Cyclone Sidr 2007-Bangladesh
A man receives medical care on an SSS medical boat.
Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha was founded to help alleviate the dire circumstances of impoverished people in the flood-prone regions of Bangladesh where the government and other NGOs were not working. The organization’s project areas include the country’s northern districts, which are comprised mostly of rivers and wetlands. Health services are not available to the villagers who live in this remote area, and they routinely suffer from extremely high rates of malnutrition and waterborne disease.
Shidhulai overcame the challenge of Bangladesh’s ecosystem and found an innovative way to deliver information and education to its residents. Using custom-built indigenous boats, Shidhulai established libraries, schools, and healthcare clinics that navigate the region’s waterways. These boats can reach the most isolated populations—even during monsoon season. With help from Direct Relief, families in riverside villages are benefiting from improved education, medical treatment, and communication with the broader world.
Shidhulai was particularly well suited to respond to the devastating flooding following Cyclone Sidr. The organization immediately went into action providing families with food, clothing, and medicine including IV fluids, water purification tablets, and oral rehydration salts. However, it was in desperate need of other medical goods such as antibiotics, antiseptics, antiparasitics, ophthalmic drops, dermatological agents, and an assortment of first aid supplies. Direct Relief was able to respond with an emergency donation for SSS which included these critically needed products, which were air frieghted to Dhaka.
Direct Relief International has provided Shidhulai Swanirvar Shidhulai with medical aid for use on their boat-based clinics so they can better provide free health care to their rural patients, with additional aid planned. Targeted cash grants to Shidhulai will help it assist those affected in Bangladesh’s annual flooding.