Kumari Runu Nayak (20), single and orphan, currently sheltered at her uncle’s makeshift house at DNT colony in Ganjam block, lost everything during the cyclone Phailin. “Local Sarpanch and the school teachers intimated us about the severity of the approaching cyclone” – shared Runu. However, like many in her village, she too did not pay heed to the hint since people from costal belt of Odisha are quite accustomed to these “October disasters” (mostly in the form of cyclone). “It was 1 a.m. that night, I could realize the mistake we did, ignoring the alert given by the Sarpanch” Runu continued with an intimidated voice. “It was not a fleeting storm with an average speed. It was bigger and frightening.” Many of the villagers like Runu were relocated to the nearest school building during the catastrophe. “In haste, I could not even bring any of the essentials like clothing, food and water. All of us were gathered in one corner of the school building, – anxious, threatened and praying for the cyclone to be subdued”, Runu was articulating like she could see another storm cloud looming on the horizon.

A need assessment survey was conducted by CYSD-Plan one month after the PhillinRunu, like many of the villagers, was provided with repair and reconstruction support (GCI sheets, wooden pole, RCC pillar, J hooks, nuts, bolts and nails) by CYSD-Plan. “Soon after getting the building materials by CYSD my uncle’s house was repaired and my own house was fully reconstructed”, – finally a glittering smile shed the tremors of devastation from her face.