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     As the weeks passed, Prashant was quick to recognise that the women and children were sinking deeper and deeper in their grief. He persuaded the women to start working in the food-for-work programme started by an NGO, and for the children he organised sports events. He himself loved to play cricket, and so he organised cricket matches for children. Prashant engaged, with other volunteers, in helping the widows and children to pick up the broken pieces of their lives. The initial government plan was to set up institutions for orphans and widows. However, this step was successfully resisted, as it was felt that in such institutions, children would grow up without love, and widows would suffer from stigma and loneliness. Prashant’s group believed orphans should be resettled in their own community itself, possibly in new foster families made up of childless widows and children without adult care.
The effects and impacts of the devastating cyclone remained as it not only damaged properties but took away a lot of lives. In about few weeks, Prashant quickly realised the grievances of women and children. He could sense their pain of loneliness.
He then thought to divert them with some work in order to make them forget their worries. He introduced them to a food-for-work programme started by an NGO and persuaded them to join it.
The 'Food for Work' programme now called the "National Rural Employment Programme" was established in the \(1970\)s, to help the impoverished. These poverty-relief programmes seek to increase impoverished people's income and employment through creating new assets and creating jobs. Instead of money, this campaign aimed to provide goods.
The role of NGOs was vital in the 1999 Orissa super cyclone. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are non-profit, voluntary, and independent organisations that work on a variety of socioeconomic and developmental concerns. During a disaster, the job of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) is to respond quickly and save as many lives as possible with the resources available. The NGOs' key responsibilities were supplying relief materials, creating health camps, participating in rescue operations, and preparing temporary shelters, among other things. The children are also given training and education by the NGO.
Prashant also organised cricket matches for children, which he took part in because he himself liked the sport. Prashant's volunteer organisation assisted widows and children in returning to their normal lives because they did not want to let any one suffer physically, intellectually, or emotionally.
Initially, the government intended to establish separate facilities for orphans and widows. However, such a proposal was rejected since it would be pointless to create separate institutions for orphaned children and widows. They didn't want the orphaned children to grow up without love, and widows to avoid social stigma. Widows in India are generally more vulnerable than men without any financial security or support, and they are supposed to mourn till death.
Prashant's volunteer group planned to place orphaned children and widows in foster families in their own community, where they would receive love and protection.
Meanings of difficult words:
S. No
PersuadeTo convince someone to do or believe something
ResistTo oppose or fight against something
StigmaNegative feelings that people have about something
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Beehive. Weathering the storm in Ersama - Hasrh Mander (pp.37-42). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.