Tamilnadu Tsunami Relief Initiative - a voluntary civil society network
Update #7 | 1st Jan 2005, 23:45 hrs

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1. Relief work in progress in the field
2. Relief requests from field team
3. Other requests that we have received
4. Prayer Meeting for the Tsunami victims in Chennai, Sunday 4-6 p.m.
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RELIEF WORK IN PROGRESS

1. Two Truck load of relief materials were off-loaded at Sirgazhi with supply of provisions for the community kitchen being managed by the volunteers team there and medicines for the field work. This kitchen is feeding about 600 people.

2. The Thiruvarur team has been assessing the village level damage and will come up with the numbers for the village restoration in the next few days.Shamaj Shilpis volunteering with the Tiruvarur base camp have also been assisting other NGOs in the region in damage assessment and counselling work.

3. Sri. Rangarajan of RIM has spoken to Sri. K. Rajaraman IAS and he has assured us of the government interaction on the relief efforts. He has also assured the team of all assistance at his mobile (94442 83441) any time. Sri. Rangarajan has also been gathering preliminary information on medical need assessment that would be initiated early next week.

4. A team from Raipur and another from Bhuj (totalling about 35 volunteers) have landed in Sirgazhi. They will work in clearing up of the villages for re-occupation and also in re-construction of temporary shelter activity that would commence immediately. They are being oriented by Sri. Bhuvan Pathak of SIDH who has been in Sirgazhi since the 31st.

5. Shanmuga in Chennai has information on the kind of vaccines required for volunteers along with where to get them same done and the costs. Volunteers for the field, particularly for construction and other physical activity are advised to consult the local groups regarding the vaccine needs and they can contact Shanmuga (09444183955) in Chennai to get vaccinated.

6. At Chennai, the entire day has been spent by a large team of volunteers in segregating, packaging and labelling the collected relief materials. Though there has been an earlier request to avoid sending old clothes and repeated media projection of the old clothes being thrown away, these keep piling up at the Gandhi Study Centre. Some of these is being exchanged for utensils now.

7. There has been a stream of requests for volunteering today from many individual, some of these have been routed to the chennai sorting of relief material, whereas those who wanted to commit long duration have been requested to stay in touch so that they can leave for the field work. 4 IIT students who have accompanied the earlier trucks will stay and work in Sirgazhi for a couple of days.

8. Sri. Vijay, who is volunteering on a short term mission of looking out for dead bodies and giving them a burial in Poompuhar has managed to discover 4 more dead bodies amidst the water logged town. He has also utilised some earth moving equipments to make way for water to drain back into the sea so as to look for more dead bodies.

9. Late in the evening Sri. Sathyamurthy along with other NGO leaders has had a meeting at the Collectorate and they have informed that this network of organisations will work in about 12 village panchayats (further details awaited) for relief and rehabilitation work initially.

10. The offer to help from across the world is really overwhelming. There are too many people reaching out and it is very difficult to even start listing the hundreds of phone calls and e-mails many of the team members have been receiving. All we can say is a big thanks to the world.

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RELIEF REQUESTS FROM THE FIELD TEAM

1. IMMEDIATE: Government have approved for community kitchens to be managed by NGOs. At Tiruvarur, the team has requested for the following requirements in 3 villages. .
Village / Population / No. Of Kitchens
Kalar /1076 / 2
Manni Theevu / 540 /1
Akkarai Kuppam / > 1000 / 2

The Requirements are as follows:
a) Large Vessels for cooking (around 100 kgs of rice) it would be more useful if it is taken for rental
b) Water tanks (500 litres/1000 litres) 5 -10 nos
c) Tarpaulins/Tents/Tin Sheets for Shelters
d) Phenyl sprayers
e) Administrative Requirements: They are in need of a Reliance Mobiles (around 4 nos with datacards and 25 connections which could be stocked and used whenever there is a need, check whether people can donate prepaid mobile cards). They also need a camera for documenting the activities of the team on the ground.

2. Bharathi Women Development Centre has identified the following relief measures immediately apart from initiating field assessment. Food packet for a family of 4 for 15 days for a total of 250 families, totalling in all about 1000 beneficiaries.
The Household Food Package consisting of Lentils, Masala mix, Turmeric, Salt, Tamarind, Oil, Tea, Sugar, Milk Powder totally costing Rs. 82,625/-
They have also outlined a Household Utility Kit consisting of Bedsheets (2), Plates (2), Glasses(2) Bucket (20 litre), Plastic Mug(1)Mats(2), Matchbox(1), Candles (10), Soap, Bleaching Powder for 187,375 for 1000 families. The total contribution for this is Rs.2,70,000/- Rice and Dhal are not added in this list as it is being provided by the government.

3. The Sirgazhi planning team consisting of Mrs. Subhashini Sridhar and Bhuvan Pathak has estimated a temporary shelter / hut based on locally available natural material can be erected at a cost of Rs. 2500/-, including labour. Though this is a budget on the lower side, this team is confident that if the locals were to participate in re-construction activity this is not impossible. They have the following construction of temporary huts / shelters:
Village name / No. of temporary shelters to be constructed:
Vanagiri / 350
Naickarkuppam / 150
Meelthukuppam / 150
Poompuhar / 300
Chavadykupppam / 100
The overall estimate for this immediate temporary shelter construction is Rs.26,25,000/-
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OTHER REQUESTS
1. Sri Sarada Ashram, Ulundurpet has initiated work in relief work in Cuddalore and Villupuram districts. The Ashram has decided to distribute new dress materials and utensils to the victims at affected villages of these districts in consultation with the district collectorate. Their estimate for a set of dress with mat and bedsheet for woman costs Rs.265/- and a set of dress with mat and bedsheet for man costs Rs.185/-. A set of vessel for a family costs Rs.390/-. The estimate of the relief programme costs around Rs.25,20,000/-(Rupees Twenty five lakhs and twenty thousands only) for 3000 families and please make an appeal to the public to extend their help either by cash or by kind. The contributions from India may kindly be sent in favour of "Sri Sarada Ashram" payable at Indian Overseas Bank,Ulundurpet Branch. The foreign contributions may kindly be sent in favour of " Sri Ramakrishna Sarada Trust" payable at Indian Overseas Bank, Adyar Branch, Chennai. Our S.B A/C No.23505. Our swift code No: IOB AIN BB 001. Contributions have to be mailed to: The Secretary, Sarada Ashram, Trichy Trunk Road, New Edaikkal, Ulundurpet-606 107. Villupuram Dt. TamilNadu. Phone No:04149-220432.

2. Ms. Uma from Suyam Trust has called us for relief. She and her team are working in Akkarapattu Panchayats in Nagapattinam, she has set-up a community kitchen and she has adequate rice and volunteers, but is short on other provisions. She is soon sending us a request on the exact list of provisions that she requires.

3. Suyam Trust has also declared its intentions to be involved in reviving educational activity on the field. They have a team of 20 volunteers who are trying to visit the relief camps and involve children there in some educational activity. They also want support in procuring educational material for children.

4. Ms. Mercy (9444318400) of CESVI contacted us and would like assistance in getting tents (about 1200 out of which for 500 she already has sponsors at Rs. 750/- a piece), trunk boxes, utensils. She and her team are trying to work in Poompuhar, Semponnar Kovil, Vellakovil, Trancobar, Chandrapudli, Kadeindiyoor, etc.,

5. Sri. Shanmugavadivelu and his team from Thirutharaipoondi have initiated village level survey of damage and assessment. Their earlier request for household kitchen vessel sets are being packaged and kept ready at Chennai. However, he has requested for these to be sent a couple of days later as by then the villagers would start to move back towards their villages.
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PRAYER MEETING AT CHENNAI

Prayer Meeting for the health of the surviving victims of the tsunami is being organised in Chennai by the Kanchi Kamakoti Peeta Bhaktar Samajam. Prayers will be offered for the health and welfare of the surviving victims of the tsunami and also prayers offered for the departed souls.

Date and Time: Sunday, 2nd January 2005, between 4-6 p.m.
Venue: Shankaralayam, Spurtank Road, Chetpet

This Samajam (our field coordinator Sri. Sathyamurthy is also the coordinator for this Samajam) has provided immediate relief for over 500 people in 4 villages beyond Kovalam on the ECR, consisting of blankets, vegetables, clothing, vessels for the community kitchen. Currently the Samajam is trying to organise for the fishing nets for these families of fishermen so that they can resume their normal life within the next 2 weeks.
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Tamilnadu Tsunami Relief Initiative
Samanvaya:Knowledge Services for the Development Sector - www.samanvaya.com
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