A House For Tulsi Devi

A House For Tulsi Devi

Some like Kishan Ram kept it simple while Chani Ram used the CGI sheets to buttress the temporary hut he built. Munni Devi put up a curtain to maintain privacy and Tulsi Devi set up a cot just outside her new temporary shelter to entertain her friends when they came over. But most importantly these temporary shelters provided them relief from the vagaries of weather, wildlife and a biting winter staring right at them in their faces.  

Tulsi Devi and 51 other families in Ramnagar and Ramgarh blocks in Nainital district in Uttarakhand were provided with temporary shelter kits to tide over harsh winters and wild animals after the landslides in October 2021.

A lot of people living in pakka houses (a few in huts) in Chukam Village (Nainital District, Uttarakhand) watched their homes wash away in the landslides. In fact, an entire building vanished!

The state government stepped in and provided tarpaulin tents for those who had lost their homes. But this wasn’t a safe option—the village has the jungle on one side and the Kosi river on the other. There was also the issue of lions attacking the livestocks. In fact, by January around 5 cows had been killed by lions. 

The October 2021 landslides and flash floods left 76 people dead. The survivors lost livestock and crops, and their homes and land were destroyed. They were left without phone connectivity or electricity.

Oxfam India conducted a Rapid Needs Assessment (RNA) in the area. The RNA team had a meeting with the Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami and presented their findings. The CM requested that Oxfam India provide relief in the affected areas. This was the beginning our floods and landslide response in Ramnagar, Ramgarh and Okhalkanda block in Nainital district in Uttarakhand. 

Women were prioritised for relief support. Dry ration was provided to 2100 households and 52 families received shelter kits. The kits comprised building materials such as 38 CGI sheets each, nails and J-Hooks with washers. The sheets (with a dimension of 10 x 18 ft) helped the affected people make temporary houses.

Within 10 days itself, at least 20 families in Chukam rebuilt their houses with the material provided by Oxfam India’s shelter kits. Some of these families had seven members and were looking at a very bleak winter had it not been for these sheets. The village is a mix of families from the Dalit and the general community.

These temporary shelters were built close to where the villagers were rebuilding their own homes, so that they could monitor it closely. Oxfam India had provided cash of Rs 5000 to 227 families which helped these families to rebuild their homes. The government too provided support with cash transfers and land allocation. Apart from the shelter kit, the relief kit also included blankets, solar lamps and mats were distributed to 350 people.

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