Kuthambakkam is a green agriculture-rich village, 37 km from Chennai. Last year monsoon became furious and poured heavily on 1st and 2nd December 2015. The sudden downpour of rain for more than 30 hours marooned many parts of Kuthambakkam. The flood damaged the agriculture lands, small houses, huts and old constructions along the catchment area. A survey on damages to the fields and houses in Kuthambakkam was done by the team of Trust for Village Self-Governance (TVSG) after a week and had found that more than 350 houses were damaged partially and about 10 of them were completely damaged.
The completely damaged houses were taken for reconstruction by the government, but the partially affected houses were taken into account for granting only a few thousand rupees as relief after some time. The leak in the roofs and dampness in the walls was creating a real 'havoc' in the lives of the inhabitants of these houses. The families were desperate to repair their houses. The houses affected were mostly small houses and predominantly constructed under various housing schemes of the Government for poor such as Indira Awas Yojana and Rural Housing and Innovative Habitat Promotion Scheme. They were in a condition that they could be used for a few more decades if they were properly repaired.
Pragathi under the leadership of Alok Agrawal came forward to support the affected families in repairing the houses. He and his team toured the affected parts of the village, spoke to the villagers and motivated them to believe that they can overcome this calamity with some help from outside, and gave them hope.
Initially, a survey was done to assess the damage to all the 350 houses. Then an action plan was prepared to start the repair works in Kuthambakkam by the mid of January 2016 after the availability of finances was ensured from Global Pragathi. Damaged roof slabs were repaired by stripping and plastering the bottom. The weathering course was laid with concrete mortar and new tiles. These houses were plastered outside along with the weathering course repair at the top. With this repair work, the smiles have returned to the faces of the villagers of Kuthambakkam, thanks to Pragathi.