EXO fans, Small Wish International offer help to flood, Covid-hit masses in Assam
Guwahati: Assam floods has been garnering worldwide attention these days. And this time from the worldwide fan club of popular K-pop band EXO in collaboration with NGO Small Wish International (SWI) was able to generate a total sum of more than Rs 3 lakh for the flood relief campaign.
CEO of SWI Arif Ahmed first started the fundraising campaign for SWI and was able to generate a sum of Rs 2. 20 lakh in just three days. Soon Anchula Saikia came on board as a fundraising coordinator and started an exclusive campaign for SWI among EXO-fans and raised one lakh in another 24 hours. Altogether 20% EXO donations came internationally and Manipur EXO-fans made the highest single donation of Rs 18,100. Some BTS fans also came forward to contribute to the SWI fundraising.
EXO is a South Korean–Chinese boy band based in Seoul. The band is composed of nine members that includes Xiumin, Suho, Lay, Baekhyun, Chen, Chanyeol, D.O., Kai and Sehun. EXO was formed by SM Entertainment in 2011 and debuted in 2012. Their music incorporates genres like pop, hip-hop, and R&B, alongside electronic dance music genres like house, trap, and synth-pop.
An elated Arif said, “First the BTS fans and then the EXO fans, The K-pop fans have surprised us with their overwhelming desire to help in need.” As just recently a 23-year-old Bhavana Barman, Master's degree student from Dibrugarh University in Assam raised over Rs 5 lakh for Assam flood relief using her ‘BTS Army‘ fanbase and friends alike. She even supported this fundraising campaign.
With the donations in hand, the team four people from SWI Guwahati HQ drove to Baksa District on Monday to carry out a flood relief drive. The team of four included Prince Khalid- Chief operating officer of SWI, popular actor cum singer Arghadeep Barua, Anee Sharma, and were also joined by Fajlul Haque to carry out the ground operations further. The team provided aid to over 600 people including children stranded in flood submerged villages.
The team did not only cater to the needs required during a flood relief operation as along with floods the people of Assam are also smacked right in between the COVID-19 pandemic. Prince said, “Assuming there is higher vulnerability among flood-displaced victims seeking shelter in relief camps towards COVID-19 spread, we have carried out COVID-19 basic symptoms screening and we provided emergency medical aid starting from masks, sanitizers, fever medication, multivitamins and multiminerals (towards boost immune system) to sanitary pads, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial creams for hygiene to the flood-affected victims.”
The ground operations which took almost eight hours reached out to the majority of the families isolated by floods that were connected by road. Families temporarily laid out bamboo bridges to connect to houses where they were screened and were provided with emergency medical aid. The team trekked through the flooded regions using makeshift plantain boats to reach families including children who got displaced during floods and were seeking shelter in a local school. Upon reaching they witnessed that the families sheltered there had no social distancing. Additionally, none of them took any precautionary measures against COVID-19. So the team while providing the aid took the time to explain the families about a few must take precautionary measures against the viral infection.
According to the flood reports of just yesterday by Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), a total of 494 villages and 3,88,914 people were affected. Damages to over 32 thousand hectares of crop area and one life were lost on Monday.