United Nations-Affiliated NGO's Medical Camps Serve Over 15,000 Residents & Cattle Across Panjab
PANJAB, INDIA, Aug. 25, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --
In the midst of the worst flood to hit the region in 40 years, UNITED SIKHS continue to lead disaster relief efforts on Panjab's ground zero. As more than 300 villages in the Ropar, Jalandhar and Ferozepur districts of Panjab continue to grapple with the mass devastation, UNITED SIKHS volunteers are providing humanitarian relief, including food and water distribution, fresh cattle feed and mobile medical aid to hundreds of families and their animals.
To date, UNITED SIKHS volunteers have served more than 15,000 individuals and animals in the villages of Gajpur, Shahpur Bela, Mahindli Kalan, Hariwala in Tehsil Anandpur Sahib, Giddarpindi in Tehsil Sultanpur Lodhi, Khairabad, Nikkuwal and Chandpur Bela. More than 50 UNITED SIKHS volunteers have assisted in relief on the ground providing support and materials to survivors totaling more than $100,000 in humanitarian aid. Additional support for survivors is expected in the coming days, as the organization plans to expand upon its mobile medical camps serving the region.
"After surveying the region, the need for cattle feed became abundantly clear," said UNITED SIKHS Volunteer Balwinder Singh, leading one of the first-responder teams in the villages of Anandpur Sahib. "In the wake of such a widespread disaster, it is critical to assess the needs of both human and animal life, as the flood has severely affected the local ecosystem on a massive scale. All forms of drinking water are completely contaminated and villagers are resorting to selling their cattle because they are unable to feed them. Due to this pressing need, our volunteers continue to chop fresh cattle feed where available and include this in our humanitarian aid kits for local residents."
"A human being can ask for food when he is hungry, but the cattle cannot speak or complain," Cattle Farmer S. Joga Singh from Chandpur Bela told UNITED SIKHS volunteers. "Whatever we give the cattle to eat, they accept it, but we understand that they are not happy with the dry grass and hay that we are providing them. The cattle need green fresh grass to eat. We thank UNITED SIKHS for thinking of not only the villagers, but also their cattle."
More than 1,000 people have been killed across Panjab as a result of the weather since May. Thousands more have been reported missing during search and rescue operations.
"Skin diseases, respiratory infections, dehydration, depression, diarrhea and body aches are some of the most common illnesses our medical teams are treating in both villagers and their animals," said Dr. Bhupender Kaur, UNITED SIKHS Volunteer. "With receding waters comes the added threat of the spread of tetanus, malaria, snake bites and leptospirosis, which is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals. Our team of first-responders is making it a priority to provide critical medications, including antibiotics and vaccinations, in addition to food rations and clean drinking water."
"Basic household items, such as bedding, baskets and dry food supply, remain paramount as survivors are struggling to recover from extensive damages," said UNITED SIKHS Volunteer Parminder Singh, who led a team of first-responders through flood waters in Sultanpur Lodhi. "We are honored to have the opportunity to serve survivors of all faiths in their time of crisis. It has been a heartfelt experience to see local residents come together and help lift each other up. We are especially thankful to the Sangat (congregation) of Gurdwara Guptsar in Sangroor who assisted in collecting the relief materials and packing humanitarian aid kits."
The record flood has displaced more than one million residents across Panjab and thousands upon thousands of homes -- and entire villages in some cases -- have been swept away by flood waters. To help raise funds for additional support of relief efforts, UNITED SIKHS will host a radiothon live on Aug. 29 from noon to 6:00 p.m. on 91.9 FM, which broadcasts both in Toronto on local radio and globally via the station's listen live online link. Donations will be accepted live on the air throughout the six-hour broadcast by calling the studio phone at (905) 226-9109.
"We look forward to sharing our first-hand experiences on the ground in the wake of this large-scale disaster," said UNITED SIKHS CEO Jagdeep Singh. "Through the Sikhi principle of seva (selfless service), we have a duty to uplift humanity through any crisis. We encourage the global community to tune in to 91.9 FM this Thursday and join us in supporting these survivors who have lost their homes, farms and source of income. This is an opportunity to come together as one and share in the joy of giving to others."
For the latest updates on the ground situation, please follow UNITED SIKHS on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. All relief efforts are made possible due to the generous contributions of our donors and supporters. To donate, please visit: https://unitedsikhs.org/donate.
ABOUT UNITED SIKHS
Associated with the United Nations Dept. of Public Information UNITED SIKHS is a global humanitarian charity that advocates for civil and human rights across 10 chapters. Our International Civil & Human Rights Advocacy helps advance the economic, social and spiritual empowerment of minorities and other marginalized groups and individuals in need, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social status, age or ability. We achieve this by protecting and enforcing the civil and human rights of minorities and marginalized groups in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Visit us at www.UNITEDSIKHS.org