Tsunami SOS

Empower and rebuild lives devastated by Tsunami

Name:
Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

sensitive, restless with a drive to make a difference, constantly looking for new cheese

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Tsunami - an experience and an appeal

The Daze and Days after Tsunami

(See pics in separate posts)

On the fateful day, 26th December, the Tsunami scenes on TV, shook me and I grew restless. I wanted to reach out to the affected victims and called a few friends. Seven of us decided to go to the affected areas. I sent the first mailer at Axes Technologies and my friends spread the message and unexpectedly the ripple grew to Tsunamic proportions.

Thanks to my dear friends Uvaraj and Sashi of Prakruti Mudrana, Venki and Maddy of 361 degrees, the spark grew into a fire and spread. They literally have closed office and use their space to collect the material.

My earlier message spread widely, thanks to Axes Technologies, TWIN, Pedestrian Pictures, friends, and bloggers http://jilmil.blogspot.com/

A lot of companies and individuals spontaneously supported us.
Major contributors: Axes, Celstream, Madura Garments, GE Marketing…

We (Venki, Sashi, Maddy, Sunil, Raja, Gokul and me) spent 3 days in villages around Pondy and Cuddalore distributing truckloads of material that we collected in Bangalore in less than 36 hrs. We visited the affected areas and talked to the people there.

The scenes in Kanakachettypalayam, Chinnur, Pudupet, Pudukuppam, Salangaitheruvu, Samyarpet, Parangipettai, Rasapet, Chitrapet, Thalarakodai, Kalapet, Kalaripet, Pillaichavady and many more such unheard of villages cannot be expressed in words

We could not have located these remote villages and distributed relief material if not for Raj (social worker in Pondicherry), Kennedy and his friends (fisher folk who are also victims themselves but have turned volunteers) who guided us to villages where very little or no relief had reached. They will be our main point of contact, will continue to support us and will guide other volunteers like us to reach out.

We had with us almost a whole truckload of old clothes, a mistake for that was in our initial request. Once we got there we realized that clothes were just not what the victims needed. We have stocked the old clothes in a godown in Pondicherry for later use so they do not go to waste like you can see in the picture, and just add to the growing mountains of clothes, a sore to the eyes as much as the debris.

We Cannot Stop

Our initial thought was to do a one-time effort but not anymore thanks to the overwhelming support of numerous individuals and organizations. Our effort has been blessed in countless ways. NDTV spotted us and our genuine efforts got some propaganda much needed to continue our work.

Lessons Learnt
  • Organize and list all that is to be distributed - saves time and effort. Task, needs planning and local help.

  • Take care of your needs too so you have the energy to help. We went through a whole day without a cup of tea or food. Carry food and water to stay upbeat.

  • No more old clothes

(If you have already collected old clothes exchange them for utensils)

Give what they need not what you think they need

Some of the requirements are:
  • Food grains
  • Stoves
  • Vessels
  • Mats / Blankets
  • Surgical facemasks
  • Milk
  • Baby food
  • Torches
  • Medicines

Compassion, Someone to talk to and to listen, Hugs and Dignity

Our plans
  • Direct other individuals and groups to reach out with the help of the local volunteers in the affected areas.

  • Make regular visits to new and visited areas with more relief material.

  • Collect more appropriate material to distribute.

  • Take volunteers who can be counselors and those who can be of physical help to support families find their belongings and clean up.

  • LLocate villages where large organizations can reach and help with larger measures like sponsoring boats and nets and rehabilitation.

  • Make a list of materials required with costing and distributors.

5th Jan to 16th January 2005

Ø Food packets to be packaged and reached to 500 families. Each will contain rice, dhal, sooji, tamarind, powders (chilli, turmeric, dhania, garam masala) salt, jeera, mustard, urad dhal, oil, milk powder, tea & sugar. 2 multipurpose vessels and spoon.

Approx. cost – 500/-

Ø 500 ltr water cans to be distributed, one for each village. Water tankers will be arranged locally to fill the tanks.

For more details contact:

Prema – 98867 04602 mailto:prema.lawrence@gmail.com

Venki – 98867 36109 mailto:361degrees@gmail.com

Raja – 98863 92521

Gokul – 98862 18112

Collection center:

Prakruti Mudrana

No. 51, 9th Main, 29th Cross,
Banashankari 2nd Stage,

Near GK Kalyanamantap
Landmark – Monotype

Phone: 080 26713894
Bangalore.

Contacts:

Sashi Kumar- 93412 12691

Uvaraj - 94483 71389 mailto:uvaraj@vsnl.net

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