India

India Partners to provide relief to tsunami survivors not yet helped

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International relief and development agency India Partners has targeted a portion of tsunami reconstruction efforts, in partnership with Reaching Hand Society managed by Dr. Iris Paul, to provide relief to survivors who have not yet received any aid, in many instances women, children and the disabled. Funds will also provide assistance to those individuals who lost equipment and supplies necessary to their livelihood, such as basket weavers, cobblers, and agricultural laborers as well as to members of fishing communities which are not a part of the registered fishermen co-operative society in six areas of Tamil Nadu.

In India, 897 villages and 3.6 million people have been affected by the disaster; 112,517 people still live in 256 government-run relief camps with about 158,000 dwellings estimated to have been destroyed. A tour of the tsunami-hit areas north of Madras revealed that there have been some gaps in the distribution of relief and in the proposed plan for restoration and rehabilitation of the victims, reports Dr. Iris Paul.

"For the areas north of Madras, relief was distributed to men of the registered fishermen co-operative societies. Women and children were not taken into consideration at all. Fishermen who were not part of a fishermen co-operative society were also left out of any relief distribution," says Brent Hample, Executive Director of India Partners. "We have heard of instances where these people have been reduced to selling their clothes to feed their children."

Dr. Iris Paul and Mr. Remo Paul run Reaching Hand Society, an indigenous medical partner agency of India Partners. They will manage the $40,000 project which will provide relief assistance in the form of food provisions to 750 families, trade assistance to 19 cobbler families and community fishing nets for the fishermen who are not registered as part of a co-operative. The project is scheduled to end no later than May 15, 2005.

India Partners is now focusing its relief work on community development such as rebuilding huts, fixing boats and replacing nets that were lost in the tsunami although daily distribution of rice, dhal and cooking oil continues to be a necessity.

"People are coming hundreds by hundreds from the villages," says India Partners representative Rev. G. Parishudha Babu who has organized relief aid in Andhra Pradesh that has helped thousands of survivors in the aftermath of the disaster.

At a recent tsunami relief camp, 1,000 people came from four villages. Each family received 10kgs of rice, 2kgs of dhal, 2 kgs of cooking oil and 5 liters drinking water. Bamboo and thatched leaves are also distributed to repair huts that were damaged.

To help India Partners' tsunami reconstruction efforts in India, here's how to donate:
By internet: http://www.indiapartners.org; Click on "donate now"
By phone: toll free: 1-888-870-9085, local: 541-683-0696
By mail: India Partners, Tsunami Relief, PO Box 5470, Eugene, OR 97405