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Monday, 3 January, 2005

Tsunami relief efforts of the Isha Foundation

Thousands of Isha meditators are traveling to the Cuddalore-Chidambaram-Nagapattanam-Devanampattinam region with large quantities of relief materials which they are distributing to the victims.

Eight fully equipped Mobile Health Clinics, along with their doctors and medical teams from the Foundation’s project Action for Rural Rejuvenation and five trucks of relief and rehabilitation material are engaged in relief and preventive measures. Apart from providing relief, making spot assessment of the situation and chalking out long term relief measures, Isha volunteers are making one-to-one contact with the victims and helping them overcome their grief and distress.

Though several people and government agencies already visited the villages and distributed clothes and foods, the villagers were still very disturbed. The prospect of not knowing where their next meal will come from and having to live like ‘beggars’ was something that they deeply resented.

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, founder of the Isha Foundation, held meetings with a few village leaders and members of core group of volunteers undertaking the relief operations and outlined a few of his observations and specific actions to help such villages.

Plans for four important areas where immediate action is necessary were made:

(1) Medical Assistance: The health risks that lurk over these villagers are still substantial. Plans were made to provide sustained medical aid.

(2) Providing Fishing Boats and Equipment: This was identified as the focus of future work, as it would immediately give people a means of livelihood. Research into all the issues involved, possible innovations and world wide appeal for this purpose were discussed. It was decided to take this up on priority.

(3) Re-building of houses: A similar committee was constituted for the rebuilding of destroyed houses. All related issues, including future safety against disasters were discussed.

(4) Government Liaison: This need was very visible in the village. Though the government had announced many schemes, villagers pleaded that they did not know who to go to or how to obtain these benefits. “They are asking for my ration card. When my entire house has been washed away, where will I get my ration card from?” asked a villager who is unable to claim any compensation for the dead in his family. A group of Isha meditators from nearby towns discussed ways of providing such support to the villagers, which was felt very essential. A cell was being set up in the area where villagers could report.

Medical Assistance : Mobile Health Clinics
Immediately following the strike of the tsunami, the services of the MHCs were offered to the state government of Tamil Nadu. These custom built, specialized MHCs were procured by the Foundation since mid-2003 for its Social Outreach Program Action for Rural Rejuvenation, and were operating in rural areas of Tamil Nadu. Each Clinic comprises of a qualified doctor and a paramedical team of four assistants, apart from the team of supporting volunteers.

“After visiting villages and looking firsthand at the scale of the disaster, an additional doctor was added and the medical staff doubled in each MHC. As a result over 500 patients per MHC per day are being treated,” says Dr Sashi Kumar, Chief of the Isha Foundation’s medical team.

  • Food Poisoning due to poor hygiene, contamination of food and lack of potable water resources
  • Water-borne diseases
  • Bruises and injuries which were acquired while trying to escape from the killer waves and subsequent infections of the wounds due to failure of immediate treatment.
  • Cold and fever
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Respiratory illness due to polluted environment
  • Preventive vaccination offered against imminent infections
  • Prophylactic injections of Tetanus antitoxin

The Mobile Health Clinics treat over 4,000 patients each day and require a large supply of medicines (list of medicines will be posted soon), disposable syringes, masks and gloves (being used for other relief work too).

For Updates on Isha Foundation’s Disaster Relief Work and for details on how you can participate and contribute, please visit www.ishafoundation.org. For Contributions All contributions are to be made in the form of Check/DD made in favor of: "ISHA FOUNDATION - DISASTER RELIEF FUND" and mailed to:Isha Foundation,15 Govindsamy Naidu Layout, Singanallur,Coimbatore, India - 641 005

Note: Offline Contributions from foreign nationals must be accompanied by a Declaration Letter. Isha Foundation is registered as a Charitable Trust in India. Donations to Isha Foundation are exempt from Income Tax under section 80(G) of Income Tax Act.
2 Comments Post a comment
Anonymous Anonymous said :

From the staff at http://www.tugme.com we would like to say thanks for making a very informative blog!!! We have donated $3,500 so far and would like to encourage every visitor to donate to this aweful tragedy.

Tue Jan 04, 12:36:00 am IST  
Anonymous Anonymous said :


Tue Jan 04, 08:15:00 pm IST