Thursday, January 06, 2005

Vivekananda Kendra, Port Blair relief activities : REPORT

Vivekanda Kendra, Port Blair

Vivekananda Kendra, Port Blair has taken up relief activities in a
regular basis and the details are as follows:

*) In the fisheries colony of the Port Blair municipal area (ward nos.
7, 8 & 9), we have distributed Rice, Dal, Masala, other food items
like milk, biscuits and toiletries to the people for a couple of days.
Drinking water was also provided in this locality.

*) Medical team led by Dr. Sai Lakshmi from Chennai, Dr. Ashok
Subramaniam (ENT specialist from the G B Pant Hospital) and Dr. Milind
Sharad Kulkarni conducted medical camps by which, the following
villages were benefited: Chouldari, Guptapara, Manjeri, New Wandoor,
Sippi Ghat, Hasmatabad, Wandoor, Manglutan, and Fishermen colony of
Port Blair.

*) Clothes (New and old) and 2800 T-shirts with picture of Swami
Vivekananda were distributed.

*) Along with Seva Bharati, Kendra volunteers also have gone to conduct
survey and medical camp) in the most affected island of Andaman – Hut
Bay.

*) Teams of V K V teachers visited the victims' houses in Junglighat
area and cleaned their submerged houses.

*) Separate teams of teachers are regularly visiting the relief camps
of Port Blair, Chouldari, Wandoor, Manglutan, Guptapara, Manjeri,
Garacharma, Bhatu Basti, Sippi Ghat, Hasmatabad and nearby areas to
entertain the affected children by patriotic songs and interesting
games, to reduce the effect of the trauma caused by the tragedy.

*) Also our Karyakartas find time to sit and talk with the affected
people of the relief camp to share their feelings and hence reducing
their depression. This was highly appreciated by many among them.

*) Apart from this we have distributed sanitary items, toiletries,
clothes and food items by enquiring the specific need individually.

*) 'Dweep Peedit Sahayata Samity' – the joint action team formed by all
like-minded organisations to take up the relief and rehabilitation
works through out the Andaman district has its head office functioning
in Vivekananda Kendra premises, Port Blair.

Secretary,      
06-01-2005

Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari

Report on the emergency relief provided to those affected by Tsunami
in Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli districts

Vivekananda Kendra provided material assistance worth about Rs.4 lakhs
and this was distributed on three days, viz., 29, 30 & 31 December.
Shri A. Balakrishnanji, Vice President, Shri Bhanudasji, General
Secretary, Sister Shantha, Secretary, RDP, Shri P. Thangaswamiji,
Administrative Officer, Shri Avinashji, Public Relations Officer, and
many social workers of RDP took part in the functions. The local
officials and the general pubic also extended their cooperation and
participated. Vivekananda Kendra has taken up a massive total
rehabilitation of 1,000 affected families in Kanyakumari & Tirunelveli
Dts, supported by the Help-age India.

Relief provided to individual families

Provided with sarees, skirts, dhoties, towels, plates, tumbers, soap, oil etc.:

1. Kanyakumari Dist.Sambasivapuram village, Collachel. (Kurunthankode
Block): 70 families

2.Muttam & Azhikal villages Vellichanthai (Kurunthankode Block): 240 families

3. Veerabagupathi and Keelaputhalam villages, Rajakkamangalam Block: 39 families

4. Tirunelveli District Idinthakarai village, Radhapuram Block: 98 families

Material provided at the venues of relief camps

Periavillai village, Kurunthancode Block: Two bags of rice, other
provisions, vegetables, bread & biscuits; valuee Rs, 5000

Vellichanthai Kurunthancode Block, Thalavaipuram Kurunthancode Block,
DVD Government Higher Secondary School, Nagercoil : Milk powder, Bread
and Biscuits, Phenol, Bleaching powder; value Rs. 2000 for each of
three blocks

CHENNAI AREA

300 Families were given a kit consisting : a big plastic bucket, a
mug, twp plates, a glass, a stove, a mat, a bed sheet, two vessels, a
ladle - in the villages of Karikaattu kuppam, Kovalam and Nadu
kuppam. The total value will be Rs. 1,50,000/-

200 Families near Cuddalore were given the above kits worth Rs. 1,00,000/-

3500 persons were fed on 26th in a community kitchen.
For Andaman & Nicobar Islands : Consignments worth Rs. 8,00,000/- in
the form of clothing and food material was sent.


Relief work for tsunami victims conducted by AIM for Seva
(a compilation)

Update from AIM For Seva Disaster Relief Centre, 30 December 2004
Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, Anaikatti

Dear Sevaks,

Om Namo Narayanaya.

Below is a brief update of the help being rendered at Pondicherry,
Chennai and Tirunelveli.

Today AIM for Seva Tirunelveli called for help. We sent a truck-load
of rice, dal and utensils which is most needed there at this time for
the victims of the tragedy.

We request our sevaks to please stop collecting clothes, as all our
areas of help have more than adequate clothing. We now require help
mainly in collecting funds and directing them to Anaikatti,
Coimbatore.

In terms of materials, people may send food materials such as rice,
dal and oil; mats, bedsheets, cooking utensils, plates, steel
tumblers, spoons. If at all people insist on giving clothes, request
them for new clothes only.

SITE HELP

From Pondicherry:

A group of people went along with old cloths, blankets, ricebags,
sugar, oil and distributed in Kalapet area and Devanampattinam area of
Cuddalore. Here in Pondicherry the government is helping in full
swing. We, as AIM for Seva, are concentrating more in Tamilnadu areas
from Parangipettai in Chidambaram to east coast upto Marakanam.
With the monetary contributions from the members, bread loafs and
biscuits were brought and distributed to the affected regions. The
past three days a group of around 5 to 7 members of AIM for Seva,
Pondicherry Chapter, have been working the entire day for the affected
people.The Puthupattu temple is where clothes and food packets were
given.

From Chennai:

Collection of money, clothes and other items from different apartment
complexes and houses was carried out by AIM for Seva Chennai for
distribution in the coastal villages.
One load of material was sent to Kovalam/Kelambakkam area yesterday
where a new relief camp at Pudukalpakkam was opened near the Crocodile
farm on the East Coast Road. 140 people were identified stranded in
this area and distribution of food and water was started. The nearby
Mariamman temple is the venue for the distribution of food etc for
these people.

On the 29th December, the AIM for Seva Chenai team went to Kovalam and
other coastal villages upto Kokkilamedu near Kalpakkam to survey the
area. The villagers are receiving sufficient food and clothes for now.
When asked what they are planning to do in the near future to get on
with their livelihood, they all told that when the waves hit, they
just ran without taking anything with them. They are just now
returning back and looking into the damages. All the properties like
houses, boats and nets are either damaged or totally lost. They need
monetary help to put things together again and start their life. They
said that their priority is to get back to their job and that they
don't even need food and other materials if they can start venturing
into the sea again.

AIM for Seva Chennai plans to adopt Kovalam and some other villages
around Kovalam to provide them with sustainable livelihood. Monetary
help in the form of aid or interest free or low interest loans will be
provided so that they can buy new boats and nets or repair their
damaged properties and get back to work.
A boat costs around Rs. 80000 and the cost of nets range from Rs.
5000- Rs. 20000. Even to repair a boat it may cost more than Rs. 10000
per boat, depending on the damage; and it may cost up to Rs.5000 to
repair a net.

In the Kovalam area around 40 houses have also been damaged and
assistance in rebuilding their houses, maybe in different and safer
areas will be carried out under AIM for Seva under the village
adoption scheme. The books and note books of the children have been
destroyed. Hence there is an immediate need to provide assistance so
that they can buy books and pay school fees to continue with their
education.

The AIM for Seva team resumed collecting relief materials to be able
to render help to the villagers when they need it. Right now, the
priority is to collect money and provisions and then provide them
assistance to start their work. Government has announced monetary
assistance for those who are affected to rebuild their houses and
boats. We will also be working to make sure the government funds reach
the proper beneficiaries and take help from government wherever it is
possible.

Please send information and enquiries to
lasaji@vsnl.com Phone calls may go to 0422-2657001 /02.
With prayers and love,
Swamini Pramananda
* * *
Update from AIM for Seva Disaster Relief Centre 02/01/2005
Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, Anaikatti

Dear Gurubhais and Sevaks,
As the focus has begun to shift from material relief to possibilities
of reconstruction and rehabilitation work in various areas, our AIM
for Seva volunteers are in different areas such as Nagapattinam,
Cuddalore, Pondicherry, Chennai exploring ways in which AIM for Seva
can work with the officials in this regard.
Given below is a report that was shared with us from Manjakkudi - A
group of 800 people, the panic stricken victims of the Tsunami
disaster, mainly women and children, left their homes and belongings
and had taken shelter in a Kalyana Mandapam at Koradacheri near
Manjakkudi. One band of AIM for Seva volunteers from Manjakkudi
organized food supply to the affected group. After two days the
villagers returned to their homes. They were provided transport using
Manjakkudi college buses.
On December 30, 2004, our AIM for Seva volunteers visited the harbour
area near Nagapattinam to get an overview of the extent of damage
caused by the Tsunami. There was devastation as far as the sight could
see. Most of the houses had been flattened to the ground. The fishing
vessels were scattered all over the area. The weight of each vessel is
more than 20 tons and is valued at Rs. 40 lakhs each. Some of them
smashed together in a group. Thousands of dead bodies had been
disposed off. AIMfor Seva along with volunteers from other
organizations had been working round the clock and altogether handled
the cremation of over 2000 bodies.
The next day, 31st of December 2004, the volunteers went to Seruthur.
An eerie silence greeted them. It was a picture of desolation and
destruction in the wake of the Tsunami. There were over 650 houses in
that village, of which 300 houses had been swept away. Of the 200
dead, most of them were children and women. One of the local residents
said that in the stretch between Vedaranyam and Tharangampadi, a whole
generation of children has been swept away.
AIM for Seva is surveying with the government officials various
options for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the survivors of
the Tsunami affected in the Nagapattinam area.
We are grateful to our AIM for Seva centers in Pune, Surat, Bangalore,
Delhi and Rishikesh for their immediate response in sending relief
materials.
With love and prayers,
Swamini Pramananda
* * *
Update from AIM for Seva Disaster Relief Centre 03/01/2005
Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, Anaikatti

Dear Gurubhais and Sevaks,
Om Namo Narayanaya
The influx of relief materials flooding in the Tsunami affected areas,
has taught us that there is no scarcity of anything in the world. Our
world is rich not only in material wealth but also in the human hearts
which, rich in generosity, share with their fellow human beings
whatever they can, in times of need.
We are grateful to all of you, who have come forward to support AIM
for Seva work in the Tsunami affected areas, with material and
financial contributions, pouring out your heart in empathy. We have
reached a stage in our work now, where we need to step up our efforts
to the next level of rehabilitation of the affected areas. This
includes repairing the boats and the nets, and helping the fishermen,
bring back their lives to normalcy as soon as possible. We also have
plans for the reconstruction of the homes for many who lost
everything. For all this work, we need huge sums of funds.
We appeal to you all to support the rehabilitation and reconstruction
work by your generous donations. Help us to help the Tsumani affected
people. Even though our relief work was spread out to various coastal
areas, our rehabilitation work will be concentrated to a few villages
in Tiruvarur and Cuddalore districts.
Given below is our brief Site report from Pondichery-Cuddalore
Relief material was sent from Coimbatore to Cuddalore. Aim for Seva
volunteers from Pondichery helped in receiving, sorting and recording
the material dispatched from Coimbatore.
The district administration is struggling with the flood of materials
received at the camps set up for receiving materials. Volumes as 2500
tons of relief materials (which does not include clothes) have
arrived. More number of lorries and trucks are arriving from different
parts of the country without any clue to as to where to deliver or
distribute the material. The Government has prevented private agencies
from receiving relief materials. The government has taken over the
relief material distribution to the affected families. Unfortunately
there has been wayside looting of trucks carrying relief material on
the outskirts of the town.
There is an influx of large number of people in the relief camps
demanding cooked food, clothes and blankets. This is due to the fact
that the Government has banned fishing for the next 30 days for the
fishermen-folk. This is because of the contamination of the shoreline
due to dead bodies and carcasses of animals. These fishermen, are from
the villages which were not affected by Tsunami. But they also need to
be given food until government allows them to resume their normal
life.
Our volunteers are exploring the possibilities of constructing
dwelling places, community hall cum classroom for primary school
children in villages to the north of Pondicherry and also in Cuddalore
district.
With love and prayers,
Swamini Pramananda

* * * * * * * * *

Donations to AIM for Seva should be sent :

(a) IN INDIA, contributions are exempted under Sec. 80G of the IT
act. Cheques / Drafts may be drawn in favour of "AIM for Seva",
Coimbatore and sent directly to:
All India Movement for Seva      
c/o Swamini Pramananda      
Arsha Vidya Gurukulam      
Anaikatti Post      
Coimbatore 641 108      
(Tamil Nadu)      
Tel: 0422- 2657001 /02

(b) IN THE USA, make a tax-deductible donation on-line @
www.aimforseva.org [Note: please check "Tsunami Support" after
clicking the "DONATE NOW" button.] or Send your check/Credit card info
to:

All India Movement (AIM) for Seva
c/o Janet Falk
PO Box 639
Saylorsburg, PA 18353
http://www.aimforseva.org
(570) 402-1244 (phone), (570) 992-9680 (fax)
janetf@aimforseva.org

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