Samanway Foundation’s Act & Care Rushes Relief to Inundated Assam

By auther pic. Shilpa Tiwari

January 21, 2021

Samanway Foundation’s Act & Care Rushes Relief to Inundated Assam

Samanway Foundation

Disaster, decay, disease and despair are the key words during Assam floods for decades now. The poorest of the poor hardly have any escape from the annual flooding when some of the local relief measures and quick fixes are arranged but even left unattended. During the wake of such devastation some local youngsters determined to bring in a change that would be ready to help the destitute. Building resilience in the community during the time of crisis by providing immediate relief and care under Project Act & Care was their first commitment to the devastation around. 


Project Act & Care is the flagship project of the newly formed Samanvay Foundation, that has committed itself to various Assam Flood Relief Drives, ever since its inception in February 2020. The Founder and CEO, Samanway Foundation Gaurav Agarwalla, a 26-year-old young entrepreneur from Guwahati has been in the forefront with his young team. The organisation had realised that the flooding disaster calls for interventions towards affected ecological needs as well as developmental interventions. 


Project Act & Care is active in the three districts of Barpeta, Morigaon and Nagaon. Considering the scale of the floods as per the Assam State Disaster Authority Report, a total of 56,89,584 people got affected in 30 districts of the state. The affected population that accounts for over 52,645 in number are being sheltered in 122 relief camps, as per the official reports. The beneficiaries were provided with immediate relief to those affected by the disastrous floods that was launched via the maiden initiative project Act & Care in collaboration with Esteem Youth Foundation in an attempt to reach some of the worst flood affected districts.  


In order that the relief measures are eased out swiftly in some districts, Samnavay Foundation decided to work in two phases. The first phase efforts and measures were directed to Barpeta District. The foundation has reached two villages in the Barpeta Chapter, covering 400 families that are affected by devastating floods. The 1600 individuals were direct beneficiaries from these two villages. Morigaon Chapter of the foundation divided its efforts into two parts - Murkota area in the first part reached four villages and covered 750 families. The 3000 beneficiaries were direct beneficiaries of Murkota area. The second part of Morigaon Chapter was Laharighat area, reaching three villages reached, covering 500 families and 2000 beneficiaries.


Samanway went on to adopting a sustained approach to supporting communities overcome the impact of calamity affected communities of people who were provided with relief kits consisting of essential items along with a sanitary kit consisting of sanitary napkins. In order to build community resilience to overcome the devastating impact of a calamity through quality humanitarian support and counselling support was mainly focussed at women and children. The organisation’s determined efforts translated to on-ground presence for the Barpeta Relief Drive, Morigaon Relief Drive, Laharighat Relief Drive and Nagaon Relief Drive with innovating solutions to mitigate the after-effects of disasters.


Nagaon Chapter had two villages reached by the organisation, with 400 families covered and 1600 beneficiaries impacted. The total impact shone bright in the three disaster effected districts with a total number of 8,200 beneficiaries impacted in phase one of their efforts – covering 2050 families.


The Red Badge Campaign is a campaign under the banner of Project Act & Care. Menstrual Hygiene Awareness and sanitary pads distribution drive in collaboration with ABITA-UNICEF. Gaurav Agarwalla, Founder and CEO, Samanway Foundation said, “menstrual hygiene is one of the most neglected and stigmatized issues in public health and hence Samanway through the Red Campaign is trying to address the core issues around in terms of period poverty and awareness. We believe that conversation around Menstrual health is one of the most important aspects through which we can bring about a change. We are grateful to ABITA - UNICEF and UNDP for the generous partnerships in the two phases."


The districts covered for the Red Badge Campaign were Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Sibsagar and Charaideu that covered 60 tea gardens. The organisation has distributed 12,000 pads in both phase 1 and phase 2 of the Red Badge Campaign.  The distribution of pads scaled up to 12000 in number that impacted a total number of 6000 girls that belonged to these districts. 15 Anganwadi Centres were provided with 1500 pads distributed at these centres.  

The organisation has already started with its second phase of activities that began from November 23rd, 2020. In the second phase of the Red Badge campaign, Menstrual Hygiene Awareness and sanitary pads distribution in collaboration with UNDP in Rani block was covered in 6 schools that impacted 900 school girls. 3600 packets of pads were distributed in 6 schools and 900 packets in 9 Primary Health Centres. Mayromanok Ethnic village also flurried with the activities of the Red Badge Campaign in the second phase. 1500 pads were distributed in the market area. The help of UNDP mobile medical unit was availed by team Samanvay with 2000 distribution of pads. As a part of community distribution 2300 pads were distributed.


Amidst so much of mayhem, the beneficiaries are overwhelmed with the support provided by team Samanvay. A grateful student Binita Tanti said, “Thank-you so much Samanay Foundation and ABITA - UNICEF for stepping up on menstrual hygiene management. This distribution and awareness program will help a lot to break the myths and taboos around menstruation.” Samanway is driven with the belief that communities from underserved communities when facilitated with access, knowledge, skills, and ownership, can actualize their strengths and social capital in creating a dignified and high-quality life for themselves. 



Samanway Foundation is also involved in other kinds of projects and is working constantly towards the integration of a variety of aspects of the marginalised communities of Assam. The colossal work that is already underway includes enhancing financial capabilities of the people. Promoting financial inclusion and extensively working towards financial literacy with the objective of bringing financial equity in the society under Project F.I.L.E. Moreover, the ecological efforts of this organisation include promoting alternative sources of energy, waste management and water management in various institutions across the country under Project Green Faith Alliance.


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Shilpa Tiwari is a New Delhi based Content Specialist with three decades of experience. She has worked extensively on a variety of researches and curricula across K12, Higher Education, Corporate and Social Development sectors. A Master’s degree in English Literature and a degree in French from Delhi University, alongwith International Business Programme from IIFT, most certainly provides Shilpa an added expertise to work as a Consultant on various research and consulting projects with Corporates, Educational Institutions, Publications, CSR Foundations and NGOs.


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