ITST Help Poor During Cyclone Amphan Crisis

Inclusive Talents Society Trust (ITST) organised the Kolkata relief distribution drive on 24th and 26th May 2020. Watch our latest video, for all the details.

India has been under a nationwide lockdown since 24th March 2020. This has affected poor and needy deaf and hearing people alike. People were suffering due to loss of pay, unemployment, starvation, etc. NGOs across the country have been working towards extending support to help control the spread of COVID 19 and support communities in these difficult times. To add to the distress of the people of West Bengal, one of the worst ever tropical cyclones of the century, Amphan, hit Bengal on 20th May 2020 and caused destruction in Kolkata, Howrah and Hooghly cities. The devastation has also spread to districts, affecting Digha, New Digha, Midnapore, South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas.

Inclusive Talents Society Trust, is a non-profit organization founded in the year 24th April 2019. They provide encouragement and motivation to encourage disabled and non-disabled people to show equality in their skills and talents and spread awareness in the society. They host different events like art competitions, fashion shows, cricket and football tournaments, etc to encourage differently-abled people to participate and compete in different events with hearing persons.

Alka Nanda Joshi, Principal Trustee and her husband Suvrojyoti Sur, supported by advisory director Sanchari Sur Daw decided and planned to help those suffering due to the lockdown and the destruction caused by cyclone Amphan. Since ITST is a non-profit organization, the trust had to take help from personal and social contacts. Suvrajyoti is a national level cricketer, he contacted many of his deaf cricket teammates and also players in different sports like football, table tennis, athletics, etc for funds. Many of them contributed funds. ITST organization raised a donation amount of Rs 25000/- 

In collaboration with Kolkata Police, ITST secured permission to organise the Kolkata relief distribution drive on 24th and 26th May 2020. Its aim was to distribute the food and different items to needy people and persons with disabilities. ITST Volunteers purchased 100kg Rice, 100kg Salt, 100kg Sugar, 100 bottles of 200ML cooking oil, 120 Horlicks Biscuit packs, 120 Good Day Biscuit packs, 120 Horlicks milk powders, 120 detergent powder, 120 lifebuoy soaps, 120 sanitary napkins, 120 hair coconut oil bottles. They even distributed masks that were created by an old deaf man named Manik Dutta. ITST wanted to support a deaf individual to earn his livelihood with dignity. Salute and Hats off to Manik Dutta! 

On 24th May 2020, ITST volunteer teams comprising deaf and hearing people to distribute the relief among needy people and persons with disabilities. They covered four locations in different places to help 80 families including deaf and hearing and persons with disabilities and small children. In one place around the Dhakuria bridge area, it was not easy to distribute food as lots of trees had fallen due to the cyclone. But poor and needy people along with small children crawled under the tree and came to get the food and different items. Volunteers worked from 8 am to 4 pm in the evening. 

On 26th May 2020, ITST team distributed food to 42 children who were starving. These children work for a living. ITST team contributed and distributed the food and different items to a total of 122 people. 

Suvrojyoti also provided lots of food to stray dogs because he is an animal lover. However, due to the lockdown and cyclone Amphan, strays find it difficult to find food. This is why he feeds them every day in his locality. 

On 27th May Alka worked with Sasmita Barik, Debi Prasad Subudhi, another senior member of ITST, who mobilized volunteers and to organize a donation drive to distribute relief items at an old age home in Bhubaneswar on 27th May 2020. They have distributed packages. Each package included Horlicks, lifebuoy soap, hair oil, toothpaste, biscuits, toffees, surf excel, and mask. Masks have been hand-stitched by Sasmita. They have distributed to 50 elderly people across the 2 branches. Alka Nanda has been interpreting important announcements by the Prime Minister and other government directives and posting them on Facebook so that through ITS, the message reaches out to more and more deaf people who might not have been able to understand the speeches which have no interpreters. They also shared interpreted videos on how to maintain mental health during the lockdown. 

In collaboration with the Cricket Association of Bengal, ITST planned to organize and host 1st Bengal Inclusive Cricket League that contains 4 teams, each team containing 7 deaf cricket players and 4 hearing cricket players to play matches. However due to the lockdown the tournament has been postponed and will be held in November or December. We applaud ITST’s hard work and noble initiative to help the impoverished during the lockdown and the deadly cyclone Amphan.