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Responding to the Odisha Train Accident

From Immediate Relief to Long-term Recovery & Resilience

The Odisha train accident of June 2023 impacted the lives of over 1,500 vulnerable people. Community Action Collab (CAC) sprang into action in the aftermath of the derailment, engaging its platform of partners, donors, and volunteers to assess the ground-level situation and identify the immediate needs of the victims.

Within 12 hours of the accident, CAC, UDYAMA, its anchor partner in the state, and 11 other on-ground partners were actively engaged in relief activities. Through its partners, CAC distributed ration kits, food supplies, wheelchairs, and coffin boxes to the affected individuals while successfully raising resources amounting to INR 23 Lakhs for the purpose of immediate relief and recovery.

The CAC Approach: Immediate Relief through Harmonised Action

CAC’s vast network of partners from different sectors plays a central role in coordinating disaster response actions. Through the CAC platform, organisations such as DonateKart enabled the on-ground relief work through funds provision and logistical support.

CAC had successfully onboarded several partner organisations to the DonateKart platform as a measure of emergency preparedness. This pre-established relationship with India’s leading crowdfunding platform helped expedite the process of urgently raising critical resources.

During the initial days, the CAC partners and volunteers visited the crash site, hospitals, and relief camps to provide basic necessities to the victims and support their families. Head Held High, SELCO, and Humanitarian Aid International were organisations working with CAC to  provide relief in Odisha. Other partners who helped us in coordinating disaster response actions are Udyama, Netaji Jubak Sangha, Utkal Seva, Views, SEEDS, CYSD, Yuva Vikas, Gopabandhu Seva Parishad, Divya Jyoti Mahila Vikash, Giriraj Voluntary Organisation and Nature’s Club. The state government of Odisha and media outlets also supported the network’s immediate relief work.

Apart from network partners, CAC coordinated with the District Disaster Management Agency of Balasore and Citizens Charter Committee to augment their efforts in responding to the train tragedy.

Intermediary Intervention on Social Protection

Community Action Collab is dedicated to facilitating long term interventions such as livelihoods,education for the children, and other social security interventions to assist victims in their recovery journey. The partnership between Swasti Health Catalyst, Community Action Collab, and DonateKart is a significant step towards providing support to the victims of the Balasore train disaster. By offering comprehensive post-rehabilitation assistance, including medical aid, sustainable livelihood support, and educational assistance, the CAC partner ecosystem is helping the affected individuals and communities in their recovery.

The Journey Towards Recovery and Resilience

While the immediate emergency subsided, CAC and its partners are continuing their commitment of rebuilding the lives of the impacted individuals and their families. Trauma counselling sessions are being initiated to address the mental and physical scars left by the accident via Call4Svasth. Social protection measures such as financial planning and ex-gratia support are also being put in place to ensure sustained support for the affected families.

The media’s attention towards the accident victims may have dwindled, but vulnerable communities continue to grapple with the aftermath of the accident. Community Action Collab’s commitment to building long-term resilience for the impacted through social, economic, and healthcare initiatives ensures they not only recover from the accident but are better equipped to deal with shocks in the future.