SEEDS (Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society), a leading humanitarian organization, collaborated with IBM (NYSE:IBM) to support the marginalized communities that were affected by the cyclone Amphan that in 2020 hit 24 South Parganas, 24 North Parganas, and East Midnapore districts of West Bengal.
Under the theme of ‘Build Back Better’, SEEDS and IBM worked together to build 40 new houses and restore 133 damaged houses for families who had lost their homes in the cyclone’s aftermath. The construction team has used local materials such as bamboo coupled with modern techniques to make the houses safe and reduce risk in case of future disasters.
Amphan was a super cyclonic storm that caused widespread damage estimated at USD $13 billion in Eastern India, with West Bengal being directly affected.
SEEDS and IBM built a specially designed intervention program to install 50 community water filters and distribute 600 kits of dry ration and hygiene kits that collectively reached almost 5,000 people. The team organized a week-long mobile health care camp. A dedicated team of doctors and healthcare volunteers travelled by bus to remote locations providing much needed treatment to more than 1,000 people.
Manu Gupta, Co-Founder, SEEDS said, “We are glad to see our efforts materialize towards building sustainable structures for the families who have struggled with the impact of multiple disasters post cyclone Amphan last year. Through our intervention programs, we have focused on inculcating community ownership in all stages right from the beginning, thus making them future-ready in the face of a similar disaster.”
Manoj Balachandran, CSR Leader, IBM India South Asia said, “Collaborating with NGO partners to implement community development programs is an integral part of IBM’s GoodTech commitment towards building a sustainable future. Natural disasters cause extensive damage and up-end lives of individuals and communities. IBM helps such affected communities to take on challenges, big or small, and I’m proud that our collaboration with SEEDS has helped those that have been most affected by one of the most devastating cyclones that India has seen.”
Pratima Pal, an affected house owner, said, “I am the sole bread-winner in my family. The new house is the only possession I have right now. It is a relief for me and my children after months of struggle. I am thankful to SEEDS and IBM for such an initiative that has not only improved our living conditions but also helped us become more resilient in overcoming the challenges posed by the cyclone.”