[Photo: Cyclone, a baby born during the onslaught of Sidr.]
[Mashuqur Rahman, USA.]
Cyclone Sidr battered Bangladesh last Thursday taking an yet unknown number of lives in its path. The latest official reports put the death toll over 2000. No one really knows how high the death toll will climb since rescuers have not yet reached all of the devastated areas. The Bangladesh Red Crescent is warning that the death toll could top 10,000.
As Cyclone Sidr was killing the people of Bangladesh, a little baby was born in the southern district of Barisal — the district that took the brunt of the onslaught. The picture you see above is his proud grandmother holding the newborn in front of the debris of their collapsed home. They have named the child “Cyclone.”
I could write today about the horrible destruction that has occurred in Bangladesh. I could write about the many stories of death, the loss of homes, of essential crops, of the destruction of the beautiful Sundarbans. But there is a more urgent need today.
That need is that little baby in his grandmother’s arms. That little baby needs food, water, medicine and shelter. By the cruel chance of nature, that baby was born into a world of unspeakable destruction. We can change that.
Cash is what is needed most. And the tiniest amount makes a huge difference. It costs about 30 cents for a packet of oral saline, something that saves the life of one person. So literally a few dollars saves a lot of lives.
We have seen the power of the internet in bringing the world together, of fighting oppression, of changing lives. I urge you today to use the power of the internet to change the lives of our fellow human beings. The need is urgent and time is of the essence. The survivors of the cyclone will soon face water-borne diseases, hunger and dehydration unless help reaches them. Unless relief reaches the most at need the initial tragedy of the cyclone will have been multiplied many fold.
So today I ask you the reader to help the people of Bangladesh at their time of dire need. I ask you to consider helping