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The Hindu
The Hindu

Odisha train accident | Reliance to provide free ration, jobs to affected families

Reliance Foundation, the philanthropic arm of India's most valuable company Reliance Industries Ltd, on Monday, June 5, 2023, announced a slew of relief measures, including a free ration for six months and jobs for those affected by the multi-train collision in Odisha’s Balasore district, the country's deadliest train crash in decades.

The foundation will provide free fuel for ambulances dealing with the disaster through the Jio-BP network as well as free medicines for injured and medical treatment for those needing hospitalisation.

Also read | Odisha train accident: IRCTC walks the extra mile to facilitate insurance settlements

"Provision of free ration supplies, including flour, sugar, dal, rice, salt and cooking oil, for the next six months to affected families through Reliance stores" will be made, it said in a statement.

The deadliest train accident in nearly three decades left 275 dead and hundreds injured.

"While we cannot undo the suffering caused by the tragedy, we are fully committed to helping the bereaved families rebuild their lives and prepare for the future. With this as our solemn mission, we are announcing a 10-point programme to offer our unwavering support to those affected by this unfortunate incident," Nita Ambani, Founder & Chairperson, of Reliance Foundation (RF), said in a statement about the railway accident that occurred in Balasore, Odisha, on June 2.

The foundation will provide employment opportunities through Jio and Reliance Retail to one family member of the deceased, as needed. It will also extend counselling services for emotional and psychosocial support, and extend support aids to people with disabilities, including wheelchairs and artificial limbs.

Specialist skill training would be provided to those impacted to find new employment opportunities. Also, microfinance and training opportunities for women, who may have lost their sole earning family member, would be provided.

Livelihood support

It will also provide livestock such as cows, buffalo, goats, and poultry for alternate livelihood support to rural families impacted by the accident.

"Free mobile connectivity to a family member of bereaved for a year to enable them to rebuild their livelihood," it added.

Present at Balasore since the accident took place, Reliance Foundation's specialist disaster management team closely coordinated with the Emergency Section, Collectorate, Balasore, and National Disaster Response Force.

Helping passengers quickly evacuate coaches and rushing injured to emergency vehicles, to immediately make available masks, gloves, ORS, bedsheets, lighting and other necessities for rescue at the site of the accident. Reliance Foundation volunteers were also involved in the rescue by making gas cutters available to evacuate passengers trapped in coaches; also mobilised other volunteers from nearby communities for the efforts.

"To ensure that rescue efforts continued uninterrupted, Reliance Foundation identified and networked with youth volunteers from the area to quickly prepare food for about 1,200 people. Meals were provided to rescue personnel, much needed for the personnel, and for families of those affected, who arrived at the accident site. Adequate drinking water was also ensured," it added.

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