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First 75 Of 100 Houses Dedicated in India’s Flood-Stricken District

Habitat-Rotary Club project to provide homes for 500 flood victims in Kalyan

KALYAN, 14th June 2006: More than 70 families affected by the July 2005 floods in the western Indian state of Maharashtra have new homes, thanks to a joint project by Habitat for Humanity India and the Rotary Club of Kalyan.

Brighter future: A homepartner receiving a token key from (left) Thane district administrator Nandkumar Jantre, Rotary district 3140 governor Srirang Prabhu and Mumbai Habitat Resource Center director Joseph Scaria.

Reason to smile: Habitat staff from the Mumbai office with the homepartner family at their new house in Raita village, Kalyan district.

The first 75 houses out of a total of 100 houses planned were dedicated in a traditional ceremony on 11th June 2006, in Raita village. The houses are for 500 flood victims in the Kalyan district, which was among the worst hit in the July 2005 floods. The disaster claimed at least 1,000 lives and damaged or destroyed at least 10,000 homes according to estimates.

Besides the homepartner families, Nandkumar Jantre, administrator of Thane district, Srirang Prabhu, governor of Rotary district 3140 which covers the area of Greater Mumbai and Thane district, and Joseph Scaria, director of the Habitat Resource Center in Mumbai, also attended the ceremony.

Jantre lauded Habitat and Rotary for their partnership in the Kalyan project and said he looked forward to more fruitful partnerships to come.

On his part, Prabhu would like to make Raita village a model project for future collaborations. He said: “Rotary believes in partnership and cooperation. We want to build goodwill in the world. Together Habitat and Rotary can do good work.”

The Raita village head, Ganesh Suroshi, was thankful for the 100 houses scheduled to be built in the village. He welcomed future partnerships with Habitat.

Santosh Bhoire was among the five homepartners who each received a token key for their new homes. He said: “Without the help of Habitat and Rotary Club, we wouldn’t have gotten this house and we would have been out on the streets. We will remember this great favor forever.”

For their tireless participation in Saturday Builds for the Kalyan project, the volunteers from the US consulate received special mention.

Rotarian Lalit Katkar cited them as an inspiration to all while Prabhu thanked Annerieke Owen, wife of the US Consul in Mumbai for leading the builds. The US Consul, Michael Owen, also volunteered on some of the Saturday Builds, a program under Habitat’s Maharashtra Flood Response Initiative.

The US$1.5 million initiative aims to build least 1,000 houses for families affected by the torrential floods and landslides in late July 2005 in Maharashtra and its capital Mumbai.