Sewa International announced the first tranche of $10,000 toward rescue and relief operations as Super Cyclone Amphan devastated vast stretches of two states in India – Odisha and West Bengal.
Amphan, which began forming on May 16 and dissipated today, May 21, has caused widespread damage to infrastructure in the coastal states of Odisha and West Bengal as it moved inland with 105 mph winds, heavy sea surge, and massive rain. Boats, agricultural crops, and houses have been destroyed, electricity poles and trees uprooted, and vast stretches of agricultural land, villages, and towns have become inundated. Amphan was, according to NASA estimates, the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
Causing widespread damage over the Eastern parts of India and Bangladesh Amphan is the strongest cyclone to strike the Ganges Delta since 2007 and the first super cyclonic storm to occur in the Bay of Bengal since the 1999 Odisha cyclone. It has claimed 72 lives in India as of today. Adding to the challenges facing rescue and relief efforts is the current pandemic where these affected areas are developing into COVID-19 hotspots.
“Sewa International with on the ground partners/volunteers is committed to providing all support to the affected people in this hour of need,” said Swadesh Katoch, VP of Disaster Recovery, Sewa International. “We have partnered with relief organizations in India over the past two decades, and our people are already in the area working on rescue and relief operations. There is an urgent need of tarpaulins, packed food, utensils, seasonal clothing, first-aid kits, toiletries, flashlights, water bottles, mosquito mats/nets, backpacks, etc., and we will do our best to supply them in the coming days. I urge people to donate generously to Sewa so that we can provide the necessary support in this time of need,” Mr. Katoch urged.
About Sewa International
Sewa International, a leading Indian American nonprofit organization, has extensive experience in disaster rescue, relief, and rehabilitation operations having responded to 24 disasters in the US and abroad. In 2017, after Hurricane Harvey struck the Houston area, Sewa volunteers helped in the rescue of nearly 700 people, and have served thousands of affected families since then through their case management service. Sewa raised over $3 million for Hurricane Harvey recovery, Sewa continues to rebuild houses, and, greenhouses that serve as a means of livelihood. Sewa International has also rendered relief in the wake of hurricane Maria in 2018 and Hurricane Imelda in 2019. Sewa teams in the San Francisco Bay Area continue to build and donate tiny homes for those rendered homeless in California Camp Fire of November 2018.
Among its other accolades, Sewa International has been recognized by Charity Navigator – the premier nonprofit rating agency – as the number five among the “10 Highly Rated Charities Relying on Private Contributions.” Sewa has for the last three years continuously scored the topmost-rated 4-star from Charity Navigator, and has earned perfect scores for its Financial Health and Accountability & Transparency.