Saturday, 20 August, 2005

Maharashtra Government Relief and Rehabilitation division

If you'd like to send feedback to the Maharashtra Government's Relief and Rehabilitation division, perhaps about the, ahem, Mumbai Disaster Management Plan, you can use this page. There's also a telephone directory if you want to get in touch direct.

Saturday, 13 August, 2005

Leptospirosis Symptoms

• Abrupt onset of fever, myalgias (muscle pain), and headache
• Dry cough
• Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea
• Less common symptoms include joint aches, bone pain, sore throat, and abdominal pain
• Conjunctivitis
• Seven to 40 per cent of patients may have muscle tenderness, an enlarged spleen or liver, enlarged lymph glands, sore throat, muscle rigidity, abnormal lung sounds, or rash

Emergency number

BMC Control Room: 22694725/ 4727

Source - Mid-Day

Disease epidemics: some precautions and advice

In the wake of diseases spreading in Mumbai, NDTVhas some advice. An extract:
The health advisory says:
  • Boil drinking water for 10 minutes
  • If you have waded through dirty water, check for cuts and bruises
  • Don't eat outside food
  • Consult doctor for fever, vomiting, breathlessness
  • Don't ignore symptoms that may be that of Leptospirosis, like fever, severe muscle ache and redness of eyes
  • Doxycycline is the drug that cures leptospirosis, but it is not a preventive
  • Avoid self-medication
  • Call Helpline for guidance and help at 108, 22694725/27, 56240194, 56240180, 56240191

Friday, 12 August, 2005

Goonj Volunteers Needed

Jessie from Goonj Mumbai tells me that they are looking for volunteers to help with the sorting of clothes, tomorrow (Saturday, 13 August) and on Monday (15 August). More details here. Please call Jasmine at 9324222219 or mail her at

The collection address is:
RBI Society
A4 Akshay Bldg
(in the lane opp Food Inn)
Andheri West

FAQ on gastroenteritis, dengue, leptospirosis and cholera

With the fears of an epidemic in Mumbai growing, Rediff brings out a useful FAQ on some of the diseases that may strike the city: gastroenteritis, dengue, leptospirosis and cholera. It covers the symptoms, causes, prevention, treatment and complications of each of those, while also having tips for how to deal with affected kids. Have a look.

Wednesday, 10 August, 2005

Tell us your cloudburst stories

For the project I mentioned in this post, we're also looking for first-person accounts of the events of 26th July and the days after that.

Where were you? At home, marooned in office, stranded somewhere between? How did you cope? What did you see? Did anything particularly nice happen to you? Or anything really nasty? Do you have pictures?

If you've blogged it, send me the permalink. If you have an online album, send me the URL. Or email me. Accounts in languages other than English are welcome.

Mail me, Peter Griffin, at zigzackly AT gmail DOT com, and put the words [ThinkMumbai] in the subject line (with the square brackets), to get past the spam filters.

Important: In your mail, I will need you to give me permission to:
1. Publish your story or pictures, in print and online, with NO payment to you. (None of the people involved in the project are making any money from it. Most of us are donating at least our time, if not more.)
2. Edit your contribution if I feel it is necessary.
You will not be giving the me or the project exclusive rights to your writing or photography. You will continue to own the rights to your intellectual property.

Tuesday, 9 August, 2005

Wanted, translators for a non-profit project, (preferably Bombay-based)

Ideally, a Languages department in an ad agency, or a professional translation bureau. Provided you're willing to work for no money on a completely insane deadline. :) Individual offers of help are welcome too.
Some of the people behind this blog are also involved in a project that will bring out a free booklet of emergency information for the city's residents (what the floods revealed is that this kind of info is very difficult to find otherwise), and one other publication, which is being finalised.

The final product will be in four languages: Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, English.

Most of the content we have so far is in English. So Requirement One is people who can translate from English to the other three langauges.

But there will be original content in all four languages.

To cut to the chase, we need people who can competently translate:
English to Hindi, and Hindi to English
English to Marathi, and Marathi to English
English to Gujarati, and Gujarati to English
Marathi to Hindi, and Hindi to Marathi
Marathi to Gujarati, and Gujarati to Marathi
Hindi to Gujarati, and Gujarati to Hindi

We're also looking for
English to Tamil, Tamil to English
Tamil to Gujarati, Gujarati to Tamil
Tamil to Hindi, Hindi to Tamil
Tamil to Marathi, Marathi to Tamil
Tamil to Gujarati, Gujarati to Tamil
English to Bangla, Bangla to English
Bangla to Gujarati, Gujarati to Bangla
Bangla to Hindi, Hindi to Bangla
Bangla to Marathi, Marathi to Bangla
Bangla to Gujarati, Gujarati to Bangla

It would be ideal if the translators concerned can generate soft copy in all the languages they handle.

We want Bombay-based people because the project is on a manic deadline, and this would save coordination time. However, if we can find at least one person who has more than a passing acquaintance with all four languages, who is willing to coordinate and take responsibility for the translation exercise, we'd be thrilled.

We must tell you that this is a project where all concerned are offering their services gratis, so we'd be looking for people who will help for FREE.

If you can do this, or put us on to people who can, we'd be very grateful.

Mail Peter Griffin at zigzackly AT gmail DOT com, and put the words [ThinkMumbai] in the subject line (with the square brackets), to get past the spam filters.

Monday, 8 August, 2005

Is your child ready for an emergency?

Natural calamities often leave a long-lasting impact on children. They are likely to feel mentally and emotionally disturbed as they witness the loss of their near and dear ones and see their family suffer financial losses.

Is your child ready for an emergency?

Sunday, 7 August, 2005

The ICE campaign - In Case of Emergency

I received this message on email and since this is a good idea for any disaster, I thought of posting it here (hoping it has not been posted before!).


Due to the recent bombing in London and floods in Mumbai, there has been a tremendous push to launch the International "In Case of Emergency" (ICE) campaign.

As you know, many people were injured in these incidents. Many of those injured were found with their cell phones. First responders used the injured person's cell phone to try and locate a family member that they could notify on the injured persons behalf. However the rescuers found it difficult to locate the appropriate person.

Wireless subscribers are now being asked by Public Safety Officials all over the world to store the word "ICE" in their wireless phone address book and put their next of kin's phone number next to it.

In the event of an emergency, this person would be contacted quickly by ambulance and hospital staff. It's just that easy! (Source: BBC News)

Please take a moment to program someone that you would like to be contacted in case of an emergency into your cell phone with the word "ICE". Public Safety officials around the world will know what this means.

Forward it to as many persons you can, this is a good idea.
Do not forget to do it on your mobile first.

Friday, 5 August, 2005

Accessing monetary relief

A typist in my cousin's office lost her husband in the floods of July 26 (he fell in a manhole). Any ideas where she could apply for the state / central government relief? And can she apply for both? Or will she have to choose?

Safe drinking water

Concerns about Safe drinking water in Mumbai grow everyday with the infamous BMC throwing up its arms saying that they cannot help

Here are the links to Typical Sources of Drinking Water Contamination

Water Treatment

Microorganisms, Bacteria and Viruses in drinking water

Is bottled water safe?

Thursday, 4 August, 2005

First aid in times of disasters

Here is a comprehensive list of First Aid measures

Please note that these are links to US websites and services. India does not have a 911 facility.

Another link to generic first aid tips

First Aid tips to help victims of drowning

Mumbai Helpline Numbers

Wednesday, 3 August, 2005

Citizen's Groups & NGOs

Here is a list of Citizen's Groups & NGOs

Please note: Telephone numbers may not be correct.

Animal welfare organisations

Animals have been traumatised by the floods and the rain. Here is a list of animal welfare centres in Mumbai

Here is a related story on the plight of an elephant

Rehabilitation centres in Mumbai

After the fury of the rains and floods are over will come the task of rehabilitating the people who have suffered. Here is a list of Rehabilitation centres in Mumbai

Before All Else, Treat

As a follow-up to this post of Dilip's, Annie has a useful post here about a National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission judgement regarding the treatment of patients in emergencies. True, this judgement was issued in a different context, where the patient was an accident victim and the hospital, which was a private institution, insisted on an upfront deposit despite the production of the victim's Mediclaim policy - but, as Annie says, it may be useful to keep in mind in case there are cases of hospitals turning away patients or delaying their treatment citing administrative or bureaucratic reasons.

Tuesday, 2 August, 2005

Be careful about donating clothes

This was cross-posted on Cloudburst Mumbai.

Uma has some information here about where to go to donate old clothes, but I'd make careful enquiries before donating any, if I were you. When I travelled through the tsunami-affected areas of Tamil Nadu in January this year, one of the common themes I encountered was how donating clothes was a waste, and how no one wanted them and they would just form colourful heaps of garbage on the sides of roads. (And we have enough of those already.) I wrote about it here and here, and Dilip D'Souza, who travelled with me, mentioned it here and here.

One of the main reasons these clothes go waste is that their intended recepients are not beggars, but proud people hit by circumstances who don't necessarily want old, faded hand-me-downs, which are also sometimes inappropriate given the kind of lives they lead. However, if the NGO concerned is making an effort to make those clothes presentable and acceptable to those they are intended for, as the Rotary Club of Chennai did after the tsunami, then it might be worth it. Otherwise they will just end up piled up on the streetside.

Gaurav brought this subject to my attention now, and has posted about it here.

Dry Clothes Please...

I just posted this on Cloudburst Mumbai, but I thought that since the need is so urgent, it would be useful to post it here again: if you have clothes to donate, they are being collected at this address:

Chemical Mazdoor Sabha
No 29/30, 1st Floor, Haji Habib Building
182 Naigaon Cross Road
Dadar East

It's not hard to find. Their request is that you go there between 11 am and 5:30 pm. It's near the Kohinoor Mills and just above a large appliances showroom also called Kohinoor. You have to take the back entrance upstairs, past a garbage dump where dogs, crows and tiny kittens scrounge for food.

Also: does anyone know of any specific relief work being taken up for street animals during this period?

Coping with floods

Coping With Floods, a self-explanatory guidebook by the North Dakota State University. Though their examples are set in the southern US, they're just as applicable here.

Posted by Rahul on Cloudburst Mumbai Blog

PR for Mumbai Help Blog

Judging by the kind of information available online and in newspapers, this blog seems to have the most comprehensive information. Can someone suggest how we can get some PR for this effort.

Comprehensive list of Mumbai Helpline numbers

Here is the comprehensive list of telephone numbers in Mumbai

Police Stations

and so on.

Toes and Tyres

The Mid Day rounded up specialists to tell us what to do after that 5 hour trek home. As also, how to help your car survive a flood.

AID India's Flood Relief Efforts in Mumbai

Cross posted on Cloudburst Mumbai

This in via email from Anup, on behalf of the Association for India's Development (AID).
Association for India's Development (AID) is undertaking various projects and partnering with our NGOs on the ground to help with short and long term flood relief efforts.

Thousands of the poorest of poor have been rendered homeless and many lives and property has been lost..

Please go to the below website, view some of our relief work reports and click on the Donate link on the right to contribute online:

Every little counts...please pass on the message.

Thanks so much!

Warm Regards,
Rajasekhar Jammalamadaka
for AID

The Red Cross needs help

Crossposted on Cloudburst Mumbai. Via NDTV:

The Red Cross needs:
Bedsheets, new clothes, food packets, biscuits, disinfectants, phenyl, milk powder, blankets.

Cheques/Demand Drafts to the Red Cross can be made out to:

Maharashtra State Branch of Indian Red Cross Society, Disaster Relief Account.

Indian Red Cross Society,
Maharashtra State Branch,
141, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Road
Town Hall Compound,
Fort Mumbai.

Contact numbers: 022-22661524 / 22644030 / 22674235

Monday, 1 August, 2005

After a Flood

More information on how to protect yourself and your property during and after a flood, can be found here and here.

Helpline numbers

Rediff has put up a useful list of helpline numbers here. I'm reproducing the list here:
Power Supply
Reliance: 30303030
MSEB: 25686666

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)
For emergency complaints like building or wall collapses, call 1916.
For fallen trees, short circuits or fire, call 101 or 23085991.
For drainage related complaints, call 1916.
Drainage control rooms: 23678109 (city), 26146852 (western suburbs) or 25153258 (eastern suburbs)

Central Railway
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus: 22697330
Dadar: 24143841
Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Kurla: 26502475, 25298499
Kalyan: 95251-2311499

Western Railway
Call 131 or 22005388

Air India: 28318888
Indian Airlines: 1407
Jet Airways: 56986111
Please continue to give suggestions and information on the comments of the post below.