'Sankalp' offers help to flood-hit


Special Correspondent

All members of the organisation are college students

  • The affected got bread, biscuits and Rs. 100 each
  • The organisation has 3,000 blood donors across the country

Thanjavur: Whenever disaster strikes, they are there to help. Members of Sankalp, a voluntary organisation based in Bangalore, jump at any opportunity to help others.

The uniqueness of the organisation is that all its members are college students pursuing engineering and other courses. They were at Nagapattinam when the tsunami struck on December 26 last. And, guided by the Indian Red Cross, they carried out massive relief work.

At the invitation of the Red Cross, they are now at Thanjavur to help the flood-affected. They distributed bread, biscuits and Rs. 100 each to the flood affected at Rajagiri, near Thanjavur, on Wednesday.

According to Rajatkumar Agarwal, one of the members, Sankalp has 3,000 blood donors (all college students) across the country and 20 volunteers from six different educational institutions. Mr. Agarwal is a student of M.S. Ramaiah Engineering College at Mathikere, Bangalore. A native of Mussoorie in Uttaranchal, he has come here with three of his college mates — Tarun Sonkran from Jaipur, B. Venugopal from Bangalore and Kumar Gaurad from Muzaffarpur, Bihar.

"We students formed Sankalp three years ago with a view to donating blood... When we came to Nagapattinam to help people when the tsunami struck, we thought of forming the Disaster Mitigation and Management group to help people in distress," Mr. Agarwal said.

The organisation implements a school-level disaster preparedness programme. "We train school students on what they should and should not do during calamities. We sensitise them to help whenever people meet with accidents without moving away from the place. We also teach them how to act at the time of accidents without getting themselves into trouble," Mr. Agarwal said.

Besides service, they also inculcate values. "We are on a campaign to create awareness among students and people to respect our national flag. We are against using national flags in cinema and for decorative purposes." Mr. Agarwal said.

They distributed 600 blankets at Kshankot, a town six km from the Line of Control, when earthquake struck Jammu and Kashmir.

"Whenever there is a need to help people, we collect funds among ourselves and help them," Mr. Agarwal said. Any student can join them in the service. Interested students can contact Sankalp on emergency No. 9880132850 or visit website www.sankalpindia.net