Tsunami Relief efforts in Kerala 15-01-05



So far 172 people died in Kerala. Number of wounded and suffering will be twice this number. People of Kerala's coastal lines have taken refuge in Kochi, Vypeen, Alappuzha, Karunagappally, Kollam, Vizhinjam and Thiruvananthapuram. Thousands of people of Kerala coasts became homeless. They lost whatever they had earned, except for the dress they were wearing whilst they fled their homes and villages. The future looks bleak for them. Most of them now have to begin from the vacuum. Whatever left in the form of houses are badly in need of repairs. They need every thing, from household utensils to clothing! As insult to injury, the fishermen folk lost their breadwinning materials, viz., boats, nets, etc. Whoever manage to go for fishing do not get the price for their catch. Because, due to a false and evil propaganda, the people are scared to eat seafood; the last straw on the camel's back !

The very first day the urgent need was clothes, food, shelter and hygiene. Seva Bharathi Kerala could muster around 4,000 volunteers and they had the know-how to assemble make-shift latrines. It was a great help to several refugee camps of more than 2,000 people each (since the authorities failed to provide any necessary and primary facilities to the poor victims). Similarly, SEVA BHARATHI KERALA volunteers could collect loads of clothing and food stuff and distribute them among the needy in no time. It was a rare scene of succour for the victims as well as general public. The human and compassionate behaviour of SEVA BHARATHI KERALA volunteers was lauded and appreciated by the authorities, victims and people cutting across party lines.

The horrible and darkest aftershock of any natural calamity anywhere in the world is the decomposed dead bodies. Authorities, police and all parties of the establishment, as usual, shied off this stinking phenomenon. It is again Volunteers who do this job in the refugee camps in Kerala, Tamil Nadu Andaman Nicobar and Andhra states. Nothing stop them from taking out the 4 to 5 days old dead bodies from the depths of debris and cremate them as their set mission to keep the outbreak of epidemics off the door. Foul smell came out from the debris and coastal sands indicated possible presence of more bodies underneath them. Volunteers keep no stone unturned for bringing them out and cremate.

Details of the loss ascertainment can be boiled down as follows
Most affected villages 5
Most affected panchayaths 4
Total deaths 172
Injured 2140
Total loss of houses 3766
worth of
Rs. 871
Partially damaged houses 2036
Required Repairs worth
Rs. 29,486,400
Loss of household appliances Worth
Rs 31,132,000
Affected commercial institutions 177
Losses worth
Rs. 2,113,000
Agricultural loss Worth
Rs. 2,600,000
Loss of occupational implements
(Boat, net, outboard marine engines)
Rs. 508,206,838

Details of Relief Activities undertaken by Sevabharathi
Total manpower engaged 1600
Total number of vehicles deployed 500
Rice distributed 74,000 kgs
Vegetables distributed 1,500 kgs
No. of beneficiaries 144,000
Other materials distributed
Utensils 3,500
Footwear 1,550
Soap 3,100
Clothes 95,000
No. of beneficiaries 25,000
No. of beneficiaries of medical aid 4,500
Houses cleaned 1,850
Other works
Repairs of road 15 kms
Temple renovation 10
Bridges 30 M
Burial of carcasses 312
Latrines 1257
Tank 162
Counseling 2138

The following are the most important among them:-
  1. Construction of 100 houses @ Rs 75,000, i.e., Rs 7,500,000
  2. Construction of community 8 houses@ Rs. 200,000. i.e., Rs 1,600,000
  3. Supply of household items for 3,000 houses: Worth Rs 5,000/house, i.e., Rs 15,000,000
Therefore, total budgeting: Rs 23,100,000

Sevabharathi set the above target in view of Jagadguru Amruthanandamayi Devi's statement that Mat desires to construct houses for each and every family who lost their houses in Tsunami waves provided Govt. permits.

Seva Bharathi Kerala has expresses willingness to adopt any number of orphans irrespective of their age. In Kochi, Sevabharathi workers are designing an ambitious project of distributing free drinking water for the coastal areas, viz., Vypeen Island (infamous for scarcity of drinking water due to inefficient Govt. machinery, Kannamali and Chellanam.