Sunday Monitor

NGO’s boat service a boon for flood-hit Majuli

Majuli, the river island in Assam, experiences flood between June and August every year. This poses a great problem for the locals, especially when there is a healthcare emergency. The wooden boats which villagers use are unsuitable for ferrying critical patients. This prompted Prachodhan Development Services, a social development organisation, to start a boat service to mitigate the healthcare crisis during monsoon. The service has already benefitted two pregnant women, an ailing child and a heart patient.
“We implemented the boat service for quick transportation when flood affects the 10 villages in Majuli. Our focus is to help in healthcare and school-going children,” said Jerin Mathew of Prachodhan who works in Majuli.
Prachodhan has also helped in the construction of three bamboo bridges across the tributaries of the Brahmaputra in Majuli. It has started a basic medical service and hygiene care, called Arogyamitra, for the local residents, most of whom belong to Mising tribe.
There are disaster management volunteers who come to the rescue of villagers in times of severe flood.
The NGO is also involved in other social services in Majuli that includes education. Prachodhan has two schools in Majuli — Lahanti Community School.
“School was our first initiative. This was because of high rate of dropouts between classes V and X. Later, Prachodhan started to implement different projects with the help of ESAF small finance bank,” Mathew informed.
For holistic development of children in the villages, the NGO runs Balajyoti clubs and study centres.
Prachodhan’s mission is to enable the transformation of marginalised societies by empowering community-led organisations, through creating accountable and equitable systems and processes with a strong focus on education and societal well-being. It also works in the sphere of environment conservation and has already planted over 4,500 saplings in collaboration with the state Forest Department.

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