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Sunday, 23 January, 2005

Rehabilitation Measures: Pune-23rd Jan.

27th Day from the Tsunami...

As these many days have passed, two major things have happened. 1] The operations have moved on from Rescue & Relief towards Rehabilitation & Reconstruction. 2] The memories of Tsunami have faded and so has the public sentiment 'to do something'receded in the background of daily chores and other news.

The truth is that the real work after the tragedy has just begun. It is this painful journey to restoration of homes and livelihoods that will contribute to any meaningful reconstruction. The task must go on when the cameras are long gone!

The government will slowly get into the rehabilitation mode after the sanctions and paper flow from all departments; a few sincere NGO's will carry on with their commitment and manage villages for a few months or an year; international aid in some form may arrive and be used for development and rebuilding in due time; the media will re-visit Tsunami when monthly or the annual anniversary is observed but what about us...individuals? Can everything be done by the government and should everything be left to its resources alone? Has our enthusiasm been put back on the shelf till such time, (God forbid) another calamity arrives? Have we done enough that we can sit back and pat our backs now?

No doubt the ordinary Indian, the common man/woman on the street has felt immensely shaken by the disaster and very many individuals have indeed made possible a healthy contribution to the PM's National Relief Fund and other aid organisations both in money and kind. However, more can be done and we can make it happen. Small things like a tiny monthly contribution (when people get their salaries) for 1 year, to the PM's fund can help in a big way to build houses, provide new boats, fishing nets, food, schools, health and sanitation facilities to the affected people in the innumerable affected villages. People can also make a contribution of this nature to a good NGO working in the affected area (like an organisation like Red Cross / AID India etc. having adopted a village for 3 months to 1 year etc.)

The other thing that can be done is offering voluntary services for a week or 10 days. Groups of 10 could be formed in cities across India and people who can manage some of their expenses can contact local organisations like Maitri or CYDA in Pune. A travel and action plan can then be chalked out after speaking to the people or organisations in the field or coordinators in Madras (all this information by now is available with local NGO's working for Tsunami relief in different cities); then the team so formed can move after a small orientation from the local NGO and basic inoculation etc. Volunteers need note one important thing that they are going to help (not add to confusion) , hence the trip has to be organised properly and coordinated with some groups already active on the field.

The above 2 are constructive ways in which Indians can still make a difference, a contribution towards a requirement still unmet.

From Pune, a lot of work towards relief and rehabilitation has been done by Red Cross, Maitri, CYDA, Arogya Sena and Rotary among others. Many volunteer groups have been organised by NGO's in the last 3 weeks and they have gone out and done good work.

A fresh team of 12 young volunteers (who are many in numbers) has been organised after proper requirement assessment and coordination with AID, a prominent NGO working in Tamil Nadu. They are expected to be leaving Pune on the 28th of January to spend 7 days in the setting up of a new relief camp. Reports about their work and experiences would be available on this site in the coming days. The difference is that this group is an an initiative of individuals and not any organisation however, NGO's would be coordinating as a link from Pune to Tamil Nadu. Similar efforts are expected to happen in the near future too and it is a hoped that across the country people would respond with such endeavours.

For any information on activities in Pune or contacts in other cities, write in at vmoorthy@rediffmail.com.

3 Comments Post a Comment
Blogger PaolaDM said :

Thanks for your encouragement

I have done a quick report of my local area, hope that other volunteers can supply detailed info so that relief can be prioritised and directed accordingly

Here is my data

Sun Jan 23, 10:18:00 pm IST  
Blogger Vijaya said :

Great effort, Paula. Hope individuals and groups viewing this site keep their efforts going. Basically, a strong network of people and information needs to be built to minimise duplication, mismanagement and wastages.

Tue Jan 25, 12:19:00 am IST  
Anonymous Anonymous said :

Thanks, Paola :) Good stuff.

Tue Jan 25, 03:57:00 pm IST