Chennai flood catastrophe 2015 and how to help

You may have heard on the news about the Chennai flood catastrophe which happened during the first week of December 2015. The most affected areas are all within an hour’s drive from our office. Each year the North East Monsoon normally brings heavy rains during November which inundates some areas and roads. Some years it has been more extensive, causing much more damage as in 2005.

Some statistics of the Chennai flood catastrophe

About 600 people have died in the northern parts of Tamil Nadu as a result of the Chennai flood catastrophe, the southern parts of Andhra Pradesh and in Pondicherry. Values of more than $15 billion have been destroyed. At the most 1.8 million people were left without basic amenities. Thousands of people living in slums (shanties) were stranded in flooded areas without access to food, drinking water and medicine with their homes and all livelihood lost in the floods. Power supply, telephone network, including most mobile networks and Internet did not work, neither did ATM’s or credit cards.

The people of Chennai, which was recently featured among the Top 10 Best Cities to Travel in the World by Lonely Planet and rated by Forbes as the top 10 Fastest Growing Cities in the World, rose to the occasion, and thousands of volunteers including local fishermen with their boats, the Coastguard and the Indian Army worked tirelessly to help people to get away from houses completely surrounded by water. They also delivered water and food to marooned people.

In the press people have blamed the severe consequences for the 2015 floods on uncontrolled growth and poor preparedness. However to be fair to the authorities, such severe flooding as we experienced this year is unprecedented and has not happened at least in the last hundred years.

Immediate relief for the Chennai flood catastrophe victims

Neighbouring cities, international organisations and neighbouring countries assisted by sending food and clothes to the city. However after the immediate relief starts a second phase of helping to rebuild the damaged homes. Many people have become homeless, many especially poor people have got their huts or small houses damaged or even destroyed.  Click here for a Wikipedia article with more facts about the flooding in South India. The photo of Chennai Airport above is taken by Indian Airforce via Wikimedia Commons.

Many of our employees live in or near areas which have been among the worst affected by the Chennai flood catastrophe. Some of our staff  have had to walk through water up to their necks to get to their houses and some have got their houses partially or fully flooded. However all our staff and their families are safe. Since the area where our office is located was severely flooded and we had to keep the office closed for almost a week. However since our office is on the first floor we were not effected in any other way. We thank our understanding customers for their patience and even though we managed to support some clients we realise that we need to improve our contingency plans to manage such severe events even if unexpected.

How we can help the victims of the Chennai flood catastrophe

Some of our clients and employees have asked us if they can do anything to help with the relief for the Chennai flood catastrophe victims. At that time we were ourselves stuck and could not even get money from the ATM and were unable to do anything directly. However now  that the immediate relief is probably more or less  over, there are lots of remaining things to do. There is still a lot of stagnant water and there is an urgent need to ensure that mosquitos don’t breed, spreading diseases such as Dengue or Malaria. There is also a risk of water borne  diseases such as Diarrhoea, Hepatitis, cholera or typhoid caused due to contaminated water and food. In addition there are lots of people who have lost nearly everything  and many of those belong to the low income group.

We will from Gislen Software’s donate some money for helping poor children and their families affected by Chennai flood catastrophe via Little Lambs Educational Trust. This  is a charity we helped to start and which we continuously support. The Little Lambs Educational Trust runs a school for underprivileged children and many of these children have been affected by the floods. Maria Gislén who is the managing trustee and Principal of Little Lambs School, visited families of children enrolled in the school. She along with some staff and foreign volunteers visited the homes of these children to assess the damage. If you would like to donate and help this effort we would be very happy! In case more money than we can use for relief is received the remaining money will be used for work among the same children within the framework of what the trust is already doing (running a school and at the moment 3 homes for destitute children).

For more information about Little Lambs School here is a link to the organisation’s website:

To donate from the UK:

The name of the account is “UK Friends of Little Lambs School Chennai” Bank Details are Sort Code 07-00-93, Bank Account Number 33333334, Account Reference 0269/704068484.

For international payments the BIC code is NAIAGB21 and the Swift intermediary code is MIDLGB22. IBAN is GB97NAIA07009333333334, account reference 0269/704068484.

Please always notify us if you make a payment at [email protected] to help us to keep track of what payments to expect.

Note that UK Friends of Little Lambs School Chennai is not a registered charity in the UK, but an unincorporated association. If you want to donate money from a UK company you can do so by donate to the Swedish Charity which is a EU registered charity.

To donate from Sweden:

In Sweden there is a registered charitable society called “Little Lambs Vänner” (Friends of Little Lambs). It has Bank Account: 8150-5 (Clearing number) and account number 944 782 999-6
Alternatively you can use Bankgiro: 5064-5985 or SWISH: 123 390 63 77

For International Payments

Little Lambs Vänner, c/o Lars Wallström, Sveavägen 51, Lgh 1402, 554 47 Jönköping, Sweden
Registration number: 802498-5346

Bank: Swedbank,

Bank Address: Hoppets Torg, 553 21 Jönköping, Sweden

IBAN: SE72 8000 0815 0594 4782 9996


Name of Account holder: LITTLE LAMBS VÄNNER

To donate directly to Little Lambs School in India:

If you are in India you can donate directly either by cheque or demand draft which should be drawn in favour of “Little Lambs Educational Trust”. Little Lambs Educational Trust is a registered charity in India and has FCRA and 80/G exemption.  The trust will issue tax receipt for all donations received in India

For foreign transfers you can pay to: Bank account 435389659 Receiver: Little Lambs Educational Trust, H-2022, 12th Main road, 5th Street, Anna Nagar West, Chennai 600 040, India. From abroad use Swift code: IDIBINBBMAS, Bank name: Indian Bank, OSB Chennai, Perambur Chennai 600 011, India. Please mention  along with the payment – “Donation to children affected by Chennai flood catastrophe”.

A road affected by the Chennai flood catastrophe
This is normally a road which became a river. The families living in these huts and small houses were stranded for days.
Road became river as a result of the Chennai flood catastrophe
This family stands next to the road which goes to the area. Many roads became rivers and for many days it was impossible to leave the area due to the strong current.
Little Lambs Children
Little Lambs children next to their house. The canal behind is normally a road…
Hut with palm leaf roof which needs repair. These huts are common. If the floor is not made of cement and if the roof is leaking it is not a good place to be during the monsoon.
Hut with leaking ceiling
Hut with leaking ceiling in need of repair
Simple houses
Simple houses and huts along a road which was completely flooded a few days back
Little Lambs Students
Little Lambs students near houses which were affected and need repair
Packed all belongings
Some people who got their own houses flooded, packed all their belongings and placed them with neighbours which houses were not as flooded.
Swedish volunteer in simple house
Little Lambs student together with Swedish volunteer in simple house which needs a new roof

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