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Uttarakhand disaster needs a lot of long-term relief work: Anshu Gupta

IBNLive.com
Jun 21, 2013 at 05:56pm IST

While the Central and state governments are trying their level best to cope with a calamity of Himalayan proportions, what positive role can the citizens play to help these efforts? Goonj's founder director Anshu Gupta joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the matter.

Q. How to ensure that the money, so contributed/donated, towards a noble cause indeed serves the desired purpose and not lands up in some vested pockets? Asked by: Birabrata De

Uttarakhand disaster needs a lot of long-term relief work: Anshu Gupta

What citizens can do to help Uttarakhand flood victims.

A. The most unfortunate part is that when we give money or material to organisations we don't make a personal effort to find out by going, meeting people... and it is strange as I often say that even when you buy the cheapest possible vegetable to house hold stuff..you do that.. its important to do the research, meet people, have a feel of organisation.

Q. Anshu, my salute to your organisation who is doing a great service. i have just donated some items of my mother in law who passed away recently. however, a small suggestion can we not have more places in localities for ease of donating? Asked by: Arun

A. Thank you.. all our centers are the houses of volunteers..we are open for more centers but now as the number of calls and total material is growing it becomes a tough for a volunteer to handle..

Q. We can do a lot for the victims. however we need to be careful when we make donations as we would have unscrupulous politicians, bureaucrats and others ensuring that the relief does not reach the needy. this was evident in Mumbai when the relief material was routed to Bhuj thru Mumbai and this found its way to the markets and many became rich overnight. Asked by: Arun

A. If we leave anything on just any agency ..it happens.. its important for people to become a part of it..when i say part- it needs to be an active part..right from though to action and not only by giving material and money..and its not only politicians and bureaucrats..imagine the dealers make more profits, airlines charge more, ration shops supply bad material, organisations take away money,unfortunately people act corrupt.. that needs to change...we just cant hold some people responsible..its society and hundreds of crooks in that..

Q. What the state and central govt is doing everyone knows it is only looting the tax payers money and when it comes to calamities like this it wants the citizens to contribute, why it wants the civil society now? Pls explain. Asked by: SRINIVASS

A. If citizens play an active and responsible role- you don't need such huge civil society sector.. for the last few days whole lot of us are talking about corruption to governments role.. i am wondering why don't we have courage to ask this from them ? why don't we raise voice ? this is a country which needs a rape in a bus to notice daily rapes ..it's time that we as citizen get up not just to blame or criticize but to take an action and to become a part of the positive actions..

Q. What citizens can do to help Uttarakhand flood victims? Asked by: Anu

A. We need to understand that this is not a normal flood kind of disaster.. it needs a lot of long term work, lot of new approaches and a lot of patience as once the media is gone and political rounds are over- real miseries happen... 14 years of our work as GOONJ in many disasters have taught that..do support as much as possible..there are appeals from many organisations..chose the one you want to work with ..and act.. its a huge disaster..1000 kg rice might look huge to us but it cant even feed people in one relief camp for few days..so you know how much we all need to work..for Goonj's work you can follow- www.goonj.org or our facebook

Q. Hi Anshu, you are my role model. Im a an IT professional I want to start my own NGO and work for people in crisis like in U'khand? how to go about it? Asked by: Anu

A. Thank you.. jump:-) don't wait to start a good work.. no need to have a formal set up to start..structure is not important- work is..start the work..and you can get it formalise later the way we did..we started goonj informally in 98 and then got the registration etc done in 1999..instead of organisation, think of the work you want to take up, create a group of friends/family..and start small.. feel free to visit us anytime..

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