Millennium Post

Teen raises Rs 80K relief for Tiljala fire victims

Teen raises Rs 80K relief for Tiljala fire victims

Kolkata: Daily, we get a lot of Whatsapp forwards and not all of them are insignificant. Recently, a video post, on a family Whatsapp group, left a teenager extremely concerned.

Kshitij Miraj Shah, a sixteen-year-old student of La Martinere for Boys School, got conscious of the devastating fire outbreak which destroyed more than a hundred and twenty shanties in Tiljala, last Tuesday.

The ferocity of the fire was such that 22 fire engines were pressed into action and although the fire was soon brought under control, a lot of damage was already done. Around four hundred and fifty people from around one hundred and twenty families were rendered homeless. The incident disturbed Kshitij a lot. He asked his parents how he could help these people. Soon, he was put in touch with two NGOs, working in that area which helped him in understanding the immediate requirements of the victims. He then contacted his relatives and friends to raise around Rs 80,000 for the victims.

In the first phase, he arranged for clothes for more than four hundred people. This was done, keeping in mind about the people who lost their roof over their heads and were now exposed to various problems and immediately needed clothing and other necessary amenities as learned from a local organisation and the other authorities working over there.

While speaking to another NGO, Kshitij learned about a senior citizen Haibot Ali Gharami who is a handicapped person and whose only means of movement—a wheelchair— was lost in the fire leaving him crestfallen. A new wheelchair was donated by a family friend Rishabh Bafna and was presented to Haibot Bhai which brought a smile to his face. With eyes filled with tears of joy, he was seen blessing Kshitij. "This was a very soul satisfying way to celebrate Diwali," said Kshitij.

In the second phase, Kshitij aims to raise funds for all the hundred and twenty affected families to provide them with necessary utensils within the next few days. The resource mobilisation is in the process.

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