Bengaluru:  15-year-old Ira Rathnaparkhe, a student of Stonehill International School near Yelahanka in Bengaluru, worked on a project titled Tarajeevanam, which was based on the recent floods that ravaged Kerala. This project was presented at the Active Summit 2019 held at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Earlier, the Class 9 student had worked with the 1 Million For 1 Billion (1M1B) group along with various organisations over the past year, which built libraries for students across flood-affected areas. The 1M1B group had also conducted counselling and therapy sessions for victims using licensed psychologists.

At least 488 people died and 54.11 lakh people in 14 districts in Kerala were severely affected in the state due to the rains and floods in 2018.

As Ira kicked off the initiative, she provided 1,700 children with access to a newly-built library with required amenities. 

The UN summit in New York was created by 1M1B, which is a UN-accredited non-profit organisation working towards social innovation and future skills with special consultative status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

After Ira participated in the UN summit, she said to media that she had a wonderful time and made friends from across the world. She also spoke of how she understood that people should work hard to achieve what they need, and nothing comes easy in life. 

The Bengalurean added that she met many privileged people during the summit and and urged the “privileged” to help others with their “privileges”.

The floods in August last year is considered as one of the worst floods to have hit the state in over a century. Woes of the natives of Kuttanad and Alappuzha districts still continue even months after the floods hit the state. 

Thousands of homes were damaged entirely, and many more were partially destroyed, and the Kerala government stated that they would compensate the victims with Rs 10,000 for affected families. Netizens said that they have knocked the doors of all the concerned officials, but to no avail. The natives still await the compensation promised to them by the state government.