In the tragic flooding in the sacred Himalayan Kedarnath Valley in June 2013, tens of thousands of people lost their lives,as were property, possessions and hopes.
Divine Shakti Foundation joined hands with other organizations, NGOs, the local government administration, volunteers and doctors to provide not only emergency, immediate relief, but also to deliver permanent eco-friendly rehabilitation and reconstruction for the impacted villages including the construction of several schools and vocational training centers.
Divine Shakti Foundation has rebuilt two schools – Brightland International School in Chandrapuri and Goswami Ganesh Dutt Saraswati Vidya Mandir in Laksheshwar, Uttarakhand – to replace those washed away during the floods.
These schools are empowered with green technologies such as water filters, bio-toilets and green education, and basic sanitation and hygiene will be covered thoroughly in the classes and after school village empowerment programs.
Further, the school buildings serve as women’s vocational training centers in the afternoon/evening hours after school finishes, so that the women and older girls of the village can be trained and receive marketable skills.
In 2013 at the time of the flood some 1600 children in India were losing their lives due to the lack of access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). For this reason, the Divine Shakti Foundation and Global Interfaith WASH Alliance immediately began working to bring clean water filtration systems and proper, eco-friendly toilets for the schools to address the pressing needs of the affected areas.
Divine Shakti Foundation sees the essential importance of vocational training programs in these disaster-affected areas to enable struggling disaster survivors to escape poverty. Our programs in Uttarakhand cover the following thematic areas:
Just 25 kilometers from Kedarnath, the sacred spiritual pilgrimage site which was the center of the Uttarakhand floods, Divine Shakti Foundation has constructed a new vocational training/livelihoods center. The center now reaches 100 families from the region to spin and weave shawls, knit sweaters as well as other marketable skills in the textile industry.
Additionally, Divine Shakti Foundation is partnering with institutions and companies to create buy-back programmes so that the women’s products are ensured a market in which to be sold, which guarantees them a steady income to sustain their families.
Taking the lead, the Divine Shakti Foundation began producing biosand water purifications systems, in the schools of affected areas. These filters women, to be sold on including widowed survivors of Uttarakhand’s 2013 floods, in doing so helping uplift them from poverty.
REBUILDING THE VILLAGE TEMPLE & CHOWK IN PARODI
The villagers of Parodi unanimously decided the first reconstruction activity of their destroyed village would be the reconstruction of the village temple and chowk. Together, the village worked on the design taking into account their religious beliefs and traditions, and events to be held in the chowk. By this reconstruction, they not only rebuilt their temple and chowk, but rebuilt the sense of community and hope.
REBUILDING THE FLOURMILL IN PARODI
Following the flooding and landslides, the traditional water-run flour mill in Parodi and its connecting water channel collapsed, forcing villagers to have to walk to neighboring villages to get flour. 75 meters of water channel, plus the flour mill and its connecting mechanism all needed to be rebuilt. As a result of the rebuild, its connecting mechanism’s efficiency was improved and upgraded, making it capable of multi-purpose use in power generation and running farming equipment.