Vinodh hails from a little village in Kilinochchi. The rains first started when he was on his school term-end vacation. The rain brings so many possibilities for little boys like Vinodh. But, in a corner of their little minds, there is always a fear of the disasters that the rain could cause. One gloomy day, the precipitation suddenly increased and the flood water levels too arose. In a state of emergency, Vinodh’s family gathered their meagre belongings and ran to higher ground. Vinodh had to wade through waist-deep water in order to reach safety. His home was no longer safe; Vinodh and his family found shelter at a friend’s home.

Vinodh returned home with his family when the flood waters receded to survey the damage caused. Vinodh was the first to notice that his school books were completely ruined. The flood waters had also washed away his uniforms, shoes and his toys. As the family of the cleric of the village kovil, Vinodh’s family depended on the offerings of the faithful in their community. With this limited income, Vinodh’s parents were unable to purchase new stationery, shoes and uniforms for their young son. When the new school-term began, Vinodh and his other classmates did not have the books they needed to follow their lessons.

The LEADS team visited Vinodh’s school to inquire about the requirements of the flood-affected students. The Principal of the school explained the plight of the students who had returned to school without books and the stationery needed to take part in their lessons. LEADS distributed school packs among the students of this school and conducted an awareness programme on how to remain safe in the face of such disasters. “I didn’t realise that we were in danger and only thought of playing in the water” admitted Vinod. “The floods damaged my clothes, school bag and shoes. I was so sad as I was looking forward to going back to school. I cannot thank my school or LEADS enough for the help you gave me.”

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