Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Projects Update :: Urur Kuppam (Lakshmi)

Dear All,

As much as I know personally, where I have direct involvement-

About 50-55 thatched houses have been washed away. Some of the families have managed to salvage some of their belongings after 10.30 am on the same day.

Water has entered pucca houses in the lower areas and wet all belongings which were on the floor. Clothes in several houses have become wet and muddied by this. Hence
immediate relief work is in progress on a war footing for the residents of Urur Kuppam, Olcott Kuppam. The ways this is happening are:

1. The Olcott Memorial High School grounds and the assembly hall have been kept open from 9am on the day of the Tsumani- Sunday morning. There are on an estimate close to 1000 people in the campus.

2. On the first day the govt. authorities provided food at noon and night. Several concerned citizens have joined in and there is enough food (even more than what can be really consumed in a day. These include rice- sambar packets, bread, biscuits and these are being distributed liberally)

3. Clothes and bed sheets (including a number of new ones) for men, women and children have also been distributed in plenty and barring may be a few people who were not in the place when the loads came in all have received at least a set of clothes.

Rehabilitation Plans-
1. The Theosophical Order of Service, which has for over 100 years worked with the Urur villages has started a survey with the help of teachers and alumni of Olcott School since Sunday evening. Senguttuvan who has lost his house (bamboo thatch hut on the beach at the Eastern end) and his team of young men and women are doing the survey and will come up with the list by Thursday. This is to ensure that no family that has suffered material losses is left out and no persons unaffected get the benefits. (Relief is open to all and we have found that there is a lot of food and material being hogged by many who are not even remotely affected.)

2. NGOs like Vishranthi, Rotary Clubs have started accumulating clothes and bed sheets at the Green Gate of the Theosophical Order of Service (TOS).

3. The TOS has a separate counter at the Treasury inside the Theosophical Society campus to receive money donations. ( Will post the details on how to send foreign donations to the TOS after I get the correct details from the Theosophical Society this morning)

4. The TOS will as much as it can ensure that rehab work is started by end of the week.
5. The TOS plans to extend support to Urur Kuppam and Olcot Kuppam

Odai Kuppam has been just slightly affected. A few houses have been damaged (may be 4- will know for certain after Thursday) need reconstruction.

This morning some of us plan to do start a survey of Tiruvanmiyur and Palavakkam areas to assess need for rehab with the help of the affected in the local areas.

From Sekar Ramakrishnan and Geetha Ramakrishnan I have info that North Madras relief work is also progressing on lines similar to what is happening at Besant Nagar.

At Pattinapakkam- Foreshore Estate work is in progress but hampered because of difficulties in reaching the homes as water is still not flown out of the low-lying areas.

I shall try and see that my next update comes in around same time to morrow morning. I need to get back to Olcott School for extending support to relief operations J, at least control the queues.