Natural calamities such as floods and droughts devastate numerous Tribal homes most years. To these poor, STEP has given blankets and portions of the New Testament as well as clothing to children in the day care centers during these times.
Cyclone Phailin hit the Odisha state in October 2013. Phailin was the worst storm to hit Odisha in 14 years. Cyclone speed was 200km per hour. Hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated, largest evacuations in 23 years of Indian history of natural calamities. Many lost mud-thatched homes, crops and livelihoods. People took refuge in the government schools and other emergency buildings. Thereafter, flood hit many other districts of Odisha. After 12 hours of cyclone, very heavy rain fall result in floods. Although lives saved, but not livelihoods! Many people received no help from Government and they had to depend upon their own meager resources to survive and recover from the disaster.
STEP responded to the needs. STEP purchased relief materials in bulks such as blankets, Sarees (women clothing), Lungee (men’s clothing). We also purchased school bags for Children (those to be distributed in February 2014). Another organization that provides pump wells in India, provided Sawyer One-point-kit water filters (200) and buckets for the cyclone and flood victims. We visited several villages and saw the destruction of houses, rice fields and roads in November 2013. Actions such as helping the victims in the time of crisis is an example of God’s love that attracts people. During distribution of relief materials in villages, some whispered, “No one has helped us before. Who are these people?”