Following the devastating floods in Kerala, Nagaland has been inundated with floods after the incessant rainfalls. Despite the intensity of Nagaland floods as much as that of Kerala, Nagaland floods failed to garner media attention.
Kiphere district in Nagaland is one of the worst affected districts which has been disconnected from the mainland since the past two months because of a landslide which was followed by floods. Kiphere shares its borders with Myanmar. Hence, connectivity to Kiphire is of both national and strategic international importance. With almost no mainstream media coverage for over a month of devastating rain and landslides, Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio made an appeal through social media requesting for national support to rebuild Nagaland.
#Nagaland needs your #help. Incessant rain has caused floods & landslides in several parts of the state & have affected many. #Relief #helpinghand #NorthEast @PMOIndia @narendramodi @HMOIndia @rajnathsingh @KirenRijiju @MDoNER_India @DrJitendraSingh pic.twitter.com/OC3fmLYCcB
— Neiphiu Rio (@Neiphiu_Rio) August 29, 2018
Concerned by the scale of calamity, Brijesh Meena and Prashant Thapliyal, students of Dr. Harsh Chaturvedi’s group from IIT Guwahati, volunteered to travel to the affected site immediately with relief materials. With the immediate cooperation and support of local administration, especially DC Kiphire, they were able to finally reach Kiphire after 3 days of travel from Dimapur.
Thank you @takumchang and Mr. Hisenlo Semp for your generous help in getting us the ILP and providing accommodation.
Transport not available at present. Leaving early morning tomorrow from Dimapur to Kiphire. @prashanttdt @hchaturv #NagalandFloods #KiphireCalls pic.twitter.com/vuwDA50PjZ
— Brijesh (@Brijesh20060586) September 1, 2018
Soon enough, more people from social media volunteered to pitch in. Ashutosh Muglikar along with volunteers from IIT started organizing funds for relief and rescue operation. Essential commodities like medicines, solar lamps, rice, baby food, chlorine tablets were sent from Guwahati to Kiphere.
Kiphire district is connected to rest of the Nagaland from 3 sides, Tuensang in the North, Kohima in the South and Zohneboto in the west and it was disconnected from all the three sides for at least 25 days. The only way food and other essential commodities could be provided were through air drops during these days.
Narrating their experience of volunteering, Muglikar said, “During our conversation with DC Kiphire, we discussed the aid we can provide to them and presented our plan of action. The DC office Kiphire had received Rs. 10 lakh aid from the CM office and DC Dimapur’s office had also arranged for relief material by providing 70 tons rice.”
However, it was not enough. “It rains heavily in Kiphire area during the month of September and October for which they had to stock commodities. Hence we tried to crowdfund the relief material.”
Muglikar put out a tweet requesting people to donate to help to rebuild Nagaland. Soon enough generosity poured in and they had money to purchase and transport rice. To ensure transparency Muglikar tweeted images of bills of purchase of rice as well as transportation challans so that those who have donated in good faith are assured that it is reaching the victims.
Invoice for purchase of 2 ton rice. Guys, no GST ?HSN code is correct.
2: transport vehicle being loaded. Covering aayega
3.Advance payment done. Team member with vehicle. Other end govt officer informed.
Vehicle has started. ?? We did it friends. Thanks a TWO Tons ??? pic.twitter.com/1XZYPI0y1x
— Ashu (@muglikar_) September 7, 2018
He kept posting pictures of the entire process to make those who have contributed aware of where the funds are being used.
Pic 1: Brijesh and Prashant negotiating with transporter for fastest, secure and cheapest transport…
Other pics: Rice loading being done.
Start point Dimapur
End Point: Kiphire. Nagaland
Approx distance: 200 kms. 19 hour journey (min)
Our 1 dude will sit in tempo n move pic.twitter.com/FFy129DO7x
— Ashu (@muglikar_) September 7, 2018
This morning, the rice they had sent from crowdfunding has reached the destination.
Received an awesome message from EAC Kiphire Nagaland Mr. Cheni Ovung that rice bags were sent have arrived at the destination. Unloading in Progress. pic.twitter.com/9lelpSz8Hn
— Ashu (@muglikar_) September 9, 2018
It is times like these which makes social media, which is full of vile abuses under the cloak of anonymity, appear like a good place. It restores faith in humanity and goodness in the basic core of humans.