Sewa International, Hindu faith-based nonprofit organization extends help in Chennai floodsTop Stories

December 10, 2015 13:23
Sewa International, Hindu faith-based nonprofit organization extends help in Chennai floods},{Sewa International, Hindu faith-based nonprofit organization extends help in Chennai floods

(Image source from: Sewa International)

Tamil Nadu was pounded by the heaviest rainfall in over a century where the capital city, Chennai received more than 300 mm in 24 hours. Rainfall data were taken from the GPM (Global Precipitation Measurement) mission's core satellite, which is jointly managed by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. NASA's IMERG (Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM) has estimated rainfall from November 28 to December 4.

sewa-1During Nov-Dec, 2015, the Coromandel Coast of South India, spanning Puduchchery, Tamil Nadu,Andhra Pradesh, received incessant heavy rainfallduring the annual northeast monsoon. Tamil Naduexperienced the worst floods in a century, with 60% of its capital city Chennai submerged. An estimated 20 million people are affected, 2,500 villages waterlogged and more than 300 lives lost.

The tragedy of the recent Chennai floods, is that it could have been avoided. There was one key cause, the Adyar river basin has been taken over for the new airport, just as other stretches have been used to develop residential spaces. The central cause of the nature's fury is easy to ascertain, unplanned urbanization inspired by an utter disregard for basic norms. Yet, every time the memory of the tragedy fades with time and no lesson is learnt.

The November - December rain in Chennai has around 20 million people affected, 2,500 villages waterlogged and more than 300 lives lost.Without resorting to any international first responderhelp, more than 1.1 million people were rescued by4,000 local volunteers from Sewa and its partnerorganizations - SevaBharathi Tamil Nadu, and ABVPTamil Nadu, among others.

Total losses are estimated at $3 billion, of which $1billion is in Chennai alone.

Tamil Nadu Flood Ground Report


Rescue Operations

sewa-2More than 4,000 volunteers from Sewa International and its partner organizations swung into action immediately for rescueoperations in many parts of rain flooded Chennai as well as other affected regions of Tamil Nadu. Of the rescues, notable is His Holiness Vidyatma Theertha Swami Ji whowas stranded in Anakaputhur with his disciples.

Hundreds of tons of supplies – food, water,rice, utensils, mosquito nets/coils, cleaningsupplies (phenol, buckets, mugs, brushes,bleaching powder) – have been delivered from neighboring states of Andhra and Karnataka by our volunteers to Cuddalore, Chidambaram, and Chennai, Sewa International has formed different teams and working in different areas to assist various people who need help on ground.


sewa-3Based on a tweet, our volunteer, of rescue team Ratnesh Mishra of Phoenix, AZ alerted our volunteers in Chennai about a woman in laborpains. Many pregnant ladies were extended help and were airlifted by the Indian Army and Air force. Even during the pain of the disaster, there were news of happiness. The happiest of them is that one of the ladies who was airlifted has given birth to twins and the mother and the babies are safe and healthy.


With timely assistance from Sewavolunteers on the ground in Chennaiwoman delivers twins!!!


Relief Operations



Relief materials from other cities were transported to Chennai and were distributed at Thiruneermalai, Maduravoyal, TB Hospital, Tambaram, and Chromepet.


Volunteers repared food packets anddistributed to Choolaipalam, Dr.Kanu Nagar, Chetpet, and Mylapore areas. For instance, over 1700 food packets, 100 biscuit packets and400 water packets have been distributed in oneday, just in one area.








Many people are wearing same clothes for thelast five days and have lost everything in theirhouse such as groceries, bedding, furniture,clothes, personal items and school supplies.

Hundreds of volunteers are cooking food,collecting& buying materials and sorting it out,making packets and distributing truck loads ofmaterials for the needy. At the Hanuman Temple, Mambalam, Ashok Nagar, the team isfeeding 2,000 people twice a day, for instance.

This is humanity at it's best!Not only humans but cattle are also being fed.




Medical Relief



sewa-12With the intermingling of sewer waste with the floodwater, water borne diseases and virulent fevers havebegun to affect the most vulnerable - the very youngand the very old. Lack of potable drinking water isstraining the system.

A 50 strong team of 50 doctors, 12 medical &pharmacy students from various parts of Tamil Naduand Karnataka have poured into Chennai to offer theirhelp. A total of 10 teams were formed and they wentaround to conduct 40 camps in various parts of Chennai. About 100,000 affected people wereexamined and required help was extended.

The doctors spoke at length about general hygiene tobe practiced and also recommended the use the Auyrvedic Maha Sudarshana tablet to help boost immunity levels.

The disaster has put away all the differences and the people came out to help the needy. The people demonstrated their love and care towards the fellow citizens by extending all kinds of help and thrown open their houses for the people who are not able to enter their house due to the inundated surrounding. The show of humanity was under its best to ensure the safety and security of the unfortunate.

Prime Minister Modi, while on a tour outside India took the responsibility and extended the central government's helping hand by sanctioning an amount of Rs 900 crore immediately. Later he had an aerial view of the affected places and again sanctioned an amount of Rs 1000 crore. This was a goodwill gesture by any government of India with an immediate sanctioning of funds when the state is reeling under disaster.

Sewa International a Hindu faith-based nonprofit registered organization which value for humanity has extended its help for the people in disaster through different ways, like co-ordinating volunteers in Chennai, such as RashtriyaSwayamSevakSangh, SevaBharathi and ABVP, among others. Sewa International has started a fundraising for extending a helping hand to the people in disaster. Sewa International appeals to the kind hearted people to donate liberally and take part in this humanitarian process of lighting the lamp of hope among the people who have lost their life long savings such as house, utensils, clothes, food, their valuable, etc.

Sewa International believes in 'ManavaSewa as MadhavaSewa'.


Sewa Appeal

  • Sewa International has already released $25,000 for immediate relief .

  • Sewa International raised $90,000 in the first five days.

  • Sewa will continue to engage for several months through the rehabilitation phase.

"We commit that 100% of donations will be used for beneficiaries of Tamil Nadu floods with ZERO % overheads"

- SreeSreenath, President of Sewa International


In this hour of need, Sewa urges everyone to donate generously.

1. Online:

Select Tamil Nadu Floods in the projects dropdown

2. Check:

Make to "Sewa International" and mail to:

Sewa International,

P O Box 820867, Houston, TX 77282-0867

Many corporations in USA participate in grantmatching. Your contribution may qualify,please check with your employer.

Sewa International is a Hindu faith-based nonprofit registered under Internal Revenue Code501(c)(3). All your donations are tax-deductible. Sewa does not discriminate based on race,color, gender, religion or nationality.

Contact: 708.USA.SEWA or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,


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