Bucks Freemasons donate towards grant to help victims of cyclone in India

The damage caused by Cyclone Fani in Odisha, India
The damage caused by Cyclone Fani in Odisha, India

The Bucks Freemasons have donated towards a £16,000 grant to help victims of a cyclone in the Puri district of Odisha, India.

Cyclone Fani hit Odisha at the end of April and the start of May this year, and was reportedly the strongest tropical storm to hit the country in decades.

Millions of people across the Indian state saw their lives devastated and were given emergency supplies of food and materials to rebuild their homes, thanks to a grant from the Masonic Charitable Foundation, the Freemasons’ charity.

A grant of £16,000 was donated to Plan International UK which is working to help the most vulnerable survivors in 70 communities in the worst hit areas of Odisha’s Puri district.

Bucks Freemasons were among the freemason groups from across the country that contributed to the fund.

A further £1,250 was sent to the Freemasons in Bengal, as they requested, to support local relief efforts on the ground.

The grant from the Freemasons to Plan International UK will help to provide dry ration kits of rice and other basic food to 5,000 families, along with household essentials like blankets, mats, mosquito nets, buckets and soap.

A further 2,000 households will receive shelter materials such as ropes and tarpaulins so they can begin to repair their homes, while 2,000 children will be provided with notebooks, stationery and other educational materials so they can get back to school as soon as possible.

More than 10 million people have been affected across 11 districts of Odisha by Cyclone Fani, which had recorded winds of 200kph.

Tanya Barron, chief executive of Plan International UK said: “We’re hugely grateful to the Masonic Charitable Foundation for supporting our disaster response in India.

"This generous grant will make a big difference to many thousands of people affected by this devastating cyclone and help them get back on their feet.”

David Innes, chief executive of the Masonic Charitable Foundation said: “Cyclone Fani has devastated the lives of many thousands of people across a huge area of Odisha.

"I’m very pleased that the Masonic Charitable Foundation was able to move so quickly and provide funds for Plan International UK’s vital work at the heart of the disaster zone.”