Cheshire Freemasons give £16,000 to Indian cyclone victims

Thousands of people across the Indian state of Odisha, whose lives have been devastated by Cyclone Fani, will be 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 £15,000 is being donated to Plan International UK which is working to help the vulnerable survivors in 70 communities in the worst hit areas of Odisha’s Puri district.

Damaged homes in Odisha State Damaged homes in Odisha State

A further £1,250 is being sent to 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. It was the strongest cyclone to strike India in 20 years and was equal in strength to Cyclone Idai, which devastated large parts of southern Africa in March.

The Masonic Charitable Foundation is funded by freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.

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.”

Head of Cheshire Freemasons, Stephen Blank, 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.”

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