Acting upon the Bangladesh government’s appeal for international support in dealing with the refugee crisis, Red Crescent Society of India (RCSI), an NGO with its headquarters in Mumbai and presence in several states across the country, will send humanitarian aid to relief camps set up for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
According to reports, more than 4 lakh people have sought refuge in Bangladesh, and majority of them have been accommodated in relief camps in Cox’s Bazar and Teknaf, a Myanmar-Bangladesh border town.
Chairman of RCSI Arshad Siddiqui said, “As India has always responded readily and swiftly to any crisis in Bangladesh, we thought it’s our duty to help our neighbour to deal with the crisis that it’s facing due to large influx of refugees from Myanmar.”
Siddiqui added that RCSI is known to offer help to people and nations in situations that arise due to natural calamities or war. “We have taken part in rescue and relief programmes not only in India, but also in other nations,” he said.
Qasim Mehdi, a senior journalist who’s heading the RCSI’s relief operation, said, “We have got a favorable response from the office of the Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, which will provide us local support.”
He added, “The Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh has informed that that there’s urgent requirement of tents, blankets, clothes and water purifying tablets. Therefore we are preparing to send these items, along with medicines, food grains, biscuits and baby food.”
As Cox’s Bazar is the focal point of receiving and distribution of relief material, RSCI will set up camps there and distribute relief material with the help of Cox’s Bazar District Administration, International Organization for Migration, World Food Programme and the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society.
Mehdi said that RCSI will also send a team of doctors and paramedical staff to the relief camps. “We invite general physicians, paediatricians and gynaecologists to join us in the noble cause. Also, anybody who is willing to volunteer is most welcome.”
Doctors and nurses (both male and female) who are interested in volunteering at the camp and have valid passport can get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org or can call on 9769925553 / 9820943899. The organisation will make arrangements for their travel to relief camps in Bangladesh and will also take care of their food and accommodation.
RELIEF OPERATIONS UNDERTAKEN BY RCSI
* During the humanitarian crisis in Iraq following the US invasion in 2003, RCSI had sent a 25 member delegation to Baghdad that took along 50 tonnes of medicines, medical supplies, powdered milk and canned juice. Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, actor-turned-politician Raj Babbar and advocate Majid Memon, along with a contingent of 10 doctors, were part of the delegation.
* After the earthquake in Gujarat in 2001, in which over 13,000 people died, the organisation carried out rescue, relief and rehabilitation programme at a very large scale. It provided treatment to over 50,000 patients in their camps in Anjar and other affected areas, which were operational. Also, RCSI sent tonnes of relief material from Mumbai.
* The organisation has taken part in relief and rehabilitation programmes during the Tsunami that hit the Indian coastline and had sent a team of doctors and consignment of medicines, food, clothes and medical aid after the cloud burst in Uttarakhand. RCSI has carried out major relief operations during the Gujarat floods and Mumbai deluge.
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