First thing first, my analysis is based on Facebook posts by generous donors and volunteers, who have been spontaneously campaigning and going around the Earthquake-hit area and distributing foods and clothes and stuffs to victims. I admit I may not be in touch with reality here. So, pardon me if that is the case.
Undoubtedly, foods and clothes are primary needs along with shelter, but since foods and clothes are quick to arrange and distribute, many are offering rice and dal and noodles and clothes to victims, especially when it is from individual level or group of friends wanting to offer some help. It was all perfect for a while, but then now I think it should be slowed down and need to focus primarily on donating cash and assisting on quick settlement process.
A family, in general, needs a sack of rice, few kg's of "daal" and likewise items to survive for a month. So what can happen is, when you donate eatables, they gonna keep whatever and how much ever is needed to them for a month and rest they may sell it off, since they all will be as well depriving for cash. That would be fine, but the problem is, those retail guys are not going to buy any of those things in market value from the victims. So say market value of rice at 40 rupees per Kg, will be sold at maybe 20 rupees per Kg. Since victims long for cash and rice has come to them for free (sorry, I didn't mean to be insensitive), they would probably sell those items at whatever price retailer asking for, money matters to them right now more than any other states of their life. End of the day, ultimate beneficiary is those retailers and traders.
So, my point is, if we can give a sack of rice, I think it's better we first figure out if the family has already received enough eatables items and clothes or not. If that is the case, give them cash or donate via organisation that is working on settlement process or healthcare.
That kind of donation approach will be more effective and prudent over donating foods and clothes. As we all know, life demands many things other than foods and clothes and after couple of weeks, things will cool down, we will be busy with our lives, victims have to move on with their lives. In this process, they will be in constant need of cash for various purpose in day to day life, and for that, they have no option but to sell off the excess foods and clothes that they received in the form of donation, and as I said earlier, ultimate beneficiary will be the shopkeeper guys.
Why make retailer guy rich. Let's give cash to the victims if they already have got foods and clothes.
|Image By: Amwrit Puri|
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