moment. As the fire stripped them of everything, they found shelter in a local school.They needed food, money, and basic amenities to start life all over again.
Freeset runs one of its centres near the affected area. Women working at Freeset lost their homes to the fire. Our amazing Dhulian team stood with the afflicted by offering food, shelter, clothing, and comfort to overcome the tragedy.
Immediately after the incident, our people needed help and healing. We requested you to join hands with us in the fire relief efforts. And you responded with a generous “YES”. A big thank you for all your help as we stood together with our community in Dhulian.
Together we managed to:
• Provide meals when needed
• Offer a safe space to mourn and share
• Donate emergency lighting as required
• Purchase food and clothing for people
• Provide emergency accommodation for families
• Help secure long-term accommodation and assist with required deposits.
• Renew much needed personal documentation
• Replace household essential items like beds, dressers, cooking utilities, and gas bottles.
And one of the best things we did was replace the schoolbooks, uniforms, and stationery that children needed so that they could quickly return to school and begin rebuilding their lives.
Thank you all so much for your support so far. And we haven’t finished yet. We have plans to do a large community carnival to help return some of the joy to the community. Unfortunately, that will have to wait until the Covid-19 crisis is over. But that will just give us more reason to celebrate together! Hopefully, we will also be able to celebrate in our newly repurposed building. Any remaining funds will be allocated towards this so that it can continue to serve the community for the years to come.
In different ways, we have been able to support the 150 families impacted by this fire. Now, like the rest of us, they face a new crisis in Covid-19. Please continue to remember them as we also go through this together.
Please do stand by our women and communities through this pandemic.
Click here to know about our COVID-19 relief effort Initiative.