This is a story of a Mumbai gang of girls who succeeded in relieving over 250 women across Himalayan Tsunami affected areas. They traveled on roads that were completely damaged and trekked through steep mountains. They put their own lives at risk and narrowly escaped falling boulders. These girls, used to the comforts of city lives and unfamiliar mountainous terrain, are an example of commitment that the younger generation of volunteers in India illustrate.
A majority of the NGOs serving the areas affected by natural calamities leave behind the victims, having exhausted their supplies of food and clothing. Trauma from the calamity remain with the victims, preventing them from moving on successfully with their lives. Yamini who had lost both her sons to the flash floods in Kedarnath or the fifty year old Rukmini Devi from Rankapur who refused to open her eyes would be in this this category of female victims if not for the help from the gang of girls from Mumbai.
Victims can lose their mental sanity if their trauma is not taken care of. They need to let out their steam before they contemplate on shouldering their responsibilities again. Women in small towns and villages in India are completely dependent on the menfolk for economic and emotional support. When they lose their primary guardians, they need someone they can trust before taking the first step out of the depths of their pain and grief. Motivated volunteers from cities have started playing a crucial role here.
Indian villages today are going through a big transition. A third of Indian villages are infested with Naxalite activities. Farmer suicide is rampant in many states. Institutional corruption makes the suffering from natural calamities more wide spread, such as in the case of the Uttarakhand floods. Youth in India not only recognize these problems but are ready to work on solutions. The sentiment to participate in change is wide spread among today’s youth- educated, working professionals, and rural. For example, one of the women among the gang of six is Senior Marketing Manager at an international Bank and another a sporting enthusiast.
Volunteer for a Better India is a movement tapping the enthusiasm of young citizens to create a constructive transformation. The newly forming overseas support group is tapping into the expertise of NRIs to organize with efficiency and to guide youth movements in India.