By Satyavati Berera, Chief Operating Officer, PwC India
The scenic drive from Calicut airport to the hilly terrain of Mananthavadi in Wayanad did not give us a sense of the scenes that would greet us once we reached there. Mananthavadi was one of the areas most impacted in the floods that ravaged Kerala last year, most families lost their homes, the roads were washed away, wells and drinking water pipelines were damaged and livelihoods lost.
Even to this day looking around in Mananthavadi, gives you a glimpse of the destruction the rains brought.
Last week I had the opportunity to visit Kerala along with Jaivir Singh, Vice Chairman of the PwC India Foundation, to hand over the first batch of relief shelters that PwC India Foundation has constructed in Mananthavadi, in partnership with SEEDS, our on-ground implementation partners. It truly was a humbling experience. It was humbling to see the tenacity of the families that lost everything to the floods and yet, continue to be optimistic, warm and welcoming. It was humbling to hear the implementation team's experience of overcoming topographical and supply chain challenges in the last few months to successfully construct these homes.
In all, the Foundation is constructing 69 transitional shelter homes and sanitation facilities in the area. While 29 shelters are ready and have been handed over, the balance will be completed over the next few weeks. Mananthavadi was carefully chosen as the site for this initiative as most of the communities here are tribals, always-on-the-move and with least access to relief material, and therefore, among the most impacted. Seeing the smiles on the faces of the locals as they step into the structure they will now call home, and knowing that we've played a small role in making that happen, gave us all a sense of immense satisfaction. For that, I thank each one of you who contributed towards this cause last year. Together, in small measures and big, we can make a difference to the people who need it the most, and this is one example of that.
I also want to thank the PwC India Foundation team, Jaivir, Neetika Goyal and Shruti, who have made this project a reality and overcome many challenges to make it see the light of day. Our Foundation continues to be at the forefront of helping those most in need across 14 states in India and I am very proud to see their efforts taking shape, whether during the relief efforts in Nepal, Uttarakhand, North East India, Chennai or Kerala or in leading projects in Ajmer, Aurangabad, Jharkhand and Kashmir.
Before I close, I would request all of you to think how we can contribute and work with the Foundation in making a difference to the people who need it most.
Together, our small actions can have a huge impact… let's do our bit.
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