Tamilnadu Tsunami Relief Initiative - a voluntary civil society network
Update #9 | 10th Jan 2005, 23:00 hrs

1. Information from the Tsunami Affected areas
2. Long term reconstruction commitment from the TTRI partners
3. Immediate Action Plan
4. Contact Information

A Report: Mr. Krishnan has been volunteering with the TTRI right from the beginning of the relief efforts, last few days he has been visiting some of the worst affected areas, this is his first person report.

I had the opportunity to visit some of the affected places during the week end, my general observations and some of events are briefly stated below:
1. Met Ms Bhavani in Bharati near Tiruvaroor- she explained the activities being carried out by them including that of running two community kitchens in villages near Nagai.

2. Visited Serdur village near Nagai- this village has been very badly affected- the villagers have not returned home so far- we could talk to some of the fishermen who have started working, on their own, in cleaning work of the village- all maintained that it was a rude shock and they are yet to recover. They all, however want to begin their normal life, their most urgent need are boats- Met the Village leader, about 50 people surrounded us for the interaction- I was surprised to realise that they are fully aware of many happenings / issues. When asked whether they prefer to move away from the sea, they said yes, they would move to the place near to a river so that they can take the boats near their houses through the river . When asked whether they would like to focus on any other activity than fishing, they said that they do not mind but they do not know any thing other than fishing . When asked they would be interested for training in work like tailoring/ carpentry etc, they said 'yes'. When asked whether they are aware that a village escaped due to a warning by M S Swaminathan group's continuous warning announcements, they said they were aware, Government, it seems, have given a communication system to them. It was learnt that AGY team (Shri Ravishankar) was already there in counseling activities.

3. Visited Velankanni - shops have been damaged extensively, we could see the shop owners are slowly coming back and have started cleaning up.

4. Visited Akkaraipettai- a bigger village with lots of big boats- extensive damage- the huge boats have been thrown here and there like toys by the waves- army is working in full swing here.

5. In Nag, in a Kalyana mandapam, where a community kitchen was functioning, met few affected children - the time spent with them was indeed a painful affair- some of them have lost their parents and relatives..one girl child, lost her parents, playing with her relatives - when started talking, she could not speak, with those horrible memories.. one boy said he saved her 'Achi' but could not save his brother..his throat then choked and could not continue...I am not sure how many years will they take to recover from this shock & tragedy

6. Met the District Collector Mr Veera Shanmuga Mani- who mentioned that Corporates & NGOs assistance are must for Govt to do the relief & Rehabilitation work He is keen to get support on building temp & permanent houses & to provide boats

7. Visited Pudukkuppam - a badly affected village near Sirgazhi- the village looks like a place of graveyard, no fishermen were there, only few policemen were present- it was a terrible sight to see the village empty and surrounded by the sea Learnt that SOS has adopted this village

8. Met Ms Subhashini Sridhar of CIKS, in a temple, who was busy with the team came from Raipur, in distributing shirts to children- she has been continuously coordinating with people, volunteers, officials etc. She mentioned that she is keenly interested to coordinate rehabilitation activities in all nearby villages.

The mind was so depressed after seeing the Nature's destruction but at the same time it also motivates one to spend more time on voluntary services...


- Rejuvenate India Movement (RIM) one of the TTRI partners is planning to be involved in the long term reconstruction activity. Some of the RIM Samaj Shilpis have been camping in Nagapattinam ever since the relief efforts started and they have since then decided to concentrate on some of the villages close to Tarangambadi. RIM is in the process of setting up a separate bank account utilising the government's new policy permitting any organisation to receive foreign donations for Tsunami relief efforts. RIM plans to identify and involve local youth in the reconstruction activity over a period of time through support and mentoring.
For more details please contact RIM coordinator, Sri. Rangarajan in Chennai 22235133

- CIOSA network is in the process of setting up an account through which it can facilitate foreign funds mobilising for its network NGOs involved in Tsunami relief work. It has already set-up an online paying facility for projects supported by the CIOSA network through the Give India foundation and ICICI bank.
For further details, please contact Sri. Karthik Venkatesh at CIOSA in Chennai 5551592

1. A meeting was held on the 6th January 05, Thursday by some of the TTRI members during which the immediate action plans by different partners was discussed. While some of the members representing institutions were making separate plans for their involvement (see RIM and CIOSA above) other were of the opinion that there should be a joint action plan at least for a year in which all the partners could be involved. Further discussions in setting up such a programme are on. Please expect an announcement shortly.

2. Some members are also considering individual action in attending to the village needs near Mahabalipuram. Contact Smt. Lakshmi for further details on this 55853811 / 24491783.

3. In the meanwhile, the network would continue to support the relief efforts of Smt. Subhashini and her team from CIKS at Sirgazhi.

4. The A.M.M. Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre (MCRC) has approached us with an request to identify some fishermen village in which the High Density Polyethylene Catamaran (HDPE Catamaran) and Solar Water Purifier developed by the centre can be put to use. Some of the network partners will help the centre in forming locating such villages.
1. Raju bhai and his team from Raipur came unannounced at the beginning of the relief efforts in Sirgazhi and they are leaving tomorrow as silently as they came. In the meanwhile, this team of 9 people have done much service in Sirgazhi relief camp particularly in Pudukuppam and other villages in the area along with the CIKS team. A big thanks from all at TTRI for their silent and significant contribution.
2. Dr. Ritu from Pune is arriving at Sirgazhi tomorrow. She has shut down her dental clinic at Pune to be part of the relief work here along with a truck load of 100 vessel sets which she has put together over the past 10 days with contribution from many individuals and organisations in Pune. She will be in Sirgazhi for the next week.

Tamilnadu Tsunami Relief Initiative Contact Details:
Information in Chennai Shanthi Krishnan, 24916884 / m:9444009851
Rangarajan, Coordinator, Rejuvenate India Movement:22235133
Sathyamurthy, Coordinator, Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam Bhaktargal Samajam, m: 09444364212
All requests for volunteering please direct to Mrs. Shanthi Krishna, shanthiom@gmail.com

Tamilnadu Tsunami Relief Initiative
Samanvaya:Knowledge Services for the Development Sector - www.samanvaya.com

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