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Donatekart and Swasti’s collaborative efforts bring relief to thousands affected by Balasore train disaster

On June 2, 2023, a catastrophic collision involving the Coromandel Express and two trains at Odisha’s Bahanaga Bazar railway station resulted in devastating consequences, claiming nearly 300 lives and leaving over 1,200 individuals injured. In response to this tragic event, Donatekart, a social enterprise facilitating essential supply donations instead of monetary contributions, teamed up with, Swasti, The Health Catalyst, a leading public health non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the health and well-being of marginalized and vulnerable groups, to provide critical support to survivors directly impacted by the disaster.

Bhoopathy Pandarinathan, National Social Protection Co-ordinator, Swasti Health Catalyst, says, “We at Swasti are committed to ensuring the health and well-being of communities, especially during times of crisis. Collaborating with Donatekart allowed us to swiftly respond to the urgent needs of survivors affected by the Balasore train disaster. Our focus has been to provide tailored assistance, ranging from immediate relief provisions to comprehensive support, to aid in their recovery journey.” 

Commenting on the collaboration, Sarang Bobade, CEO & Co-Founder at Donatekart, said, "The collaboration with Swasti exemplifies our belief in the collective strength of communities coming together to effect real change. We're committed to fostering a culture of transparent, impactful giving, channeling resources directly to where they're needed most, ensuring hope and support reach those in their most vulnerable moments."

Within a swift 48-hour response window, over 6,000 meals, 4,500 bottles of water, 775 liters of milk, and 4,350 fruits were distributed to assist thousands of survivors. Moreover, 500 shelter kits equipped with crucial items such as tarpaulin, soap, sanitary pads, mosquito nets, buckets, and dental kits were provided to those affected. Subsequent to this immediate relief, a comprehensive needs assessment was conducted, delving into survivors’ backgrounds, injuries, income status, and available government aid, enabling a tailored approach to address their specific requirements.

Following the needs assessment, 60 individuals received tailored assistance, aiding 9 beneficiaries in acquiring prosthetics, supporting 18 with mobility aids, providing ration kits for 18, offering medical aid to 9, and extending educational support to 2 affected individuals. The majority of these beneficiaries were identified as adolescents and young adults, profoundly affected by severe injuries, impacting their careers and familial responsibilities. The rapid and targeted actions undertaken significantly influenced numerous lives, ensuring a meaningful impact on the road to recovery.

The ongoing collaborative efforts in rehabilitation between Swasti Health Catalyst and Donatekart mark a pivotal stride in supporting the Balasore train disaster survivors. Through comprehensive post-rehabilitation assistance encompassing medical aid, sustainable livelihood support, and educational assistance, these initiatives aim to aid affected individuals and communities in their recovery journey. It is through this collaborative endeavor to provide essential necessities to survivors that we contribute to building more resilient communities, better equipped to withstand future challenges.

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