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How we started

Forcible displacement is a global problem that affects millions of people each year in extremely profound ways. Kaushal has a deep personal connection with this problem. He was born in a small village called Madi in Karnataka in India. Madi is known for its lush green fields of rice paddy perched on a tributary of the Ghataprabha river.

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Every few years, the monsoon rains would swell the Ghataprabha river until it overflowed its banks, wiping out the villagers’ rice crops and flooding their homes built using mud and bamboo. This would leave them practically homeless for months and push them into cycles of survival mode living, while they were waiting for their homes to be rebuilt.

 

In 2019, Kaushal and Madhav - then classmates at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur - witnessed the disaster and destruction left behind after Cyclone Fani hit the eastern coasts of India and Bangladesh, causing over 8 billion dollars in damages and leaving 1.2 million people who had to evacuate from their homes to find safety in storm shelters.

 

They spoke with people affected by the cyclone and found stories of people who had to abandon all their possessions, wade through ankle-deep water, and somehow get themselves and their families to safety. Most of their slums had been submerged and homes washed away. What used to be huts with tin roofs were now just rubble. Their belongings and food supplies had been destroyed by the rain.

 

This inspired Kaushal and Madhav to start Nostos - to build homes for children, families and communities that have lost everything due to disaster and conflict.