|Relief and Rehabilitation|
Relief and Rehabilitation
The very beginning of SPRAT’s existence as an official organization is traced back to the massive need for rehabilitation and relief work after the 2002 Gujarat Riots. With horror that cannot be properly described, we watched and listened to innumerable acts of plundering, mob violence, murder, and complete disrespect for human dignity. We launched several projects in response to the diverse needs of the victim. In conjunction, we organized the Tripartite Convention to coordinate the efforts of all relief NGOs and the Sah Nirman Rally for victim’s rights and awareness.
During the immediate riot days, we could not leave our houses. Unable to provide physical support to victims during the turmoil, we set up an information portal, riotinfo.com, to disperse information about the situation in Ahmedabad, damaged and dangerous locations, and whatever statistics we could provide on the violence and devastation.
PHYSICAL RELIEF WORK
Curfews lifted, we were able to visit relief camps and damaged areas, and distribute material goods such as blankets and aid kits to victims. Exploring the camps we noticed a lack of organization on the side of relief camp workers. They lacked even stationary and pens. We therefore provided office kits of paper, small office supplies, and writing utensils so that the camps could begin documentation and better organize their work.
Our efforts served over 100,000 victims in over 100 relief camps throughout the area. For victims who remained in or returned to their homes we supplied productive assets for sustainable livelihood: hundreds of handcarts, sewing machines, etc. Additionally, we facilitated the construction of nearly 600 new huts, and supplied over 22,000 bags of free cement for repair and renovation of houses and shops.
SPRAT also realized that the complexities of the riots could lead to considerable legal difficulties for victims. Thus, we documented the desecration of sacred spaces and assisted in litigation that allowed over 20,000 students to fairly write their SSC and HSC exams. Finally, we made presentations to the NHRC, Minorities Commission, Election Commission, the federal government on behalf of victims of the carnage, and to promote awareness in general.
SPRAT adjudged the best Small NGO of Western India, and one of the 13 best, all India, by the Resource Alliance - Nand and Jeet Khemka Foundation for 2007.