CASPER extends its helping hand

Incessant rain coupled with the onrush of water from the hills in bordering areas have triggered flash floods in the greater Sylhet region and adjacent districts, inundating 2.5 lakh hectares of land in the Haor areas. According to Paribesh o Haor Unnayan Sangstha flashflood have already caused losses worth Tk 60 billion by destroying standing Boro rice. People in the area are living in immense uncertainty since flash-flood hit the area. In this situation, CASPER-BRAC University extended its helping hand and distributed relief in the flood effected area. Nafisa Nawar writes about this initiative and their experience of relief work. 

SUNAMGANJ FLASH FLOOD

FB_IMG_1495377076074Casper Foundation is a Bangladeshi non-profit organisation which works with student leaders from local universities. Students address pressing social issues through their social outreach projects and Casper Foundation is alongside them to help them implement their ideas. Students get the opportunity for personal development and gain valuable skills and knowledge to improve their educational and professional career. Casper Foundation’s network is a great place for students, individuals, academics, professionals and corporations to come together to create positive change in the community and make it a better place for people to live in.
On April 14, CASPER- BRAC University started their journey with the aim of bringing joy to the community. A team of volunteers distributed sweets to everyone in sight — the security guards, the rickshaw pullers, the street children to welcome the Bengali New Year and spread smiles. At CASPER- BRAC University, volunteers are required to come up with welfare projects for the improvement of our community and work on that and after seeing what happed at the flood stricken areas, the volunteers sat together and were determined to raise fund for the victims and help them in any way possible.

Popular Pharmaceuticals Ltd. provided them with boxes of saline, and an online clothing store. Creativo donated 30 t-shirts which they sold to raise money for the victims. Chillox also contributed by donating 10 per cent of the money they received from certain items from the menu.

FB_IMG_1495377031929The team of CASPER- BRAC University went all the way from Dhaka on May 19, to help and stand by the flood stricken victims of Thakurbhog village of Sunamganj. None of the volunteers honestly had an idea of how much a flood could affect a village until they went and saw it themselves. Zahir Raihan, a victim said, ‘Everything went under water: the fields, the houses. Nothing was spared.’

The only source of earning for the people in Thakurbhog village is agriculture. People were devastated after losing everything to the flood. It took their homes, their source of income and along with all the tangibles, it also took their peace of mind. The hunger was evident on their worried faces. There was no way to tell for how long they were starving. The sight would bring anyone to tears.

FB_IMG_1495377023519In collaboration with the BRAC University Adventure club and Khuddro Proyas Organisation, CASPER- BRAC University was able to distribute relief to 150 flood stricken families. Besides them, Shurjodoy Foundation also helped tremendously during the relief distribution. Without their help, none of these would have been possible. CASPER- BRAC University conducted a survey where it was found that 66 per cent of the people received relief for the very first time. Mairin Afroz Ummi, one of the volunteers who went there quoted, ‘What we did there was very little compared to the damage caused by the flood, however the love that we received from those people were priceless. They even prayed for our well-being by placing their hands on our heads. I couldn’t hold back my tears then.’

We believe that if the public and private organisations stepped in to provide them with seeds, nets for catching fish and dig wells for clean drinking water, the grief stricken people of the flood affected area will be able to recover their lost smile and will to live. So, we at CASPER- BRAC University are urging people to come forward and show these people that humanity still exists.

Nafisa Nawar is a student of Brac University.

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