Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Projects Update :: Various (Lakshmi)

Dear All,

Things that have happened in the last 24 hours with us


We have received the donation promised for the school students’ relief.

Spoke to the HM just now. She has received most of the requirements of books and notebooks from the corporation as also uniforms. She says after checking she will let us know about further uniform requirements. School bags are an immediate requirement. We can arrange for the same.

The number of identified affected students has increased as more children are coming back to school and info is pouring in.

State Bank of India Besant Nagar Branch is organizing 300 mats and bedsheets / blankets and utensils for the affected students and their families. These will be distributed to the school through the headmistress.

Spoke to Mrs Margaret just now. She has received all her requirements for her students from the govt. She is really shocked at the happenings inside the village. Each of the owner families have received large sums of money from the govt. The ones who are not really affected by the Tsunami have gained enormously. The tenant families have received next to nothing. She says that the children in her school have spoken the truth and told her how much money each of the many families has received. She has applauded the children who are honest and told them they should speak the truth and lead honest lives.

For the children of the tenants she has detained them in school after school hours under the pretext of cleaning up school, helping with one thing or the other and sent materials she has been collecting inside their school bags. She is reaching home only around 9pm everyday the last few days but she is doing her bit to ensure that help goes to the really needy. Margaret tried to enter the village and talk to people but she was rudely admonished. The village leaders came to her saying that whatever she gets be given to them and they would take charge of the distribution. Maragaret has told them as a headmistress she can only help children with what the govt. Provides and that she does not get support from anyone else. It is said to have issued the orders that the accounts of any NGO that enters Urur village will be frozen and that they themselves would deal with the place. May be true may be not but we do not need to help the village owners at all. Our support if any should certainly go quietly to the tenants of the village.

50% of the textbook requirements have been received from the govt. Some notebooks also have been received. As the material was brought in around 6pm last evening we will be doing the stock checking in the morning. The govt. authorities have asked us to collect the remaining books and notebooks later. As we are a private school for the underprivileged, we receive material last. The school management and donations from well wishers of the school will ensure that all shortfalls are met.

Children in Arignar Anna school, Avvai Home school, Rani Meyyammai School, Kumara Raja Muthiah School and Raja Muthiah School are also schools that have been affected as they come from the Kuppams. They are govt./ govt. aided schools and have received help as at Urur School.


Father Barnard, priest of the Velankanni church came to meet me. With me was Vijaykumar who is the focus person for the Porna Vidya project from the donor’s side, and Mukund of Asha Phoenix. We shared the info we had on schools, owner families and tenants and the Kuppam dynamics. There was no difference in the pattern in the OdaiKuppam. The church sisters are compiling a list of requirements of students other than what the govt. has given from the 8 schools mentioned above. He liked our idea of SAF. The nuns are working from a house in Vannanthurai like how we are working from 9/40 Damodarapuram. It reinforced our conviction that we are on the right track.

The Madras Diocese has compliled/ is compiling lists of affected schools from Marina down South along the East Coast Road just short of Cuddalore.This data will be available to us as well.
Shanmuga has left for field work with medical aid. Will get back in a couple of days. I look at his 'Tamil Nadu Tsunami Relief Initiative' as the focus point for medical aid. I request all volunteers who want to help in this area to contact Anita or him on and

Have discovered yesterday that Malavika Chakraborthy my friend’s daughter has been in the TNSF work outside Chennai. She is willing to guide people who wish to volunteer on what is being done and what needs to be done in the areas outside of Chennai. Her contact telephone number is 09841101712. She has returned to Chennai after the week’s work outside to do her exam. Please contact her if you would like to volunteer outside Chennai.

Notebook suppliers, school bag suppliers, have been contacted and rates discussed and finalized. We can place bulk orders if required anytime with them for any approved requirements. We will be getting the quotes from uniform suppliers.


We have disbursed money and paid house rent advances to 18 families till 9pm yesterday. We have not been to type out and get the web page ready. Hopefully we will get the same ready today/ tomorrow. 8 families are in the process of looking for houses on rent.

One family who are very poor owners of a hut at Odaikuppam have received Rs 4,000 govt. support. They have requested for Rs5000 for rebuilding the hut as according to them it takes Rs 10,000 get it completed. We are doing a visit and disbursing Rs 2,000 first and more as and when the construction requires. This is an attempt to help the poor fisher folk unlike most of the owners in Urur Kuppam.