In the last few months, heavy rains at three times the normal amount have decimated Chennai and the Tamil Nadu region of India. First Response Radio has responded by providing shortwave broadcasts to help the 400,000 who have been displaced. The programs are helping those affected to overcome their traumatic experiences through counseling, advice by experts, interviews and comforting songs. The programs will also bring awareness and preparedness for any future natural disaster.
The torrential rains began in early November, swelling rivers, reservoirs and inundating the state capital and other neighboring coastal districts. Besides the 400,000 people who have been displaced, about 280 deaths have also occurred as a result of the flooding.
The next phase of relief work has begun in Chennai as the government focuses on rehabilitation and disease-outbreak control. In Cuddalore, however, vast tracts still remain underwater. The government and army have opened several medical camps, restored all health centers affected by the floods, and appointed counselors to help people cope with post-traumatic stress disorder. Sadly, many of the displaced people include hundreds of lower-cast families who, despite having lost their homes and jobs in the flood’s devastation, are being neglected by government relief efforts.
Find out more about FEBC’s ministry to India