IIM Kozhikode alumni and students initiate important Kerala Flood Relief effort

New Delhi, India, August 23: The Alumni Association of IIM Kozhikode, along with faculty and current students, has initiated important relief and support for victims of Kerala floods. Kerala has been hit by the worst floods in more than a century.

B. Rajesh Kumar, Vice President, IIM K Alumni Association, explained, “Social impact has always been important to IIM Kozhikode as we realise that all of us are a part of the society and we hold a responsibility towards it. The devastating floods in Kerala have been a clear call for action, striking right in our homes and impacting so many lives. The entire IIMK community – alumni, students and faculty – has come together to alleviate the suffering by understanding what is needed and rallying to provide for these needs of the affected people, in collaboration with KeralaRescue, District level administration and various NGOs.”

The IIM K Alumni Association has sent more than 15 truckloads of relief material to different parts of Kerala from various locations like Mysore, Bangalore, Mangalore, Coimbatore, Nagercoil.

Supplies have been funded through alumni and their networks, as well as through corporate sponsorships. Collaboration with a number of leading FMCG and pharmaceutical companies has been forged to get supplies sponsored or at discounted rates.

The focus of supplies was initially on Ready to Eat food, Basic clothing, first aid, medicines and drinking water supplies. As water levels have started receding, the list has been expanded to include a host of items required for sanitation and personal hygiene.

Currently, the IIMK Community is running/supporting 3 delivery routes: Bangalore to Wayanad; Mangalore to Thrissur / Cochin; and Nagercoil to Trivandrum. Tie-ups with logistics and e-commerce companies for Logistics, and with NGOs for the collection of relief material and delivery at various collection centers have also been put in place.

Ankit Agarwal, another alumnus who is leading the efforts of coordination on the ground, added, “The challenge is not just to fund supplies to the flood victims, but understand the needs of different districts, to what extent these needs can be met, and then streamline the entire operation to ensure that not a single district or area or person stays neglected. Hubs at various locations have been set up and trucks with the procured materials from various FMCG and pharmaceutical companies have been delivered each day since 16th August.”

Pratik Patki, another alumnus who is working closely with Ankit, was also full of praise for the Kerala government and officials. “The last-mile distribution continues to be effectively managed by the local government machinery, who have been extremely responsive to the efforts and are working very hard to deliver the supplies to the last person who needs it.”

In line with international guidelines, the alumni and students have developed a colour & number coding scheme for package labels so that incoming supplies will be easy to segregate and forward where they are needed. The labels are in 4 key languages so they can be understood by everyone in the supply chain. These labels reduce the time and effort involved in opening, sorting and repacking packages at every step of the way.

Rajesh also spoke about future plans. “The IIMK community is now expanding its collaboration with multiple stakeholders to streamline information flow and achieve real time matching of demand with the supplies available at district level. The same has been achieved through identifying POCs at district levels and with various NGOs working on the ground who are feeding live requirements into a centralized database that is then being matched with the supplies and logistics to deliver what is required, where it is required, and when it is required.”

The IIMK alumni association flood relief team can be reached at iimk.keralarelief@gmail.com If you would like to collaborate with these relief efforts, you can get in touch with the association.