In the tragic flooding in the sacred Himalayan Kedarnath Valley in June 2013, tens of thousands of people lost their lives. They couldn’t escape as Mother Ganga’s waters rose to heights unseen in over 100 years, flowing brown and fast: with forces greater than a speeding train. Countless lives were lost, as were property, possessions and hopes. A large percentage of those killed were boys and men, for they were the ones out working during the summer, tourist high-season in the sacred pilgrimage area. Therefore, the tragedy left behind innumerable young widows and girls whose fathers, brothers and uncles were killed.
Divine Shakti Foundation joined hands with other organization, NGOs, government administration, volunteers and doctors to provide not only emergency, immediate relief, but also permanent eco-friendly rehabilitation and reconstruction for surviving villagers.
Additionally Divine Shakti Foundation has helped create several programs which uplift and empower women and children who have survived this tragedy, as well as help care for and protect the animals affected by the floods.
Further, we are in the midst of constructing schools and women’s vocational training & empowerment centers in the affected regions.
Rebuilding Schools of Hope
Divine Shakti Foundation is rebuilding two schools – Brightland International School in Chandrapuri and Goswami Ganesh Dutt Saraswati Vidya Mandir in Laksheshwar, Uttarakhand – which were washed away during the floods.
These school will be empowered with green technologies such as bio-sand water filters, bio-toilets and green education, and basic sanitation and hygiene will be covered thoroughly in the classes and after school village empowerment programs.
Further, the school buildings will also be utilized as a women’s vocational training center in the afternoon/evening hours after school finishes so that the women and older girls of the village can receive training and marketable skills.
My Tree/Mid-Day Fruit Program
The My Tree/ Mid-Day Fruit Program is enabling schools to present each child with his or her own fruit-bearing tree. As the tree is nurtured by the students on school grounds, they learn valuable lessons about the wonders of nature. Later, they will experience the joys of harvesting their own fruits, which they can enjoy fresh from the tree. Click here to learn more.
The Gift of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene in Schools
Every day, some 1,100 children in India die due to the lack of access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). For this reason, Divine Shakti Foundation and Global Interfaith WASH Alliance are working to bring clean water filtration systems and proper, eco-friendly toilets for every school in the state. Click here to learn more.
Triyuginarayan Livelihoods Centre
Just 25 kilometres from Kedarnath, the sacred spiritual pilgrimage site which was the centre of the Uttarakhand floods last year, Divine Shakti Foundation has constructed a new vocational training/ livelihoods centre. The centre will train 100 families from the region to spin and weave shawls, knit sweaters as well as other skills which will be marketable in the textile industry.
Additionally, Divine Shakti Foundation is partnering with institutions and companies to create buy-back programmes so that the women’s products are ensured a market in which to be sold, which in turn will guarantee them a steady income to sustain their families.
DSF is also planning to build a livelihoods centre in the flood affected region, benefiting affected families. It will also be working to create Centres of Excellence for the trained women to gain further skills in the industry so that they can not only survive but thrive.
Divine Shakti Foundaiton has started vocational training programs in disaster-affected areas, including:
- ~ Handicraft Production
- ~ Organic and Zero-Budget Farming
- ~ How to make Bio-Sand Water Filters
- ~ How to make products from cow’s milk and more
- ~ Computer training
- ~ Construction
- ~ Women’s empowerment training and cooperatives
- ~ And much more