Thursday, December 30, 2004

Tsunami in India - news from Modgala

This morning I received an email from Modgala who is running the Amida project in Delhi:

Today I heard from our Amida friend in Tamil Nadu - Mr Ponnu Durai. He had organised a tour for me to Chennai, Pondicherry and Madurai. Two of these areas have been badly hit by the Tsunami at least 6,000 dead in Tamil Nadu alone and many more missing. Homes businesses are destroyed, water supplies contaminated by sea water, corpses still unburied and putrifieing. Already there is one severe outbreak of dhiarrhoea in one of the camps and there is much fear of diseases and these will make the death toll rise even further.

Ponnu Durai wants my tour to continue so I hope Amida can give me some donations so that I can offer help to the communities we visit. I leave Delhi on 15th January. Ponnu Durai is in Chennai at the moment helping with the rescue, fortunately his family live inland so he has not personally suffered. However the groups he worked with - young people from the slum and very poor areas and with Hiv/Aids groups will have suffered. I will know more their needs when he comes to collect me in delhi on 13th January. I think it would be a good idea to have cash available in order to purchase some of the most needed things - at present it is food and water, disinfectants and medicine, but in two weeks time the need will maybe be more for shelters and clothing - I will see nearer the time.

We are inundated with students and they have been talking much about this disaster. There is a sense of loss not only of the people but of part of the land of India itself, many islands will be lost forever. They also feel very deeply for the people of Sri Lanka, worst hit by the diaster. They feel mostly powerless to help much but also want to help donate to the survivors who have lost so much. We debated whether to cancel the New Year party, but decided that is necessary to also be aware of the good things in life as well as the suffering anf to pray for the bereaved and concretely offer some aid.

The papers each day show the increasing magnitude of loss and destruction.
The death toll overall is expected to be 100,000 and possibly even more
Smaller stories get lost when something of this magnitude occers. Yet some bring other griefs close to home. Priyajyoti is grieving for his Chakma friends and relatives in arunachal Pradesh where they are barricaded into their homes and unable to tend their crops and where 20 of their homes have been burnt and young people almost beaten to death in troubles there.

And yet too they laugh and enjoy life despite sleepless nights. It is a joy living with them and this project offers so much to them and the local communities. We now have over 100 students and to see both their English and their confidence increasing is a joy. They take great delight in teaching us too.

1 Comments:

Blogger Living in Thailand said...

We have a website that was created during the Tsunami please let us know if any people there is found and we will delete themAfter the Tsunami

12:24 pm  

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