Toys to soothe relief camp kids in Kerala

The agony and grief of people whose savings of a lifetime had been lost in devastating floods in Kerala is widely being discussed.

But, what about the pain of a child whose only toy car or doll was washed away in the rains?

This unaddressed aspect of the plight of children in relief camps, traumatised by the horrors of murderous flood, has forced a city-based NGO to launch a unique 'toy collection' drive for them.

RIGHTS, the outfit, is collecting dolls, toy cars, story books, crayons, footballs and cricket bats for children in relief camps to rid their minds of the shock and distress caused by the unprecedented floods.

The objective of the drive is to give a psychological support to the children, whose woes were not getting much attention amidst the plight of the elder people, Director of RIGHTS, Radhalakshmi said.

Besides collecting from public, the outfit approached some crayon and book companies also.

"We have visited several relief camps across the state to distribute essential materials we collected. One of the most worrying scenes there was that of the children," she told.

"They have lost their books, pencils, toys...everything. Especially the plight of the kidsbelonging to marginalised families living on the banks of rivers whose houses were completely destroyed in floods.

The pain of a child who lost his only toy is unimaginable," she said.

If they get some toys, books or crayons at this point of time, it may bring back some colours in their life, the activist added.

The outfit is particular that only fresh toys would be collected for the flood-hit children, but used story booksare acceptable.

The NGO has already distributed some toys and books in relief camps in worst-hit Alappuzha district.

The next lot would be ready for distribution next week, its volunteers added.