Echidna Provides Relief to Chennai with Operation Hope

Echidna employees band together to bring aid to devastated region

You might have heard news about monsoon flooding in and around Chennai, India in November and December of this year. On December 1st alone, Chennai received almost 14” of rainfall — more than twice the normal amount for the entire month of December — following November rainfall records that hadn’t been seen since 1918.

Needless to say, people in the area have been severely affected. 400+ people lost their lives. Buildings, roads, and other vital infrastructure have been washed away, leaving countless people in the area without access to shelter, food, or clean water.

Echidna responds with Operation Hope

Echidna’s Bangalore team united to selflessly give more than $1,100 in monetary relief, but it didn’t end there. They formed a relief team — Operation Hope — and began performing a detailed survey of the affected areas, gathering information from multiple sources on relief measures being provided by various NGOs and government agencies. Armed with this information, they concluded that one of the most-affected and least-supported areas was the group of villages around Cuddalore. The following is an account written by members of Operation Hope:

The relief team reached Cuddalore on December 5, 2015 at 7am. Due to heavy rainfall until the previous day, half of the village was swept away and it was difficult to find points of contact to coordinate relief, but the team managed to find some key people who knew some of the volunteers of the team and make appropriate arrangements to give away the relief fund. The team was very cautious about giving away cash as the relief to people; instead, they worked to understand the affected people’s most immediate needs, such as raw foods, biscuits, rice, bread, water bottles, blankets & mattresses to distribute to the villagers.

After a tiring day, the relief committee found shelter in a nearby local lodging center, which was located in a less flooded area. The relief team did overnight planning for the course of action required for the next day and decided to cover a few more affected villages and stocked up supplies to be distributed the next day.

The next morning was very cloudy and drizzling, and the relief team started the journey to the villages in a car. It was not an easy drive around the villages, with no proper roads and under cheeky weather; in fact, they had to deal with water getting inside the car while driving to one of the affected areas for relief work.

Echidna Operation Hope in Chennai Area

Pictures from Operation Hope

The relief team reached a village and started visiting people. Some of the team members broke down emotionally when they got to learn that some people lost their family members just before the day our team reached and this was due to massive rain which made the close-by river overflow and wash away half the village. People who lost their families were not ready to accept any help offered from the team but were requesting to get their family back… our team went speechless but still tried hard to console them and handed over the supplies.

Our limited support cannot bring the affected people’s lives back to normalcy, but it can definitely build hope and confidence for them to begin the rebuilding process.


We’re proud of our colleagues and want to specifically recognize the relief team members — Kumar, Ranjith, Saravanan, Basava and Baskar — as well as everyone who contributed financially to the relief efforts. We know that Echidna’s modest relief efforts won’t magically fix everything, but we’re glad to be making even a small impact on people’s lives, and we hope to continue to support communities in times of need such as this.

Echidna Team
Echidna Team
Echidna is an eCommerce agency based in Minneapolis. We drive eCommerce transformation, create inspired customer experiences, enable eCommerce technologies, and help retailers attract and convert customers. Feel free to email us with any questions related to eCommerce design, technology, or marketing.
  • Melody Lacey

    This is so awesome! So proud of the team.