Pune: Moved by the photographs and videos of the recent flooding that wreaked havoc in the Konkan region, Riva Tulpule, 16, from Dubai, launched a campaign.
It was able to send 17.5 tonnes of relief supplies which landed in Mumbai on August 17.
“After my dad showed me photos and videos recorded by his friend stuck in Chiplun, I was determined to do what I could to help,” Riva told TOI.
Along with four friends, Riva started a campaign to collect clothes and blankets for flood victims.
She contacted her friend from Pune Shruti Chorge, who was visiting Dubai to meet her parents, and they decided to work together on the campaign.
“I created a handle on Facebook and Instagram called ‘WeCareDXB’ through which I connected with school children, adults and businesses. When we posted messages about the flooding, several people responded immediately. In five days, six collection points were set up in Dubai and Sharjah, and we collected three trucks of clothes and blankets for the victims, ”she said.
Riva and other volunteers sorted the materials into 110 boxes containing 13,000 clothes for men, women and children, and blankets.
A logistics company stepped in with her support while a Dubai-based airline offered to carry the cargo for free after India’s Consul General in Dubai, Aman Puri, approved the girls’ relief efforts.
The team coordinated with the Indian Red Cross who helped receive the shipment to India with a customs exemption.
Clothing as well as blankets are distributed to people in need in Mahad and Chiplun through the channels of the district administration under the leadership of NCP chief Aditi Tatkare.
“I have lived in Dubai for a long time, but my roots are in Pune. Although we helped Riva and his friends, the main idea was theirs, ”said Riva’s father Rahul Tulpule.