Children worst affected by recent floods in Tamil Nadu
In the aftermath of recent floods in Tamil Nadu, children are facing increased risks of exploitation and psychosocial distress, warns Save the Children.
In Kasikoil Kuppam, a coastal village located in Tiruvottiyur zone of Corporation of Chennai, children are unable to attend school – as it’s being used to house those displaced by the floods – and many have lost their belongings, including textbooks and toys.
“In times of emergencies, children are the most vulnerable and face the most risks. They’re also often forced to remain without family support for long periods of time,” says Vinay Iyer, Project Director for Save the Children and response team lead.
Over the next two weeks, Save the Children will be setting up seven child-focused centres (‘Child Friendly Spaces’) across Chennai and affected coastal districts, where children can learn, play, and begin to recover in a safe environment, while being protected from physical harm and psycho-social distress as a result of the floods.
“While relief items tend to address the needs of adults, which aren’t always the most suitable for children, a child-focused centre helps children learn, play and develop in a safe and healthy space.”
Save the Children’s child-centric response includes:
· Provision of education kits
· Provision of safe drinking water
· Child-focused centres staffed by trained volunteers and equipped with first aid kits
· Food baskets containing Ragi – biscuits made specifically for children
The first child-centered space has been set up in Kasikoil Kuppam, where most locals are families of fishermen, or living off daily wages. Two CFS have also been set up in Budumbadi and Kalkunam villages of Kurunjpadi block of Cudddalore district – both of which will cater to about 30 children, each.