Though it has been four months since Cyclone Amphan tore through West Bengal and parts of Bangladesh, the area remains wrought with devastation. Main pathways have been cleared, but exposed tree trunks, dead branches and pieces of metal fencing still litter the land.
GFA workers continue to bring relief to victims of Cyclone Amphan, which was the largest displacement event of the year, causing 3.3 million people to flee for safety while many of their homes were demolished. With many of these labourers already unable to work because of the COVID-19-related shutdown, the devastation compounded hardship and left them with little more than the clothes on their backs. People are living in great despair, agony and misery, said a GFA field report. But GFA workers are offering help and hope.
In a single day in June, under the leadership of Bishop Justin Mor Thomas, GFA workers distributed essentials such as rice, lentils, soap, salt, lanterns, matches and masks to 150 people who were affected by the cyclone. Members of the local police force also participated in the distribution.
“We faced difficulties in surviving as there was no income and no food to eat,” said Shrimayi, a 55-year-old recipient whose mud house and belongings were swept away in the storm. “We were suffering as we did not get help from any other sources. Today, I am thankful to [GFA workers] for extending their helping hands toward me and providing me ration items.”
Tabassum, another recipient, lives with her daughter-in-law and disabled son, who has been unable to earn an income.
“My family was going through lots of troubles and sadness in life,” Tabassum said. “But today, I am happy that God really helped me with the ration items at the right time. I want to thank [GFA workers] for such great help.”
Amid continued devastation are continued efforts by the Lord’s servants to bring hope to the hopeless and food to the hungry.