Amphan Cyclone Relief for Vendors

On the afternoon of May 20th, East India and Bangladesh was hit by the super-cyclone Amphan, the worst storm to have hit the region in decades. I watched my hometown, Kolkata, be destroyed to ruins from thousand of miles away in Canada, and even though I haven’t heard from my family yet, I know what our next steps should be.

I’ve spent much time going through relief funds and as brilliant and helpful as they all are, I can’t help but think about the people that they won’t reach. My community (Narendrapur/Rajpur), much like the rest of Kolkata, consists of hundreds of street vendors— fish, fresh food, street food— who form the backbone and the soul of our beautiful city. My own history with them goes way back to when I started a Sunday morning ritual with my father at the age of five, where we would hop from Garia to Rajpur to Baruipur bazar (the markets where the vendors collect to sell their items). Over the years we’ve grown close to these people we see weekly, and it has been devastating to see their entire lives uprooted within hours.

The slum colonies where most of these vendors live have been hit the worst. Most of the mud-houses are now debris. Asbestos shades have flown away and roofs have collapsed on the heads of the people living underneath. The people are left waist deep in water, with all their belongings swept away. All of their incomes were halted long before due to the pandemic, and now lakhs have been left homeless with no relief or restoration in sight. Among those deeply affected is a group of women aged 70+ I’ve known over the years, who sit behind the Garia bazar, separating fish bones from small fish at 10 Rupees (approx 20 cents)/100 fish. Despite their meager earnings, their kindness and high spirits have always been a testament to human will and compassion, and it is people like them that 100% of these funds would be directed to.

The funds from this campaign would be used to assist vendors and their families reestablish their homes and the marketplaces that have been destroyed. My father works in construction and has assisted this community for years, and right now we have the resources to reach them and help with the restoration. These are hard times, but they are harder for some than others. To have your home destroyed is enough to shatter any chance at a normal life, but I’m certain that with everyone’s help, they will fight back and recover. I want to ensure full transparency to anyone who chooses to contribute, and I will reach out to you to keep you updated on how your funds were utilized.

I hope whoever is reading this is safe, and if you wish to help in whatever way you can, please share this on your story, donate or #PrayforBengal. No help is ever too little, and I thank everyone who contributes in advance for your generosity. To those affected, my thoughts and prayers are with you, and please reach out if there is any way I could help.

More on the aftermath of Amphan can be found here:  


Bhabna Banerjee
Toronto, ON

Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help

  • Easy

    Donate quickly and easily.

  • Powerful

    Send help right to the people and causes you care about.

  • Trusted

    Your donation is protected by the  GoFundMe Giving Guarantee.