Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: “It is with immense sorrow and a heavy heart that I extend my deepest condolences on behalf of Reliance Foundation to the families who have lost their loved ones in the tragic train accident in Odisha. As soon as we learnt about the accident, our specialized disaster management team was immediately deployed to facilitate the rescue effort on the ground. Our team continues to provide round-the-clock aid and assistance to the injured,” Nita Ambani, Founder & Chairperson, Reliance Foundation (RF), said.
“While we cannot undo the suffering caused by the tragedy, we are fully committed to helping the bereaved families rebuild their lives and prepare for the future. With this as our solemn mission, we are announcing a 10-point programme to offer our unwavering support to those affected by this unfortunate incident. Our Foundation, along with the extended Reliance family, stands in firm solidarity with the affected communities during this difficult time”, Nita Ambani stated.
Below are the 10-point relief measures that will support the people affected by the tragedy, both immediately and on a long-term basis:
1. Free fuel for ambulances dealing with the disaster through Jio-BP network.
2. Provision of free ration supplies, including flour, sugar, dal, rice, salt and cooking oil, for the next six months to affected families through Reliance stores.
3. Free medicines for injured to support their immediate recovery needs; medical treatment for those needing hospitalization due to the accident.
4. Counselling services for emotional and psychosocial support.
5. Providing employment opportunities through Jio and Reliance Retail to one family member of the deceased, as needed.
6. Provision of support aids to people with disabilities, including wheelchairs, artificial limbs.
7. Specialist skill training for those impacted to find new employment opportunities.
8. Microfinance and training opportunities for women who may have lost their sole earning family member
9. Provide livestock such as cow, buffalo, goat, poultry for alternate livelihood support to rural families impacted by the accident.
10. Free mobile connectivity to a family member of bereaved for a year to enable them to rebuild their livelihood.
Present at Balasore since the accident took place, Reliance Foundation’s specialist disaster management team closely coordinated with the Emergency Section, Collectorate, Balasore, and National Disaster Response Force.
Helping passengers quickly evacuate coaches and rushing injured to emergency vehicles, to immediately make available masks, gloves, ORS, bedsheets, lighting and other necessities for rescue at the site of accident, Reliance Foundation volunteers also involved in the rescue making gas cutters available to evacuate passengers trapped in coaches; also mobilized other volunteers from nearby communities for the efforts.
To ensure that rescue efforts continued uninterrupted, Reliance Foundation identified and networked with youth volunteers from the area to quickly prepare food for about 1,200 people. Meals were provided to rescue personnel, much needed for the personnel, and for families of those affected, who arrived at the accident site. Adequate drinking water was also ensured.
For more than a decade, Reliance Foundation’s disaster management team has worked towards empowering communities to be able to respond to disasters, whether natural or otherwise, and become resilient. Reliance Foundation works with communities training youth in disaster response, provides advisories to guide communities in actioning important measures before, during and after disasters.
Through the years, Reliance Foundation has supported communities following floods, cyclones, earthquakes, during droughts and extensively during the Covid-19 pandemic through multiple initiatives aimed at ensuring relief and enabling rebuilding of lives and livelihoods, supporting over 21 million people through over 48 disasters. Reliance Foundation has stood with the nation through every time of need and stands in solidarity, now, committed to extending its support to the families affected by this tragedy.