Over the past few weeks, The Better India has covered the intense flood relief and rehabilitation efforts in Kerala, following the devastating floods.
Despite all the negative political discourse that has surrounded the coverage on Kerala, positive news stories of relief and rehabilitation efforts continue to flow. TBI has highlighted the efforts of civil servants in the state, the armed forces, people from Kerala, the country and members of the international community in ensuring help reaches the flood-affected state.
One such story is the role played by Additional Chief Secretary in the Maharashtra government, Praveen Pardeshi. Mr Pardeshi played a critical role in coordinating the state’s relief and rehabilitation efforts to Kerala.
Once the gravity of the flood situation became clear, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis assigned the task of coordinating his state’s assistance for Kerala to one of his most trusted and efficient IAS officers in the state – Praveen Pardeshi, reports Times of India.
Involving senior officials from various departments of the Maharashtra government—relief and rehabilitation, revenue, public health, medical education and transport—besides prominent non-profits from the state, Pardeshi coordinated relief and rehabilitation efforts with the heads of these same departments in Kerala.
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Besides, he ensured that doctors from government-run JJ Hospital in Mumbai and Pune’s Sassoon hospitals were air-lifted to Kerala in coordination with the Air Force.
For coordinating efforts with the Kerala government, Pardeshi set up a WhatsApp group containing the necessary officials, and for a week oversaw their efforts ensuring that clothes, medicines, food and other relief material reached the districts particularly affected by the floods.
This isn’t the first time the 1985-batch IAS officer has conducted such large-scale relief efforts. As Collector, he assisted the rehabilitation of victims who had suffered in the devastating September 1993 earthquake in Latur, Maharashtra, in which 30,000 died, and 52 villages were destroyed.
It was following Pardeshi’s lead in the Latur earthquake relief efforts that Kerala had become the first state to take charge of rehabilitating the village of Nimboli in Maharashtra, reports ToI.
Certain non-profits from Kerala had even constructed 300 houses in the village. For Pardeshi and Kerala, the entire process has come a full circle.
(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)