A group of software professionals from Chennai have come together to provide succour to families of farmers who had died in Nagapattinam district recently distressed over failure of crops due to drought. The group of 500 software professionals formed the ‘Vivasaayanadu Trust’ last month and initially, they have identified ten families in the distict to provide immediate assistance like groceries and rice.
P Vetrivel, founder of the trust, who visited Nagapattinam recently, said they were personally visiting the distressed families to collect information about them, their present situation and the needs.
“Our assistance plan spreads into three phases – immediate relief assistance, medium-term assistance to ensure livelihood and long-term plans to secure the future of their children,” he said.
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“To enable the affected families secure a decent livelihood, we are planning to provide them with cattle or assist them to start small businesses and eventually enable them to continue farming,” he said.
Vetrivel said members of the trust had travelled to other affected districts, including Tiruvarur, Thanjavur, Pudukottai and Kanchipuram to identify agricultural families in distress.
“Most families have debts, lost their breadwinners all of a sudden, witnessed complete crop failure, have absolutely no other source of income, find it hard to meet medical expenses of elders in the family and educational needs of children. We witness heartrending scenes everywhere,” he said.
Happy with the Trust’s activities, 28-year-old Kavitha of Okkur village in Nagapattinam district, who is one among the beneficiaries of the trust, said her husband Veeramani (30) had taken a loan of Rs 42,000 for farming activities.
As drought conditions resulted in crops withering, Veeramani was upset and swooned in the paddy field on December 30, 2016 and died, she said.
With no other source of income, Kavitha had to take care of her two daughters, aged 4 and 2.
“The help from Vivassyanadu trust is a lifesaver for my family.I was very much worried about the future of my daughters. I am happy they will get assistance for education,” she said.
Vetrivel points out that the biggest hurdle for the group is in identifying the affected families.
“We keep touring villages in the drought-hit areas during weekends, make enquiries and find the affected families ourselves. If we could get details from government authorities, it will be very much helpful,” Vetrivel said.