In our world today 1.29 billion people live on less than $1.25, 884 million people lack access to clean water, 925 million people are malnourished, and about 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. It is true, global poverty is scary.
Saturday, October 12, one of the largest cyclones to hit India’s eastern coast travelled through the Odisha state. Fallen trees, overturned cars, and debris littered the streets. Roofs were torn off of houses, windows were crashed in, and over 500,000 people were evacuated from this region. The evacuees are being housed in 250 emergency shelters set up in sturdy buildings.
Now, the largest battle will be rebuilding all the homes destroyed during the storm. Power and communication lines were cut, kutcha houses made of flimsy material were shattered, and there was extensive flooding throughout the affected areas. This is disconcerting because although the poverty rates recently declined, Odisha is still ranked above the national average in India with a poverty rate of 57.2%. The fear is that the storm may send this area back into a state of economic depression.
Although global poverty is scary and frightening, there are many people who are dedicated to helping those in need. Nourish International was founded with this type of inspiration over 10 years ago.
Today, Nourish’s University of Texas chapter is working with their partners in India to provide support for the communities affected. The UT Chapter worked with Divya Jyoti Mahila Vikash (DJMV) in Odisha. For the past two summers, Nourish students have been teaching English and computer literacy. That teaching in turn inspired their students to create social initiatives. One campaign was to teach the women how to write their names. They also put on a performance in the town center in which students acted out elements of social responsibility. However, the most important aspect about their partnership with Odisha is the strong friendships they made within the community. After this storm, all of the friends of the UT chapter are safe and can stay in their homes, but there are some in Odisha that were not as lucky.
Please contact Becca Holt ([email protected]) if you would like to contribute to our efforts here at Nourish to uplift the areas that were negatively affected by this natural disaster.
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