India has historically been vulnerable to natural disasters like floods, cyclones, earthquakes and landslides. The urgent need in such situations is timely access to emergency medical aid.
SEWA is a program that prepares for intervention in times of need by developing a ready pool of trained volunteers, creating standardized kits / detailing equipment for emergency use and leveraging a network of partnerships. The programs objective is to support efforts in ‘saving lives’ during a disaster.
Program volunteers are trained in First Aid and Basic life-support. This ensures that volunteers going into disaster affected area are equipped to handle the physical and mental traumas of the affected population. In time the objective would be to enhance the training levels for volunteers as also increase the pool, in terms of numbers, location and competency. At present we have more than 500 trained volunteers who are ready to serve at a 24 hour notice.
The Program design also accommodates for an element of preparedness revolving around Disaster Response Protocols, Equipment and Logistics. Project management skills and aligning with partners to combine resources and leverage inherent capabilities help improve impact.
OUR COVERAGE UTTARAKHAND FLASH FLOOD
Held Health Camps in Badrinath, Joshimath, Rudraprayag and Gauchar
A major fire broke around 8:30 am at Masoodpur slum area, nearby Vasant Kunj, New Delhi. The raging fire devastated the entire area and has left around 5,000 people homeless. By 9 am, our sales team started getting calls asking for ambulances and medical support. Code Yellow was declared in the hospital.
More than thousands are marooned in Jammu and Kashmir, which was devastated by its worst floods in 60 years. Much of capital city Srinagar is submerged with people waiting for rescue on terraces and rooftops. People have lost contact with their families with phone lines down.
The waters from the swollen Jhelum have turned Srinagar into a giant lake. The water level is constantly rising and is two to three floors high in several residential areas. Many houses are completely submerged. Some fortunate people have moved to high rise buildings to escape the rising water. However, most are stranded on rooftops of their homes. The Army cantonment, Civil Secretariat and the High Court, and many hospitals (including the single children’s hospital in Srinagar) are up to first floor being under water.
Many other parts of Jammu & Kashmir have been devastated by floods triggered by rain. Entire district of Srinagar, Ganderbal, Rajoori, Poonch, Pulwama, Shupian, Kulgam, Reasi, Anantnag, Bandipur are under water. Many villages have been swept away in a matter of minutes by flood waters of river Jehlum. Hundreds of people, have lost their lives and tens of thousands more have been rendered homeless or are yet to be rescued from their homes. Estimates are still being calculated on the enormity of the disaster and it’s after effects. All communication including phone lines are cut off and there is no electricity in the entire region.
Fortis Foundation is looking at ways of sending a team to provide medical care to the affected population, however till all details are finalised, Fortis Foundation would be doing its bit to provide other support.
We have a responsibility and the capabilities to reach out, help and manage the healthcare and other important needs of the affected people. We are also reaching out to each one you to contribute towards those who have been struck by this tragedy.
With your support, we were able to provide healthcare services in flash floods in Uttarakhand last year and we intend to do the same for the victims of this massive tragedy.
In June 2013, Uttarakhand was devastated by floods triggered by rain/cloudbursts. Many villages and towns were swept away in a matter of minutes by flood waters. Thousands of people lost their lives and tens of thousands more have been rendered homeless. Estimates are still being calculated on the enormity of the disaster and it’s after effects.
In order to immediately reach out to each affected area, Fortis Foundation in association with Fortis Hospitals initiated “Project SEWA” to provide medical support to Lacs of people including tourists and pilgrims stranded due to these flash floods and to support the local administration in dealing with the crisis.
Being the largest healthcare provider, Fortis took up the responsibility and utilised its capabilities to reach out, help and manage the healthcare needs of the affected people. Several voluntary batches of Doctors, Nurses & paramedics from our various Fortis hospitals were organised and huge consignment of medicines (General medicine & injectable for both adult & paediatrics) and consumables were sent along with them.
The volunteers set up a base camp at Dehradun and successfully accomplished the 9 day mission of Project SEWA in Badrinath, Joshimath, Rudraprayag and Gauchar, working in close co-ordination with Indian Army and Air force.
The selfless service of Fortis volunteers was appreciated and earned accolades of General Bikram Singh, Army Chief of Staff. These various acknowledgements are the living testimonials of this selfless act, noble intentions and collective strength which our volunteers exhibited through-out the mission. Local support was also organized through Fortis Hospital in Dehradun.
We are overwhelmed by the offer of support which Fortis Foundation received from employees of Fortis Healthcare across the country. Doctors, Nurses, paramedics, support and administrative staff come forward to contribute financially and participate in this noble cause. The Foundation will be organizing more health camps in the affected areas.
In August 2010, hundreds of people were killed and many others went missing after heavy rain triggered flash floods, devastating Leh in the Ladakh region. The devastation was such that it left all relief activities paralysed initially. Hospitals were damaged, communication systems were hit and affected areas were cut off from the rest of the country.
After due deliberations with the concerned organisations and officials, Fortis Foundation contributed a large consignment of medicines and consumables through the NGO Ritinjali. Two doctors (a cardiologist and a physician) from Fortis Escorts Heart Institute also volunteered to provide medical assistance in several affected areas. These doctors provided treatment to hundreds of patients in several places including Tasigatsar and Himank. Medical camps were organised in Chouglamsar, Khalsi, Tia, Temiz, Skurbuchand and Tigu villages. The Foundation with the support of Fortis Hospital Mohali has also committed to provide free surgery to five patients from Leh. These medical relief measures in Leh by Fortis Foundation were supported by Fortis Corporate Office, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute and Fortis Hospital Mohali.
The 2008 Bihar flood, which was one of the most disastrous floods in the Indian state of Bihar, occurred due to a breach in the Kosi embankment near Indo-Nepal border on August 18, 2008. The river changed its course, inundating hundreds of villages in the districts of Supaul, Araria, Saharsa, Madhepura and Purnea in northern Bihar. Many of these areas had not experienced floods in last many decades and were not adequately prepared. The flood affected over 2.3 million people.
Fortis Foundation’s Operation Sahayta was undertaken in Patna, Saharsa, Supaul, Bhagalpur, Purnea and Madhepura from September - October, 2008. The Foundation with a team of 35 (6 Doctors, 4 Officials, Heads of Security & HR and 25 GDAs including certain Technicians) from different facilities of Fortis Healthcare Group led by Brig. Dalip Kapur, VSM, Head CCI Department, camped in area of Bhagalpur and moved around extensively throughout their stay to provide treatment and medicines to victims. The team received whole hearted cooperation from locals, scouts & guides, National Cadet Corps, Rotary Club and Goonj (an NGO) Employees of Fortis Healthcare contributed a day’s salary towards the relief.
During their stay, the Fortis Foundation Team travelled almost three hundred kilometres daily into the worst affected areas. About 10,000 plus victims, were provided medical help/care. Minor procedures were performed under trying conditions and medicines were distributed.