Turkey-Syria earthquakes: Beyond Operation Dost, Indian students extend helping hand to survivors

Turkey-Syria earthquakes: Beyond Operation Dost, Indian students extend helping hand to survivors

On February 6, Turkey and Syria were jolted by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake, which left around 47,000 dead and millions homeless.

Musab QaziUpdated: Monday, February 20, 2023, 09:30 PM IST
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DU students helped deliver relief material to quake-hit survivors through the Turkish Embassy in New Delhi |

Mumbai: Nawaar Elaf, an undergraduate student at Delhi University (DU), was heartbroken when he saw the devastating pictures of the massive earthquake that shook parts of Turkey and Syria earlier this month. He felt helpless, as there didn't seem a way to help lakhs of people who were left homeless by the seismic disaster. However, as soon as the Turkish Embassy in India called for donations, he turned to his friends at ASAP, a small community of DU students to provide aid to the Earthquake-affected people.

"We collected money from our friends and family members to purchase relief material, including around 100 sleeping bags, over 700 sanitary pads, 350 diapers, and 50 sweaters. The goods were handed over to the Turkish Embassy in New Delhi," said Nawaar. 

Countries help Turkey-Syria amid crisis

On February 6, Turkey and Syria were jolted by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake, which left around 47,000 dead and millions homeless. As the region plunged into a grave humanitarian crisis, countries across the world reached out to Turkey and Syria. The Indian government, as part of its 'Operation Dosti', has set up a field hospital, sent multiple National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams, and provided supplies to the affected region. At the same time, students on campuses across the country are also doing their bit to help those facing the devastation.

HCU students step up to help earthquake victims

HCU students step up to help earthquake victims |

Indian campuses step up to help survivors

The Hyderabad Central University (HCU) chapter of Fraternity Movement, a students' group, also carried out a donation drive at the institute. They placed donation boxes on campus, knocked on hostel doors, and used social media to encourage their peers to donate. They managed to fill 12 boxes with necessities such as clothes, sanitary items, tents, and blankets, which were given to the Turkish consulate in Hyderabad.

"We were distressed about the situation in the region. We wanted to send monetary help, but we came to know the consulate was only accepting in-kind donations. Initially, we gathered basic materials such as clothes and sanitary items, but the consulate officials said that they needed tents and blankets. So we asked our friends and family to chip in. We raised around Rs. 50,000 and purchased these items," said Sahla Rahmathulla, a Fraternity Movement member.

Students at another premier institute, Aligarh Muslim University, are also raising funds on campus. They have so far collected around Rs, 70,000 as they went door-to-door at hostels with donation appeals. They are now planning to send the money to the Turkish Embassy as well as the organisations working in the affected region. 

"We started the initiative after realising that many people were keen on donating money for relief. The primary aim of this drive is to create awareness about the disaster unfolding in the region. We received a very good response. We are all part of one human family and helping those in need is part of our ethos," said Abuzar Siddiqui, a recent AMU graduate, and one of the organisers of the campaign.

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