Saturday, February 19, 2005

Onsite Update :: from Lakshmi in Chennai

Dear All,

Asha Chennai Tsunami relief and Rehab Projects have now been neatly classified.

Support A Family
Back To School
Nemmilikuppam- Boats
Nochikuppam - Balwadis

Support A Family has revived again on a quiet yet sure basis. We are working from our homes with more volunteers of Besant Nagar (Kasthuri Easwaran), Neelankarai (Anbumani), Kannagi Nagar- new govt. settlement for the displaced (Ravi), Odaikuppam (Kalaiarasi) areas taking the responsibility of identifying, meeting with the families, studying needs and purchasing and distributing materials.

The government is doing /has done the following:

- Not allow the rebuilding of huts on the beach

- Demolished all structures including brick and concrete within 300 metres of the sea on the Santhome Beach( Including Srinivasapuram)- and moved the residents of the Tsunami affected areas to already existing govt. constructed flats at the Pallavan Kudiyiruppu (PTC Quarters) that were not allotted/had no takers for about the last two years. ( The same will happen soon at Urur Kuppam, Olcott Kuppam, Odai Kuppam and all the kuppams in the city of Chennai). Most fisherman in these areas have been fishing as a supplementary occupation and many have jobs even in govt. departments.

- Allotted to the tenant families who were in the huts, tenements 10*10 close to PTC Quarters but on new land, with the allotment papers giving Block Nos and flat numbers in the proposed housing complex.

The Project is therefore now looking at supporting the families in both areas with means of transport to the city (cycles), support for small businesses- food stalls, tea stalls, vegetable vending, petty shops. We have started slowly in a small way, you can see the early efforts on the web link

The last few SAFs are of that kind.

We have identified a group of 38 families of Srinivasapuram in the 10x10 tenement area who would need support for going back to work. The daily costs of commuting to the city can be anywhere between Rs10 and Rs25 per day. With the prospects of daily wages being unsure everyday, many of the coolies are unable to go to work.