Cyclone Vardah has left Chennai in ruins. Officially, the damages have been estimated to be around INR 10,000 Crores. The city went dark without Electricity & Internet Connectivity. Coupled with the recent demonetization, citizens suffered due to chaos that followed in the aftermath of the cyclone.
Amidst all the disruption & devastation, Social groups and NGOs took the lead once again in helping Chennai get back on its feet. One such Organization was the Agni Foundation. Founded by Agnishwar Jayaprakash, who is a 10 year international swimming veteran, currently holding 6 national records, the NGO has been involved actively in the Relief & Rehabilitation efforts since Monday, Dec 12th.
"To take stock of what we have lost may seem inconceivable! Some lost their lives, some their homes, some their cars and others their properties. Chennai lost thousands of trees which kept us from choking due to pollution. There is no doubt we have a long rehabilitation road in front of us," said Agnishwar Jayaprakash.
The Agni Foundation was also instrumental in Rescue, Relief & Rehabilitation operations for 2 months across the City during the Chennai Floods 2015 last year. Although exhausted after leading 450 volunteers over the past 3 days across Chennai to restore normalcy, Agnishwar was optimistic about the future. The spirit of Chennai can be seen in this video by Agni Foundation.
"We did'nt lose our spirit. Today, more than ever, I take Pride in being a Chennaite & an Indian for us having bounced back yet again from the Worst Cyclone in 22 years merely a year after the worst flood in a 100 years! Standing United, We risked our lives for the sake of others which proves Humanity contrary to popular belief, still exisits! And that fire exists in each and every one of us", said the Founder of Agni Foundation.
The group started off with over 450 Volunteers and gained prominence after being recognized by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam in 2015 for launching an innovative initiative called Ignite-India, which was also recognized by the United Nations as one the Top Socio-Economic Educational movements focusing on Student Entrepreneurs. Agni Foundation now has over 25,000 registered Volunteers across India. They have adopted 184 Underprivileged Homes across Tamil Nadu through Project Identity under the Digital India Initiative.