Flood Relief: Beware of Tainted People

The post flood rehabilitation in Kashmir is seeing a number of organisations sprouting up. It is appreciable, but keeping the past experience and record in view, one has to exercise utmost caution. Nine years ago, in October 2005, when the powerful earthquake hit a part of Kashmir, the relief and rehabilitation work unfortunately went into the hands of those people who in the end made a fortune out of it. Although few of them were working in international aid agencies, the greed overtook them so much that a major part of the relief money meant for poor and affected ended up in fattening their bank balances. This time also many tainted names are sneaking under these organisations to get quick bucks. It is not unique to Kashmir only. These types of people can be found everywhere. The only difference is that unlike Kashmir they do not get a platform in other countries for sermonising. The persons who are running these relief and aid work need to be vigilant against such people for whom every tragedy becomes money-manufacturing industry. In the name of relief and rehabilitation these persons rehabilitate their family members and relatives and themselves become beneficiaries of the charity work meant for affected people.

During the recent floods we also witnessed a number of socio-religious organisations doing commendable work both in relief, rescue and rehabilitation. They did all the work away from fame and media lens. These socio-religious organisations are using their contacts to bring in aid and setting up shelters for the affected families. In fact most of these socio-religious parties have already started rehabilitation work for the affected families. While some have constructed houses for the victims, others are giving them warm clothes, bedding, kerosene, edible oil, coal and food. Few other organisations are trying to accommodate eligible persons of affected families in some job or skilled work. All this is done away from the gaze of media. These socio-religious organisations are more concerned about the welfare of sufferers rather than seeing their names in the media.

The intention of this column is certainly not to cast aspersions on the genuine people who are working untiringly for the flood-hit and hence seek donation for their rehabilitation. But one should take due care and caution to keep away the tainted people from such a noble work.