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In 2018, when unprecedented floods ravaged Kerala, the state was shaken by the magnitude of the tragedy. At least initially, even the government was not quite prepared to handle the crisis and it was then the state’s youth power sprung into action. (Of course, we can’t forget the contributions of the fisherfolks). Students quickly jumped into action, and campuses became rescue and rehabilitation hubs, breaking the notion that the New Generation doesn’t have any social responsibility and they live in a bubble. In 2019, the floods returned, with more destruction this time. Once again, the student community stormed into action in co-ordination with government officials and other NGOs. We list six colleges who have led from the front in relief and rescue operations.

INSTITUTION: Model Engineering College, Thrikkakara

WHAT THEY DID: We have not been involved in rescue operations per se, but we mostly dealt with post-rescue operations and rebuilding. At rehabilitation centres, we provided food, medicine, sanitary napkins and other day-to-day essential items.

INSTITUTION: Mar Baselios Institute of Technology and Science, Kothamangalam

WHAT THEY DID: We provided food items to a tribal colony at Uriyyampetti in Pooyamkutti. Distributed kits with rice, tea powder, sugar, cereals, coconut, coconut oil, peanuts and other essential items. At Meenagadi, we also distributed utensils and clothes to flood-affected villagers.

INSTITUTION: College of Engineering, Chengannur

WHAT THEY DID: As a representative of all the flood relief volunteers, I can proudly say that we were always ready for giving a hand to the needy. From all the bittersweet experience of 2018 Kerala floods, we all were unconsciously prepared to start a relief camp, if necessary. We quickly set up collection camps for the people at Kozhikode relief camps. The help of college alumni was as strong as the previous year, indicating that distance is not a factor when social responsibility is concerned.

INSTITUTION: Adi Shankara Institute Of Engineering And Technology, Kalady

WHAT THEY DID: We have been involved in rescue operations and also dealt with post-rescue operations and rebuilding. At camps, we provided food, medicine, sanitary napkins and other day-to-day essential items.

INSTITUTION: Thangal Kunju Musaliar Institute of Technology, Kollam

WHAT THEY DID: First we set up a camp at our campus and later at TM Vargheese Hall, Kollam. We have built custom-made emergency lights and mini-power banks for immediate use for the flood-affected people.

INSTITUTION: St Teresa's College, Ernakulam

WHAT THEY DID: We distributed kits (for survival/cleaning) to tribal areas in Wayanad and Attapadi with the help of ‘Collector Bro’ Prashanth IAS. We co-ordinated with UNO Walkers for flood relief at Kozhikkode. During last year's floods, we set up a flood relief camp which later became a collection unit, and then a district distribution centre. We also did a survey in and around Cheranallor (which was ravaged) to find out the ground realities. We also undertook several awareness sessions.

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