Monday, January 10, 2005

Onsite Update :: from Lakshmi in Chennai

Dear All,

Volunteers from Kanpur –students of the IIT reached Chennai on 9th morning, helped with the Bhoomika Trust and then have gone to Nagapattinam for further work. Felt their commitment and willingness to be part of all kind of work.

The Pattinapakkam survey of the Pennurimai Iyakkam mentioned in my previous update is far from complete. The survey has covered only a hundred houses. The work is continuing. The complexities and the vastness of the area are problems the group is facing. They are doing it diligently and with care.

We are trying to arrange a sizable quantity of stoves from Mumbai. We have been able to procure 15 stoves yesterday and disbursed to the waiting families. We have booked for another 15 for today.

We urgently need sarees and babies and children’s clothes. We have enough and more of bedsheets and men’s clothes and do not want them for now. Please contact me/ my mother at 55187138 before delivering the material

Our tally of families who have contacted us till 10th night is 47. We have supported 31 of them fully and have provided basic support for clothes, provisions, school bags, for all the others while they are looking for new rented places or looking at support for restarting their livelihoods on the beach. The website updates will happen ASAP.

The enquiries for livelihood rehab from the beach and roadside vendors and shopkeepers have started increasing. This would need support from anything between Rs5000 to Rs20000. We will be discussing this area amongst our volunteers at Chennai and to see what would be the quantum of support and how we must do it. Feels so good and relieved to have our volunteers back from Varanasi back in Chennai.

We are paying very special to families where the women are running the show- widows, women deserted by their husbands, as also the old and infirm grandmothers looking after their orphaned grandchildren. We have received at least two concrete offers for support lifelong to such children who are orphans. Will take some time to put these people together.

Students at OMHS who have been affected by the Tsunami and have returned to school have received all requirements for school including school bags. We are happy that the children have been able to return to schoolwork quickly. We are also ready for children who will be returning to school after some days. We are hearing similar reports from Urur Kuppam school. Poorna Vidya children are also nearly completely taken care of. We find other schools around us also into returning to normalcy.