The Emergency Response Unit (ERU) is a Project delivered by The Hope Foundation and HIVE India which offers a range of services, such as; respond to people in crisis and in need of any kind, physical or psychological emergency support. This Project aims at rescuing abandoned children, trafficked children or women, accident victims and the mentally ill people on the streets of Kolkata. Psychological support is provided to these people wherever required in addition to hospitalization and treatment in case of poor and homeless people. It also helps in repatriation of the rescued victims, restoration, rehabilitation and follow-up. Thus, ERU is an endeavor to provide an immediate response and support to Any Person at Risk on Streets (APAROS) of Kolkata with special emphasis on the financially and socially marginalized children/ persons.

Networking and Advocacy

The ERU service is doing networking and advocacy with different departments of the State and Kolkata Police including Community Police Wing, the Missing Persons Bureau, the Women’s Grievance Cell, and Immoral Trafficking Section. Moreover, statutory judicial and social development authorities namely Juvenile Justice Board, Children’s Welfare Committee, Women’s Commission, Protection Officers under the Domestic Violence Act, Child Rights and different reputed organizations are actively working with the ERU of HIVE India to discuss the work in which they are all stakeholders. Apart from responding to emergency situations in Kolkata the ERU is also involved in rescue work in the events of accidents or disasters of massive scale taking place outside the city of Kolkata on request for help from the Fire and Emergency Department and the Public Safety Department.

According to the 2011 Census, there are about 70,000 homeless in Kolkata. Despite Government efforts a large portion of this population remains on the streets. Such communities are left alone and vulnerable, particularly in times of crisis when they have no one to turn to. The Emergency Response Unit (ERU) under HIVE, provides humanitarian services to these forgotten individuals, ensuring the restoration of their rights and dignity and focuses on the emergency situation of a person whether child or adult, who have faced any accident, physical and mental illness, or any missing case, cases of child labour and domestic violence or cases of harassment and abuse.

Immediate response & support to following emergencies:
• Major fire in residential area of Charu Market, South Kolkata
• Massive fire at SSKM Hospital, Central Kolkata
• Fire at South City Mall, South Kolkata
• Fire in a slum in Nonadanga, East Kolkata

322 people were rescued from crisis situations.
222 required immediate medical attention.
159 were admitted to government hospitals.
63 were admitted to private nursing homes.
149 clients were reunited with their families and their normal lives.
28 people rescued by HIVE/ERU and admitted to Hope Hospital.

In November 2016, Emergency Response Unit (ERU) was contacted by Bhawanipur Police Station about a young boy in pain and with a high fever who went to SSKM Hospital for help but could not be admitted there as there was no place for him. 16 year old Shyam (name changed) had a dislodged steel plate in his right hand which was causing him agonising pain. The ERU team immediately took Shyam to Hope Hospital.

Hope doctors treated Shyam for Malaria and the steel plate was aligned so that his hand no longer hurt. Meanwhile, HIVE were trying to learn more about the boy and his family and eventually found that his parents, brothers and sisters lived in a village 30 miles from Kolkata. However Shyam had been raised by his grandfather who lived a further away from the village. The HIVE team went to meet Shyam’s parents who told them that Shyam was a psychiatric patient whose treatment had been haphazard because they could not pay for all his medication; besides he refused to take his medicine. He would often wander off for 2 or 3 days and had a bad habit of stealing from the villagers. Once a villager beat him up for stealing his bicycle and Shyam ran away to Kolkata.

The HIVE team counselled Shyam about returning to his family but Shyam refused to go back, answering that the villagers bullied him and called him names. His parents came to meet him when he was in Hope Hospital and were pleased and grateful to see him taken care of so well. They gave their permission for Shyam to be placed in Punarjiban Home under Hope Kolkata Foundation, where he remains to lead a happy life.