Cyclonic storm in Malda

A cyclonic storm that swept across Gajole Block, Malda district of West Bengal, India ripped the tin roofs off mud houses, uprooted trees, brought down electric poles and most importantly severely affected mango orchards and food grains in the field. According to media reports more than 20,000 houses in 5 blocks in Malda district were demolished. There were also reports of minor injuries of beneficiaries while trying to catch a glimpse of the storm thereby getting hit by the flying tin from the mud houses.
While some members of the community were blessed to have their homes, toilets constructed by ERDS spared, many members of the village suffered crippling losses from the storm. Devastation was widespread and cyclone-affected communities needed dedicated and long-term support to get back on their feet.

The house of Mundri Mahali is situated in Malda District of Block Gajole of Bamonpukur Village.

Her family comprises her daughter and her husband. On Saturday 25/03/2017, the house of Mundri Mahali was destroyed by a sudden storm of 22 minutes, in which they were rendered shelterless as their roof was blown away. “It was a sudden storm and we were not prepared at all”, she recalls. The family thereafter sought refuge in Ram Soren’s house in the same village. After this, Mundri Mahali contacted the village panchayat chief for rebuilding the roof of her roofless house. Without getting any help, she contacted Vishwanath, the head of the village, who gave them the reference of ERDS. At the instance of ERDS’ unit financial assistance was rendered for over three bundles of tin sheets, Matka, timber, screws, wood mechanic, labour costs and van rental. Their roof was rebuit. “Our roof was rebuilt with help from ERDS.”

ERDS with assistance from MCC also restored the tin-roof of Mardi’s house when it was blown away by a cyclonic storm in the month of March, 2017 that swept across Bamonpukur village and ripped the tin roofs off mud houses, uprooted trees & brought crippling losses to the family. The earlier thin tin-roof was replaced with a high-quality one that is expected to withstand future cyclonic storms. “With no government support or anyone else, I had turned to ERDS for help,” she recalls.

Her family had to face immense health hazards and stomach problems after defecating in the open. They even had to visit the open fields situated locally and inside the nearby jungles to relieve themselves. With financial assistance from MCC, ERDS built a low-cost toilet that relieved them of their diseases and regularized their schedules. “We no longer have to fear snakes or go far into the jungles to defecate,” says Mardi. Today, she is a vocal supporter for ending open defecation & also a regular at ERDS-organized monthly meetings and awareness camps.
At present, Mundri’s family lives happily at their home and want to improve financially by buying and raising cows.